Happy Birthday to the EUGS? The EU and the Western Balkans two years on
The EU Global Strategy, presented by the High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini in June 2016, renewed the EU’s commitment to take responsibility for the stability of the Western Balkans and reiterated their rele- vance for Europe’s own security. Despite the numerous valuable initiatives the EU has put forth in the framework of the Strategy’s implementation, the absence of a credible enlargement policy, coupled with socio-economic hardship, weak domestic institutions and Russia’s destabilizing role in the region, have undermined the effectiveness of the EU approach. In principle, the recent re-launch of the enlargement process provides fer- tile ground for turning the EU vision into action. Yet, divisions among Member States over the accession perspective of these countries overshadow the Strategy’s future implementation.