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.
More from CNAS
Understanding the State of U.S. Support to Ukraine with Ambassador Ivo Daalder
As winter approaches and territorial changes along the frontlines in Ukraine continue to be minimal, the realization is setting in that a long war likely lies ahead. To contin...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Ivo Daalder
Sam Bendett on Russia-Ukraine & Byron Callan’s Week Ahead
Adjunct Senior Fellow Samuel Bendett joins the Defense & Aerospace Report podcast to discuss Ukraine’s latest attack on Moscow, an update on the war, new sanctions on Russian ...
By Samuel Bendett
Russia Is the Loser in the Israel-Hamas War
Whereas Russia was central to the discussions around the Syrian civil war a decade ago, the future trajectory of the Middle East is likely to emerge from the Gaza crisis witho...
By Peter Schroeder
How the West Can Court the Global South
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, many observers have focused on the consolidation of Western unity in responding to Moscow’s aggression. However, attitu...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Nathalie Tocci & Timothy Garton Ash