Reforming from the Bench – Marking Offside: The (in)effectiveness of the EU Benchmarking Mechanism in the Western Balkans

March 30, 2018

This analysis is based on the contributions and separate country analyses made by project partners produced within the BENCHER project with the aim to study the effectiveness of the EU’s benchmarking system on selected policy issues within the Chapters 23 and 24 focusing on the cases of the WB6. The analyses represent a first major attempt to critically evaluate the degree to which the objectives are achieved and the extent to which targeted problems are solved in order to further advance in the EU accession process. The purpose of this analysis is to highlight and compare the key developments in relation to the selected benchmarks in the six countries, whereas an in depth discussion of the benchmarks in the separate countries is to be found in the national studies. Following a brief explanation of the methodology, this analysis provides a contextual overview of where the countries stand in the process of EU integration as well as an overview of the benchmarking mechanism across the Western Balkans. Next, the study provides an analysis of the selected benchmarks within Chapters 23 and 24. The overview of each benchmark consists of the timeline of introduction in each of the countries, joined by an assessment of the current state of play and key challenges. Lastly, the study reflects on the overall findings and provides recommendations both to the EU institutions as well as to domestic actors.

This policy brief has been produced as part of the research within the 2017 Think and Link Regional Policy Programme and co-financed by OSF. The views presented in the policy brief are authors’ views and do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Fund for the Balkans and Open Society Foundations.

To access the Policy Brief, please click here. While the report can be downloaded as pdf.

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