Open Balkan, Berlin Process and EU’s ACQUIS

When one thought that creativity for yet another regional formation could hardly be fruitful, Albania, North Macedonia, and Serbia joined to announce the Open Balkan Initiative. What distinguishes this initiative from others is that it is home born, created and led by the countries themselves. Given that the OBI operates in tandem with and in the realm of already established initiatives, it raised the question of its necessity and compatibility with existing formations.

All WB6 have already committed to regional economic cooperation within the frameworks of the REA in 2017 and its successor CRM of 2020. A new initiative of similar character begs the question of how different or similar it is; does it bring any novelties or innovations to the regional integration project(s) promoted by the Berlin Process? Is it perhaps redundant to the already existing one(s)?

Regional cooperation goes hand in hand with the WB6’s EU membership perspective. However, all countries are at a different stage in the accession process, so the level of preparedness to undertake the obligations of EU membership, and the Single Market in particular, differs. This situation invokes the following questions: Does OBI fit in the accession process? Does it contribute to the fulfilment of the EU’s membership requirements?

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