No. 143. WESTERN BALKAN ACCESSION POLICIES: AN EVALUATION OF THE GREEK 2014 EU PRESIDENCY

Published in DISCUSSION PAPERS

R. Panagiotou. 2015.

 

DP 143 exof 200x294On January 1, 2014, Greece assumed the Presidency of the European Council, at what was a critical juncture both for the country itself and the European Union as a whole.  Greece was called upon to prove that despite being in an unprecedented deep and prolonged crisis, its Presidency could actually respond to the urgent challenges and help forward an agenda of renewal and growth.  As far as EU policy towards the Western Balkans was concerned, Greece carried the important legacy of traditionally being seen as a promoter of the Balkans in Europe.


This paper will present an appraisal of the progress achieved in the EU accession process of the Western Balkans during the Greek Presidency.  The paper will begin by presenting the legacy of the 2003 Greek Presidency, which was by all accounts a landmark that also included major milestones in the Western Balkan states’ relations with the EU and in the enlargement process.  It will then proceed with an analysis of the challenges confronting the 2014 Presidency that have created a negative environment for enlargement.  The third part of the paper will examine and evaluate the accomplishments and progress achieved during the Greek Presidency, while the final section will attempt to draw some conclusions concerning the enlargement process during this difficult period.


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