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Doris Malaj
Elena Polo


The objectives of this paper were to assess the role of the EU in the countries willing to join and committed to the negotiation processes (with a particular focus on the WB region) and to explore further and explain the dynamics of the EU’s crucial role onto the political performance, summarizing internal and external country and region-based developments. For this purpose, the deployed methodology consists of conducting a comparative quantitative analysis, comparing evidence from selected countries and from selected enlargement waves. The main results of the analysis confirmed that the EU’s role in ensuring democratic performances at the country/region level is seriously weakened over time and that it is therefore essential that the EU, especially in uncertain times, rethink and revitalize its democracy-promoting mechanisms to rebuild and re-test itself as a transformative power.



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How to Cite
Malaj, Doris, and Elena Polo. 2023. “AN EVIDENCE-BASED ANALYSIS OF THE EU’S HAMPERED TRANSFORMATIVE POWER IN THE WESTERN BALKANS”. Journal of Liberty and International Affairs 9 (3):215-33.
Author Biographies

Doris Malaj, Institute of European Studies, University of Tirana - Tirana, Albania

Dr. Doris Malaj is a political scientist and as such a Lecturer and Researcher within the Department of Diplomacy and International Relations of the EU at the Institute of European Studies at the University of Tirana. She has several years of experience in EU studies and in particular European Integration, researching and teaching courses at the MA level at the Institute of European Studies. Her research focus includes EU enlargement, EU conditionality, Western Balkan countries' political performance as well as democratization processes.Dr. Malaj has a Ph.D. in European Studies from the University of Tirana, an MA in Political and International Studies from the University of Macerata, Italy, and a BA in Political Science and Public Law from the University of Trier, Germany. She has several publications on European integration and on the Western Balkans countries’ fulfillment of EU conditionality.

Elena Polo, Institute of European Studies, University of Tirana - Tirana, Albania

Elena Polo, PhD graduated with honors in economics from Tirana University, and holds a PhD in Macro Economics, obtained from Tirana University, after pursuing a research exchange mobility program from the University of Granada, Spain. She has an experience of more than 12 years in academic/research in the fields of Economics and EU policies and governance (Lecturer at the Institute of European Studies/Department of Policies and Governance and at the Faculty of Economy/Department of Economics). She is also an active expert in the CSO sector, leading and coordinating research projects implementation at the country and regional level. With in-depth knowledge due to her experience and distinguished analytical, monitoring, and assessing skills, she has produced and contributed to various important publications/studies in the fields of economic, social, and sustainable development policy reforms, with a special focus on EU process and requirements and Good governance.