The EU enlargement process in the Western Balkans has fallen short of reproducing the transformative impact it had in Central and Eastern Europe. Solveig Richter and Natasha Wunsch point to state capture as the core obstacle to deep democratisation in the region and argue that EU conditionality not only fails to overcome detrimental governance patterns, but unintentionally contributes to entrenching them. Only by extending its engagement beyond the dominant executive and favouring domestic deliberation over incentive-driven compliance can the EU expect to change the situation for the better. Political conditionality is the major instrument through which the European Union has sought to foster democratic reforms in the Western Balkans. Yet, it is increasingly obvious that this classic tool of enlargement policy is failing to create the conditions required in a fragile post-conflict context to successfully tackle simultaneous political and economic reform. Read more here.
Source :The London School of Economics and Political Science