The rationale of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans has been changing during the last couple of years. The consolidation of stability and the full implementation of liberal political and economic reforms are no longer the principal for the region’s EU accession. European decision-makers have been increasingly claiming that the EU should move on to contain the negative influence in the Western Balkans of other external actors, namely, Russia, China, Turkey and the Gulf countries. Those actors’ engagement extends from economic investment, to political support, as well as active media engagement. The EU considers itself involved, against its will, in a traditional geopolitical game of influence in a European periphery where its competitors allegedly strive to redefine the rules of the game. Read more here.