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Western Balkans

The countries of the Western Balkans are geographically surrounded by EU member states, and the EU’s general approach towards the region is characterised by stabilisation through integration.

The conflicts which blighted the region in the 1990s posed an existential challenge to the Common Security and Foreign Policy (CFSP) and in 2003, the EU went beyond its declaratory statements and launched the first ever Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission, EUPM, in Bosnia and Herzegovina and subsequently, the first military operation, Concordia, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Currently, the military operation EUFOR Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Union’s largest mission to date, EULEX, in Kosovo, provide tangible illustrations of the EU’s continued commitment to ensuring peace and stability in the region. Furthermore, the objectives of the Union and the work of the High Representative are also supported by the European Union Special Representatives (EUSRs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

On 1 July 2013, Croatia became the 28th member state of the European Union. In 2012, Montenegro opened the accession negotiations, followed by Serbia in 2013. In June 2018, the European Council agreed to conditionally open the accession negotiations with Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in June 2019. The prospect of EU membership remains open to the potential candidates: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

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  • 22January 2021

    There are quite a few things we know about 2021: it will be 365 days long, include scheduled events such as elections and summits, and the tail end of the Covid-19 pandemic. But what is it that we do not know, should expect, or brace ourselves for?

  • Podcast season 2 logo
    15July 2020

    The EUISS' ‘What if’ podcast returns for a second season, this time looking at the foreign policy implication of the covid19 crisis.

  • Photo of EUISS podcast recording studio
    09June 2020

    The EUISS ‘What if’ podcast is a foreign policy foresight conversation: it looks at fictional scenarios that could happen between now and the end of 2021.

  • 22January 2019

    On 22 January 2019, the EUISS organised a strategic foresight workshop for representatives from the EUSR in BiH, the EU Delegation and EUFOR Operation Althea.

  • 01June 2018

    On 1 June 2018, the EUISS hosted a high-level delegation from the Serbian National Assembly in its Brussels Liaison Office.

  • 27February 2018

    From 27 February to 2 March 2018, the EUISS held the second round of workshops for the project ‘Balkan Futures’. The project is implemented by the EUISS and supported by the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB).

  • 22January 2018

    On 22 January 2018 in Sarajevo, the EUISS launched its newest project – Balkan Futures. The project is implemented by the EUISS and supported by the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB).

  • 16February 2017

    This expert workshop sought to identify and analyse the various drivers of fragility in and for the Western Balkans and the kind of responses that may be needed from the EU and/or local actors.

  • 30May 2016

    On the 30-31 of May 2016, more than 80 researchers and policy analysts from think tanks and academia met in Paris at the Austrian Embassy and the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI).

  • 04December 2015

    In cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria and the European Stability Initiative, and with the support of the European Fund for the Balkans, the EU Institute for Security Studies organised an event at the Austrian Foreign Ministry in Vienna on 4th December 2015.

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