In Search of EU Strategic Autonomy: What Role for the Western Balkans?
There is a danger today that the window of opportunity for proceeding towards the political and territorial unification of Europe, at least as was conceived by European leaders of the first post-Cold War generation, is going to close in the Western Balkans. The region, indeed, risks being pushed even more to the margins of the EU integration project by covid-19 pandemic, becoming increasingly an enclave of economic hardships, social tensions and unsettled conflicts in the midst of Europe. Against this backdrop, the ongoing debate on EU strategic autonomy offers an obligatory point of reference to deal with the Balkan conundrum. It gives a fruitful angle to assess both the state of play and the limits of current partnerships between the EU and the Western Balkan countries, and to verify the ambitions of the EU to effectively assert itself as a strategically autonomous actor in the years to come.
Paper prepared in the framework of the project "Politiche e strumenti per promuovere l’autonomia strategica dell’Ue nei settori della difesa, del commercio internazionale e dell’allargamento".
1. Western Balkans and EU strategic autonomy: An overview, by Matteo Bonomi
2. Strategic autonomy of the EU: The case of the Western Balkans, by Dejan Jović
3. The Western Balkans as a strategic vulnerability of the EU, by Odeta Barbullushi
4. Same goal, different roles: Sketching the joint effort of the Western Balkans and the EU towards a resilient European future, by Zoran Nechev
5. EU strategic autonomy and Western Balkans economic integration: The missing piece of the puzzle?, by Tanja Miščević
6. Six simple principles for EU action in the Western Balkans, by Majda Ruge
7. The EU’s quest for strategic autonomy in the Western Balkans: Why it flopped, by Dušan Reljić