Special Issue: WESTERN BALKAN COUNTRIES AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
 
 
 

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a Call for Papers for the Special Issue of Journal of Liberty and International Affairs:

 

WESTERN BALKAN COUNTRIES AND THE EUROPEAN UNION: PAST ACHIEVEMENTS, CURRENT SITUATION, AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES

 

Submission Deadline: Please submit your article before August 20, 2017

*Submissions should be sent in a Microsoft Word format, as an Email attachment to: contact@e-jlia.com, with “JLIA Special Issue” in the subject line.

Article Guidelines: http://e-jlia.com/article-guidelines

Guest Editor: Mladen Karadjoski, PhD

Indexing / Abstracting: http://e-jlia.com/indexing


Overview:

European integration is the process of political, economic, cultural, educational, legal, and social approximation or unification of the European states. This process is lead by the European Union as the most integrated supranational entity which lies on the power and competencies transferred by the member states.

The European Union is an entity that, in the long run, is intended to incorporate all European countries 'under one umbrella'. For the practical realization of this idea, an adequate preparation of the states explicitly declared to join the European Union is necessary, with the aim of co-opting and successful integration into the common systems and procedures for decision-making and operational acting of the states that are currently members. To this end, the European Union initiated several processes and stabilization and association partnerships, which represent a lobby and practical training for all countries aspiring to join the European Union. Agreements concluded by the European Community and its member states with the candidate countries or potential candidate countries for EU membership are a contractual - legal framework for their relations. The joint nature of these agreements and the multidimensional approach which is incorporated within them, are pointing to their significance and entireness.

At the end of the nineties of the last century, the European Union initiated a model of integration for the Western Balkan countries and their inclusion in the European integration flows. Western Balkans as geographical - political determinant incorporates countries that were part of the former Yugoslav federation (Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo as a separate entity, in accordance with Resolution 1244 of the Security Council of the United Nations), excluding Slovenia as an EU member, and including Albania, because of its territorial positioning and its socio - political performance. Croatia left the Western Balkan group after the accession in the European Union.

This model has been updated with other initiatives that enrich the pre-accession process of these countries. The Summit of the European Union in Thessaloniki in 2003 established the European Partnerships as a new tool for approximating the candidate countries to their membership in the European Union, which enriched and upgraded the EU enlargement policy with new pre-accession instruments, which with its entireness and multidimensionality gave a new EU integration stimulus and contributed to the growth of the 'European perspective' among the Western Balkan countries.

Accession to the European Union is one of the strategic priorities for all countries aspiring to become its members, particularly for those countries that are candidates or potential candidates for membership. However, the wishes and preferences of EU membership is one thing, and the actual opportunities and the actual capacity tend to be something else. On the road towards the European Union, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo have to meet a number of standards and criteria, which are established as conditio sine qua non for accession to the European Union. These criteria (Copenhagen, Madrid) contain different reform requirements for the: public administration, economy, judiciary, prosecution, institutional structure, legislative processes, etc.

Only through complementary approach to the implementation of reforms in the countries included in the Stabilization and Association Process they can achieve tangible effects and perform specific institutional and functional approximation to the values ‚Äč, working practices and activities of the European Union and its member states and create compatible mentality with the “European one”.

The comparative analysis of the pre-accession instruments of the European Union and the parallel analysis of the provisions arising from them in Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo will help the construction of a common and unified model that would facilitate their accession towards the European Union, and implementation of the provisions of the accession partnerships and instruments of each country individually.

Of course, the effective, efficient, and proper use of pre-accession instruments given by the European Union, will require a stable, solid and democratic institutions in the countries - candidates and potential candidates for membership, which are capable of conducting consistent, progressive, and realistic set of policies related to the process of accession of their countries to the European Union. Although the evaluation of all the reform processes in the countries included in the Stabilization and Association Agreement by the European Union takes place on an individual basis, still, the regional approach and group analysis of the European partnerships and reform processes in the candidate countries and potential candidate countries in the European Union can produce a lot of useful information and insights that are not available if an individual analysis of each country is made.

Besides the different obstacles and the unfavorable political and economic constellation in the European Union, the process of European integration of the Western Balkan countries is still on the EU agenda and it is an immanent segment of the EU Enlargement policy. There are many arising questions regarding this topic, so we could try to answer at least few of them:

  • Is the European Union already “tired” of the process of enlargement?
  • Do you think that there is an increasing level of Euroscepticism and anti – EU rhetoric lately, regarding the countries from Western Balkans? If yes, what are the reasons for that?
  • What are the main challenges for the Western Balkan countries when it comes to their EU accession? Are that the political challenges, economic crises, or required reform processes?
  • Which are the necessary measures and actions which should be taken by the European Union for motivation and encouragement of the countries from Western Balkans?
  • Future predictions and anticipations: Will Western Balkan countries continue the “European integration road” or will they look for an alternative one?

This call for a special issue regarding the processes of accession and integration of the Western Balkan countries towards the European Union and will give researchers and academics a possibility to investigate, explore, declare, and explain the most important issues concerning the Euro-integration processes. In this way, threats, obstacles, and solutions will construct a union of different points of view and different sets of possible solutions. Original submissions reflecting latest research observations and achievements in the following areas are invited (but not limited to):

 

I General aspects of the European integration

1. Theories about European integration and their impact on Western Balkan countries.

2. Axiological power of the European Union concerning the Western Balkans.

3. Can political leaders in the Balkan countries have influence on the process of EU integration? 

 

II Criteria and conditions for EU membership

1. Political criteria for membership.

2. Economic criteria for membership.

3. Law and administrative criteria for membership.

 

III Financial instruments of the European Union intended for Western Balkan countries

1. Past experiences from PHARE and CARDS programs in the Western Balkan countries: comparative analysis.

2. IPA I and IPA II programs and their impact on the accession process.

3. Regional and cross-border cooperation as preconditions for EU membership.

 

IV The Visegrad Group and the Western Balkans

1. The Visegrad Fund as a successful tool for economic integration and progress.

2. Transfer of the experiences from the Visegrad Group to the Western Balkans: how and why?

3. How to convert the diversities among the countries in these two regions into a new impetus for cooperation?

 

V Suggestions, solutions and anticipations for the future of the Western Balkan countries and their accession towards the European Union

1. Will Western Balkan countries become EU member states until 2025?

2. How can the Western Balkan countries accelerate the process of integration towards the European Union?

3. Which repercussions will we have on the Balkan Peninsula if the EU decides to close its doors for these countries?

 

Open Access:

Journal of Liberty and International Affairs is an electronic and fully open access journal, which means that all articles are freely available, ensuring maximum, worldwide dissemination of content, in exchange for an article publication fee. Special Issues are made freely available online to all interested readers, thus leading to the maximum possible dissemination and recognition within the scientific community. Special Issues can be viewed and downloaded on the individual article level, but are also available in an edited volume format as a single PDF published with a custom cover.

 

Contact Details:
Please address all correspondence regarding this Special Issue to: contact@e-jlia.com

 

We are looking forward to receiving and reading your articles!

 

Kind regards,

JLIA editorial team

 

 
 
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Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
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