Image credit: (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Skyler Schendt, 111th Public Affairs Detachment, Nebraska National Guard)

July 24, 2023

The US Is Indispensable in the Western Balkans — for Now

By Kristen Taylor and Nicholas Lokker

This June marked twenty years since the 2003 Thessaloniki Summit, where EU leaders declared that the “future of the Balkans is within the European Union.”

Yet two decades later, EU membership for all Western Balkan countries but Croatia remains elusive, as the region struggles to overcome persistent ethnic tensions and implement necessary reforms for accession.

Active engagement from Washington now will allow the European Union to take over primary responsibility for the Balkans and lead without U.S. assistance in the future.

With EU enlargement back on the political agenda following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West has an opportunity to revitalise its policy toward the Western Balkans. To capitalise on this renewed geopolitical momentum, greater leadership from the United States is key.

Read the full article from Euractiv.

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