Dr. Natasha Wunsch

Associate Fellow, Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies

Areas of Expertise

  • EU enlargement
  • Western Balkans
  • European Neighborhood Policy
  • European foreign and security policy


English, French, Spanish, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian


Email: wunsch@af.dgap.org

Natasha Wunsch has been an associate fellow with the DGAP's Oppenheim Center since October 2011. She was previously a resident fellow at the DGAP, directing a project in support of think tanks from the Western Balkans.

From February 2017, Natasha Wunsch has been working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at ETH Zurich conducting research on democratic backsliding in the EU enlargement region. She holds a PhD from University College London, where she defended her thesis on the role of civil society organizations in the Europeanization process in the Western Balkans. Prior to that, she completed a joint French-German Master’s degree in political science and European studies at the Freie Universität in Berlin and Sciences Po Paris.


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Selected Publications

Regional Cooperation in the Western Balkans
Options for the Interplay of Neighborly Relations and EU Accession up to 2025
by Cornelius Adebahr, Theresia Töglhofer, Sarah Wohlfeld, Natasha Wunsch
DGAPkompakt 30 (December 2018), 21 pp.
Regional Cooperation in the Western Balkans
Under the European Commission’s 2018 Western Balkan strategy, candidate countries from the region must resolve bilateral disputes before joining the EU. As it wants to avoid importing conflicts, the EU puts the onus to ensure good neighborly relations onto the region itself. International researchers from this year’s TRAIN program developed scenarios for the region. They range from increasing regional cooperation to the possible fallout from failed conflict resolution or an EU fatigue toward the region.
Category: European Union, Balkans
Right Goals, Wrong Tools?
Civil Society Empowerment in the EU Accession Process
by Natasha Wunsch
DGAPanalyse 2 (February 2015), 11 pp.
Right Goals, Wrong Tools?
The European Commission has long stated its aim of empowering civil society in EU candidate countries. In its accession process, Croatia enjoyed strong initial support for its civil society organizations (CSOs). EU interest grew less robust, however, once the accession date was set, and CSOs lost a crucial ally in their reform efforts. The experience shows the limitations of the Commission’s current policy. Seven recommendations for strengthening CSOs as active partners in the accession process.
Category: Enlargement Process, State Building, South-East Europe, Europe
Crossing Borders
Rethinking the European Union’s Neighborhood Policies
by Almut Möller, Cornelius Adebahr, Claire Demesmay, Carsten Främke, Lucas Lypp, Marie-Lena May, Stefan Meister, Katrin Sold, Marek Souček, Ulrike Stern, Marcel Viëtor, Natasha Wunsch
DGAPanalyse 2, August 18, 2011, 100 pp.
Crossing Borders
The debt crisis calls for the EU’s full attention – and threatens to supplant the fact that urgent action is needed on Europe’s periphery. The revolutions in North Africa demand answers; further EU enlargement needs to be planned and implemented. There are many common topics that link the European Union and its neighbors, from energy to migration. Thus, cross-border space must be created in which EU policies on a range of topics can be further developed
Category: European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), Eastern Partnership, European Union, Europe, Eastern Europe