From an expert study made on the occasion of two decades since the beginning of the normalization of relations between the countries of the Dayton Four
Starting from the existing framework of modern global, European and regional relations, we suggest that special attention be paid to certain actors, who have an influence in the Western Balkans, in order to fully improve relations in this region.
In this regard, we propose to the European Union to take the following:
– through redefining the attitude towards and methodology of accession of the countries of the Western Balkans and in accordance with the Credible Strategy for the Enlargement of the Union until 2025, strengthen its presence in this part of Europe. Namely, any diminished interest of the Union opens space for other, i.e. “non-EU” actors in the region,
– The countries of the Western Balkans should be more clearly encouraged by the EU to resolve their mutual relations and establish them in the spirit of good neighborliness. This includes adequate benefits for those countries that successfully resolve their problems with their neighbors. This was certainly lacking when it comes to the Republic of Northern Macedonia, which in the period between 2017 and 2019 managed to completely eliminate all problems with its neighbors.
– The European Union can also use the mechanisms that exist within the Berlin Process to start with the accelerated monitoring of bilateral relations in the region, as it was done in the first years of its existence, and
– The apparent lack of full harmonization of positions between the European Union and the United States on resolving bilateral open issues in the Balkans also creates an additional problem because contradictory signals are sent to various political entities that delay certain processes and make them unsolvable.