Twenty years of enlargement policy have produced mixed results -and no miracle. While undergoing an unprecedented process of integration, forming very significant bonds with the European Union (EU), the countries of the Western Balkans have not seen their accession perspectives coming any closer to reality. Their inability to catch up with the EU through effective reforms and the fragmentation of the EU’s commitment to enlargement remain compelling sources of unpredictability for an already very lengthy process. While enlargement will continue to be part of the debate on the future of Europe, it should no longer be taken for granted. A concerted, strategic response to this challenge, emphasising solidarity, needs to take shape in the region itself to ensure that new momentum created in the past few years through the Berlin Process, does not fade away.
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