From Stabilisation and Association Process to Full Membership of Western Balkans Countries: Case Study
AbstractRegional picture of Western Balkans traditionally represents mosaic of â€œtroublemakersâ€ â€“ an unfinished European project in terms of transition and integration. Ever since the conflicts in early nineties of XX century, countries in this region have been limited by numerous constraints (their own and regional). producing very modest positive effects in terms of growth, building good mutual relations and thus fulfilment of European partners' expectations. EU has been actively involved primarily in stabilisation process and then in reconstruction process since 1995. Cornerstone of this process lies on basic principles of the European strategy for Western Balkans, clearly defined in 1999 and incorporated in Stabilisation and Association Process. Basic principles of the process are: perspective of membership which is the most important driving force for European Integration Process and the region's development, countries of the region should improve their relations while bilateral relations of each country with the EU must account for specific social, economic, political and institutional conditions of each country. Today, countries in the region accept these principles differently. The first principle is broadly accepted and European integration is a part of every governmental development program or policy in the region. The application of other two principles i.e. of more intensive regional European integration has shifting dynamics and the process is developing much slower than expected.