Der Sonderband der SEER versammelt Beiträge aus den vergangenen 17 Jahrgängen der Zeitschrift. Im Fokus stehen dabei die EU-Beitrittsperspektiven der westlichen Balkanstaaten. Fortwährende Hindernisse und neue Bruchlinien werden gleichermaßen deutlich; der Band konstatiert den Abstieg der Region in die Sklerose. Es werden gleichwohl Möglichkeiten einer optimistischen Perspektivierung der EU-Erweiterung ausgelotet.
englischThe articles in this collection are full of ideas on how to define a better way of securing and delivering the integration of south-east Europe into the EU.
The EU needs to do much more to drive the integration process on and to ensure that south-east Europe has credible membership prospects sufficient to achieve meaningful reforms and progress in the countries of the region. The events in Bosnia in spring 2014 – riots and occupations, frustration and anger, but also debate and engagement – show that there remain sizeable gaps in this process, for which the EU, as the leading power broker, must take responsibility. The EU is currently failing south-east Europe – and it must try a different tack if it is to accept those responsibilities and to ensure that south-east European countries are to be welcomed fully into our common European home. A new impetus towards Europeanisation is urgently needed.
In the meantime, a process of enlargement that is open-ended and that has no pre-determined outcomes will remain one that is prolonged, and, furthermore, the fear remains that this may well turn out to be one that indeed has no actual outcome. The costs of that growing instability in Europe’s south-east, a region not just integrally bound to Europe but one which is part of its geographical and historical heart, are likely to be significant.