The Nanovic Institute is pleased to announce the publication of “The Road to Europe: Exploring European Union Candidacy in the Western Balkans.” Funded by the Nanovic Institute, this report and accompanying infographic slides are the result of collaborative research and writing by five undergraduate students at the University of Notre Dame. The students undertook this project as research assistants for the Institute over the 2021 summer break, under the guidance of Clemens Sedmak, director, and Anna Dolezal, student programs assistant manager. Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger, deputy director of the Diplomatische Akademie Wien - Vienna School of International Studies, also provided invaluable insights and guidance during the writing process.
“The Road to Europe” studies the candidacy of six Western Balkan states—the Republics of Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina—that have been negotiating for membership in the European Union. The report shows that despite a few initial successes, internal and external challenges have stalled negotiations. These challenges include crime, corruption, and lingering ethnic tensions following the end of the Cold War and the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. This report finds that for much of the Balkans, these complex domestic and international obstacles may render EU accession unlikely in the short term. The Nanovic Institute congratulates all of those involved in this project.