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Securing democracy in the Western Balkans by strengthening the rule of law

In its new methodology of the accession process, the EU has defined the rule-of-law as one of its fundamentals simnce 2020, underlining its importance as a core European value. All countries of the Western Balkan, despite reform efforts in the past and present, are struggling with organised crime and corruption, clientelism in their institutions, a weak judiciary and low trust of citizens in the system. The poor condition of the rule of law undermines the public’s trust in the effectiveness of democracy. In the long run, this can have disastrous effects on the democratic consolidation in the Western Balkans.

The Western Balkans: divided over the war in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has exposed different views on sanctions against Russia by Serbia, and the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the one side, and other Western Balkan states and entities on the other. The EU should handle the issue cautiously, to avoid further splits and to prevent securitisation of the issue.

A European Confederation: a common political platform for peace

Ukraine has filed its application to join the EU. Brussels and the other European capitals have encouraged its ambition eagerly. Recently, Italian leading newspaper Corriere della Sera featured an interview by Prime Minister Mario Draghi recalling the significance of the self-determination of the Ukrainian people. People who chose the ‘ultimate’ referendum – between life and […]

From major legacy issues to a strong legitimacy for the future – the centre-left in CEE in a search for a true renewal

Calling the situation of the centre-left parties in Central and Eastern Europe ‘difficult’ equals hiding behind a diplomatic langue de bois. In none of the countries of the region, Social Democrats are in government – neither at the helm of a coalition, nor as a partner in one. Sometimes they even failed to enter parliament […]

The EU-Western Balkans summit: is there any hope?

The EU-Western Balkans summit in Slovenia on 6 October ended with a renewed sense of heightened impatience with the blockages in the accession processes of the six candidate countries. There is an urgent need for the economic and investment plan, that was proposed exactly one year ago, to materialise – especially as it is a […]