Received: 14 Jun 2015
Accepted: 14 Jul 2015
EUROPEAN UNION AND NEW FEATURES OF THE WESTERN BALKANS
Simić Jasminka (Dr Jasminka Simić, naučni saradnik, novinarka – urednica u Radio-televiziji Srbije, Beograd), email@example.com
The pro-European orientation of the countries of the Western Balkans is not called into question despite the financial and institutional crisis that has followed in recent years, both in the EU and the region. On the road to EU accession, these countries have made significant progress, but the fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria is imminent. It is necessary to reduce the gap between its ambitions and existing capacity, but also to continue to promote regional cooperation, on which the EU insists, because the connection between the countries is the key to faster economic growth and higher employment in Southeast Europe. Political support for the enlargement process exists within the EU and in the countries of the Western Balkans. However, ethnic tension in the Western Balkans, the emergence of the new economic cooperation framework through negotiations on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, China and Southeast European countries with the policy of “1+16”, and the growing influence of the Euroasian Economic Union, open up thinking about other possibilities of overcoming potential failures of the Western Balkans on the European integration path.
Keywords: Western Balkans, enlargement, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, Economic Belt of the New Silk Road, Eurasian Economic Union