Date of Award
European Union, Western Balkans, Democracy
"This thesis analyzes the current model of European Union conditionality toward the Western Balkans, which based on a dual approach through the Stabilization and Association Process (SAP). Through SAP, the European Union (EU) is trying to stabilize the Western Balkans, while at the same time associating them with EU policies and supporting them in taking over the EU acquis. My hypothesis is that in order to promote democracy and the rule of law, the EU's policy of stabilizing and integrating should be reformed to better strengthen and clarify conditionality. In order to test my hypothesis, I focused on the three Western Balkan countries, Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were chosen because each represented a different stage of accession; they share a geographical footprint; and many historical experiences. I first discussed problems associated with each country's transition to democracy. I looked at the justice and home affairs sector of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). Within that I assessed whether the measures to address corruption and minority rights and refugees have been effective. The results of my tests indicate that despite the financial assistance the EU has given towards the Western Balkans, the countries have a long way to go to improving democracy and the rule of law. Conditions have not worsened but they have not improved. The EU can get its enlargement policy toward the Western Balkans back on track by strengthening its conditionality and only accepting members when they are politically and technically ready to become EU member states."
Kostakis, George, "The "Europeanization" of the Western Balkans; Is European Conditionality Fostering Democracy?" (2012). CUNY Academic Works.