TOWARDS GRADUAL INTEGRATION OF THE WESTERN BALKANS INTO THE EUROPEAN UNION: THE CASE OF SERBIA

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Milos Petrovic

Abstract

This paper examined whether the revised enlargement methodology represented another step in the direction of gradual EU membership of the Western Balkans. The research problem was based on considerations that the EU enlargement domain has for years been characterized by political stagnation. The research aimed to show that a differentiated accession approach might have been beneficial for Serbia, as a front-runner membership candidate. In terms of methods, the author analyzes the concepts and the applicability of the ‘three-tiered accession’ and ‘staged accession’, having in mind the recently altered enlargement methodology. The author argues that the gradual integration would have been beneficial for two reasons: 1) validating the candidates’ already achieved progress, offering tangible incentives, and potentially preventing the democratic backsliding; 2) taking the pre-scheduled accession dates off the table. Considering that the EU is unlikely to expand further, the author concludes that the gradual membership concept might apply solely to the WB, while also reassuring the Member States regarding the primacy of individual merits and excluding the speedy accessions proposals.

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How to Cite
Petrovic, M. (2022). TOWARDS GRADUAL INTEGRATION OF THE WESTERN BALKANS INTO THE EUROPEAN UNION: THE CASE OF SERBIA. Journal of Liberty and International Affairs, 8(1), 308-321. https://doi.org/10.47305/JLIA2281308p
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Author Biography

Milos Petrovic, Institute of International Politics and Economics - Belgrade, Serbia

Milos Petrovic is a Research Fellow at the Institute of International Politics and Economics (IIPE) and a guest professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade in Serbia. His educational background includes the US high-school diploma, completed graduate and PhD studies at Belgrade's Faculty of Political Sciences, Master's degree from the Europa-Institut, University of Saarland in Saarbruecken (Germany), doctoral research stay at the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno (Czechia) and various national and international fellowships, scholarships and work experiences in higher-education and NGO domains. His primary areas of academic interest include the European and International studies (especially EU enlargement and neighborhood policies), as well as contemporary political developments in the Southeastern, Central and Eastern Europe.