European Politics and Institutions
This Forum, run in collaboration with the King Baudouin Foundation, focuses on the prospects for the accession of the Balkan countries to the EU and the challenges this poses for both the Union and the countries seeking to join.
The EPC follows a dual approach to EU-Balkan relations: the enlargement process proper, analysing the transformative aspects it entails, the challenges it poses also with regard to the policy process and strategy, and monitoring the process on a regular basis. The second strand refers more directly to the challenges the Balkans pose to EU foreign policy, examining in greater detail CFSP and CSDP action there, and the implications for the development of EU foreign and security policy capacity. The conflicts and compatibilities between these approaches is one the questions addressed in the activities of the Balkans forum.
Activities will continue to analyse the key political problems in the region en route to accession, from unresolved status issues to regional cooperation. In 2014, the Forum will focus, among other things, on topics relevant to the Copenhagen criteria for accession and the EU acquis, aiming for a critical assessment of the state of play of key issues. Amongst these are: the state of democracy and political rights in the region, problems relating to economic governance, including the impact of the economic crisis, the incomplete definition and stabilisation of borders, the international relations of the Balkan countries.
In carrying out its activities, the EPC will continue to foster contributions from civil society and perspectives from organisations working on the ground in the Balkans. In particular, ties are being strengthened with the European Fund for the Balkans.
The Forum is chaired by Graham Avery, Senior Adviser, and coordinated by Senior Policy Analyst Corina Stratulat.