Main topic

THE PROBLEM OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

REGIONAL COOPERATION IN THE WESTERN BALKANS – LONG-TERM WAITING FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND/OR THE “BALKAN UNION”

Abstract

The genesis of regional cooperation in the Western Balkans over the past two and a half decades has had different stages, with long-term crises and problems related to the development of its own concept. Therefore, in this paper, the authors have analysed its achievements so far, with special emphasis on the period after the transformation of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe into the Regional Cooperation Council in 2008, as well as on the attempt to reconceptualize cooperation within the Western Balkans Six in 2013. At the same time, they pay attention to the achievements of the Berlin Process after 2014 and the creation of a new form of transition of regional cooperation to regional economic integration (the Common Regional Market) from the end of 2020. In that context, the authors are considering whether it will come to the deepening of political cooperation through the eventual establishment of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Western Balkans and the introduction of regular meetings of prime ministers and foreign ministers.

The authors, therefore, point to certain fears in the region that the already initiated integration in the field of economic cooperation, which would be accompanied by intensified political cooperation, could result in the establishment of the “Balkan Union”. This essentially encounters significant resistance and opposition in the Western Balkans region due to the fear that it will become a permanent solution, which as such excludes the membership of the countries of the region in the European Union in the long run.

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PERIODICS Serbian Political Thought 1/2021 1/2021 УДК 339.92+327(497-15) 9-26
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