THE ROAD TO THESSALONIKI: Cohesion and the Western Balkans Cover Image

THE ROAD TO THESSALONIKI: Cohesion and the Western Balkans
THE ROAD TO THESSALONIKI: Cohesion and the Western Balkans

Author(s): Author Not Specified
Subject(s): Supranational / Global Economy, International relations/trade, EU-Accession / EU-DEvelopment
Published by: ESI – European Stability Initiative
Keywords: Western Balkans; EU-Aid; Thessaloniki Summit; Europeanisation;
Summary/Abstract: As the political and economic map of Europe is redrawn in 2004, there is a growing fear among the countries of the Western Balkans that they will be left on the margins of the new and integrated Europe. There is a risk that, instead of catching up with the rest of the continent, the countries of the Western Balkans will fall further behind, and the goal of integration – and the promise of regional stabilisation this brings – will become even more distant.This discussion paper sets out an alternative scenario. The starting point for a new European approach is the reflection on the needs of the Western Balkans set out in a working paper of the current Greek EU Presidency in January 2003. This paper analyses possible ways and means for policy. It recognises that Western Balkan countries today face very different threats and opportunities from those which existed only three years ago. It notes that European policy instruments have not yet adapted sufficiently to meet these new challenges. There is a pressing need for new strategies to promote structural reform across the region, which is essential to reversing more than two decades of deep economic decline. The European Union, working through the European Commission, needs to build its capacity to bring about serious reform, such as reducing the cost of public administration, liquidating loss-making companies and initiating the retraining of workers left stranded by the collapse of old industrial complexes across the region.

  • Page Count: 12
  • Publication Year: 2003
  • Language: English