After years of taking the Western Balkan region for granted, there were great expectations that the European Commission’s strategy paper published in February 2018 would herald a new and more determined EU engagement. Unfortunately, this has not been the case, raising serious concerns as to whether some member states fully grasp what is at stake in the region. Last year’s June European Council failed to adopt the EC’s recommendation on the opening of accession negotiations with both Albania and North Macedonia. Instead, the EU postponed a decision for both countries until June this year, “depending on progress made”. Read more here.