European Integration of the Western Balkans - Can the Visegrad Group of Countries be a role model?
The goal of the project is to contribute to EU integration process of the Western Balkans, particularly in Serbia, through the V4 integration experience. The objectives are: to determine relevant V4 EU integration experience applicable to WB and Serbia; to promote applicable V4 integration experience among decision makers in WB and Serbia.
The project deals with the integration capacities of Serbia, WB and V4 countries, as well as the EU itself. The balance of enlargement/accession for the V4 countries (successes/failures) will be examined by each partner organization. This will be done through 5 country analyses providing overview of the results achieved in:
1. the field of foreign and security policy
2. changes in the internal political system and the functioning of democratic institutions
3. structural reforms, functioning of their economies and the social system.
Achievements of the V4 countries in these areas since joining the EU have been an important incentive both for the WB countries and the EU in justifying further enlargement efforts but also in identifying key strengths and weaknesses of the process.
The same analytical procedure would be used to determine the current position of Serbia (progress made so far, biggest laggings, sources of support, deceleration in the reform and EU integration process). Each analysis will give a short assessment of the EU capacity and political interest/willingness to proceed with the enlargement process, primarily to the WB. Also, each analysis will include recommendations in the proposed areas for Serbia and WB countries. They will be summarized in a policy paper, including joint conclusions, prepared by EMinS and discussed in a public debate in Belgrade. After the debate, final adjustments of the policy paper will be made and disseminated to the target groups.
The project target groups are primarily decision makers in the proposed policy areas in Serbia and the WB. In the V4 countries and the EU institutions primarily target groups are those involved in the execution or approval of the enlargement policy. Beneficiaries of the project are academic institutions and think tanks in the countries included in the project, as well as other countries within and outside the EU and international institutions which are interested in issues the project deals with, especially the umbrella or specialized regional organizations and initiatives in South East Europe (SEE). Beneficiaries can be members of the parliaments, political parties, employers' associations, trade unions, NGOs, the media and the general public in the countries embraced in this research.
The main applicant is the European Movement in Serbia (EMinS), and the four V4 partners are the Center for EU Enlargement Studies (CENS), The Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (RC SFPA), the Institute for European Policy (EUROPEUM) and the Centre for Eastern Studies.
The project is financed by the International Visegrad Fund (IVF).