Western Balkans in Trieste. What Lies Ahead

19 July 2017

Political and economic prospects in the Western Balkans seemed promising in early 2000s, with countries leaning to the European Union for a prosperous future. Unfortunately, new and old Balkan problems are (re)emerging today, with political and ethnic divisions more entrenched than before due to poor economic performance, instability, corruption and lack of clear–cut prospects for the future. In the meantime, rising euroskepticism and "enlargement fatigue" in the EU have resulted into a stand–by of future enlargements. This may lead to a further deterioration of the fragile socio-political context in the Western Balkans. With this in mind, Germany launched the Berlin Process in 2014 with a view to scaling–up regional integration in the Western Balkans, while keeping alive the prospects of full EU membership. The Trieste summit on 12 July is the 4th meeting of the countries involved in the Berlin Process. Will this be a last call for the EU to stabilize the neighbouring region, accelerate its democratic processes and lay the groundwork for future EU membership?


Erwan Fouéré 
Marzia Bona and Francesco Martino 
OBC Transeuropa
Sabina Lange 
Dušan Reljić 

Valbona Zeneli 
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

Andrea Frontini