The Western Balkans are facing significant economic and social consequences due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The fragile economies, underdeveloped healthcare systems, and strained state-society relations struggle to cope with the effects of extended lockdowns. The article indicates that the region’s response to the Covid-19 crisis embodied two specific things. Firstly, the EU enlargement process has failed to act as a stability anchor for the region. As the credibility of the accession perspective has diminished, the EU’s efforts for positive political change in the Western Balkans has weakened as well. The second is the rise of alternative, authoritarian-minded powers that have provided a more generalized counterweight to the EU’s democracy promotion efforts. Read more here.