Quo Vadis Southeast Europe? EU Accession,Regional Cooperation and the need for a Balkan Development Strategy.
Corporate nameEuropean Commission / Directorate General for Enlargement
In some sense there is a very simple answer to the title question: Southeast Europe is heading towards the EU, though a period of weak regional cooperation, asymmetric relations with the EU and a slow and discontinuous accession process. The speed and discontinuity of this process, together with the changing character and purpose of the process of regional cooperation, raise two crucial questions for the region. First, is there a need for regional cooperation and integration in SEE? Second, what type of cooperation is needed? The paper seeks to address these questions by discussing the challenges and opportunities resulting from recent developments in the region (‘EU distancing’, ‘regional ownership’, etc) and their implications for the perspective that the region can follow. In doing so, it attempts an analysis of the goals of regionalism in Southeast Europe and offers some policy proposals for its future.