EU enlargement policy: Autumnal winds of change ahead
Twenty years of European integration have brought neither the promised convergence between the countries of the region and the member states, nor EU membership to the former. Instead, the accession path has become increasingly arduous for the aspirant countries in the Balkans and the destination – i.e. EU entry – ever more intangible, including for the frontrunning candidates. Moreover, the same thorny issues of statehood and democratic governance in the region and haphazard commitment to enlargement in the EU capitals keep challenging the credibility and transformative leverage of the policy.