External Publications

Aug 08, 2016

EU Expansion in the Western Balkans

A promise not kept

It has been more than 15 years since the EU promised a clear membership perspective to the countries of the Western Balkans. After an early period of high hopes, however, the process of expanding the EU stagnated. Not only have there been few signs of progress in the democratic transformation of the countries, but the EU itself has been too distracted by its own problems to overcome its general “expansion fatigue.”



Although Europe’s refugee crisis has brought new attention to the region, it is questionable whether the engagement will do anything for the actual EU accession process for the Western Balkans. Sarah Wohlfeld argues that it is precisely this membership prospect, however, that is crucial for encouraging democratic consolidation. The original article was published in German and has now been selected for inclusion in the journal's international quarterly edition. Click here for a description of the German edition.

Bibliographic data

Wohlfeld, Sarah. “EU Expansion in the Western Balkans.” August 2016.

In: Neue Gesellschaft/Frankfurter Hefte, Journal of Social Democracy, International Quarterly Edition 3/2016, pp. 9-12