EUROPEAN PATH OF THE WESTERN BALKANS REGION – NORMATIVE ASPECTS AND
The purpose of the study is to analyze the general and regional context of the process of accession of the Western Balkans region to the European Union (EU). The Union (EU) is in a negative stage of its development, especially following Brexit, and even more since the pandemic has seriously shaken complete global economy and the economy of the EU as well. Those unfavourable factors added a bad momentum to the on-going monetary crisis that started in 2008. Therefore, the general context of the EU enlargement process is to be taken into consideration when analyzing the accession of each candidate country from the Western Balkans region. The next relevant context is the regional one. The dynamics of the accession process of these countries to the Union remains open. The EU is at the turning point in its evolution in contemporary conditions. Consequently, many authors are posing the question of the future of the EU. The enlargement process is not a priority for the Union, bearing in mind its internal problems, institutional, and even more, economic problems, especially after the outbreak of the pandemic. After The EU – Western Balkans Zagreb Summit of May 2020, this became evident.
It remains to be seen in the upcoming period whether “Europe-Fortress” is on the scene, with semi-open doors to candidate countries from the Western Balkans region, or is it Europe without borders. Membership in the EU can be one, but not the only alternative to those countries that are committed to improving their relations with the Union.
Keywords: EU, enlargement, Western Balkans, crisis.