Conclusion: The Politics of Numbers – Censuses in the Post-Yugoslav States

  • Soeren Keil
This conclusion poses a number of questions related to policy issues and the censuses in the post-Yugoslav states. It is argued that censuses are always more than just a technical counting exercise. Census discussions in Western Europe tend to focus on regional funding, infrastructure support and long-term policy planning, and can be as contested and heated as questions over identity, religion and mother tongue in the post-Yugoslav states. However, identity-related questions in an area in which identity is still in flux and in which fundamental demographic changes have taken place recently, prevent any focus on more policy-oriented discussions.

The Politics of EU Enlargement Revisited - What conditions matter in the case of the EU’s South-Eastern enlargement?

  • Dorian Jano
There are considerable variations in the pace and speed of EU’s South-Eastern enlargement. Bulgaria and Romania joined European Union (EU) in 2007, Croatia became the 28th member-state only in July 2013 while the rest of the South-East European (SEE) countries are facing uncertainty about the time they will join the Union. The article revisits the previous debate on EU enlargement politics with the aim to uncover necessary and sufficient conditions that matter in the case of EU enlargement in South-East Europe. Our qualitative comparative analysis shows that having a liberal democracy as well as pro-enlargement EU member-states are both necessary conditions, if joined with the applicant’s achievement of the condition of a functional market economy and effective administrative capacities, can sufficiently derive into EU accession.

The New Environment of EU Enlargement: The Impact of Economic Crisis on the Western Balkans and their EU Accession Prospects

  • Ritsa Panagiotou
This paper will explore the impact of the economic crisis on the Western Balkan countries, and how the new, unfavourable international environment is affecting their EU accession prospects. The analysis will be presented in three sections: the first part will examine the effect of the “first wave” of the global economic crisis on the economies of the region, specifically the impact on the region’s macroeconomic indicators, foreign direct investment flows, financial sectors, etc. Part two will analyse the repercussions of the “second wave” of the crisis, namely the Greek sovereign debt crisis, which rapidly spilled over into the entire eurozone. Part three will build on the issues examined in parts one and two and will discuss the repercussions of both waves of the crisis on the region’s enlargement process and prospects.

The Europeanisation of candidate countries: the case for a shift to the concept of EU member-state building

  • Davide Denti
The research on the impact of the European Union on its candidate countries has been traditionally framed within the concept of Europeanisation. But the term, notwithstanding two decades of usage, still lacks clarity in its attributes and its referent. Moreover, the statehood of candidate countries has emerged as a prerequisite for its effectiveness, providing no answer for cases of limited statehood and limited Europeanisation. The concept of member-state building, which refers to the EU’s purpose of building functional member states while integrating them, may help reframe the academic discussion on the impact of the EU on candidate countries, particularly in limited statehood contexts, by complementing it with insights from the literature on state building.

Introduction: Overcoming the Crisis of EU Enlargement

  • Marko Kmezić
The goal of this volume is to explore the EU-integration process in the Western Balkans region during a period of enlargement-abstinence. Articles in this special issue aim to expand knowledge and scholarship in this area, but also to influence policy-led discussions in order to reinvigorate the EU integration process. So, instead of viewing enlargement as the fulfillment of formal criteria, this volume will focus on how and if the enlargement process can overcome the “enlargement fatigue” and skepticism towards the EU membership of the Western Balkans whilst having a transformative effect.