The increasing emphasis on openness and transparency of policy making fits into the overall set of reforms stemming from the EU accession process of the Western Balkan countries. Such an approach is especially relevant in the context of the requirements related to the public administration reform, good governance, rule of law as well as civil society development. This paper will analyse the legal framework regarding the public consultation, as key to public participation, in the public policy process of the Western Balkan countries in the light to the EU accession and approximation of their legislation with the EU legal standards. The paper will explore if and how such a legal framework has contributed to better public policies in these countries, as well as to their EU integration progress. Even though all the Western Balkan countries are not in the same stage in the accession process, challenges remain similar. The methodology of monitoring and accountability mechanism of the public consultation process is of high relevance for fulfilling this specific requirement. The tools that will be explored through this paper are aimed to contribute into improving the process in the Western Balkan countries.
Keywords: public consultation, public policy, European integration, Western Balkan countries.