Bilateral Disputes

The New EU Strategy For The Western Balkans: What’s In Store For Bilateral Disputes

The long anticipated new EU strategy for the region opens with the statement that “the six Western Balkans partners are a part of Europe, geographically surrounded by EU Member States.” The wording finally, in an inconspicuous way, recognises the six countries as partners rather than subordinate parties, the interaction with whom is mainly focused on the fulfilment of EU accession conditionalities.  At the same time, it reminds us that the six countries are somewhat isolated island in the midst of European Union and they still have many open bilateral disputes with neighbouring Member...

The Western Balkans Summit in Trieste and Bilateral Disputes

This year’s Western Balkans Summit in Trieste will be the fourth consecutive meeting of the heads of governments and Foreign Ministers of the six countries, aiming to build on the achievements of the previous meetings and take their commitments a step further. The Summits are organised under the framework of the ‘Berlin Process’, a five-year initiative inaugurated by Chancellor Merkel in 2014 to reinforce the commitment to EU-enlargement for the Western Balkan countries (WB6) by revitalising the bilateral and multilateral ties between them and participating EU member states. For the...

The parallel universe: bilateral issues and the future of the Western Balkans

The future of the Western Balkans (WB6) remains uncertain. The region is plagued by a number of persisting challenges, most notably bilateral issues which require resolution. These largely fall within the political sphere, and are primarily related to the history of the region and its recent wars. Existing disputes between the Western Balkan countries encompass a vast range of issues, from unresolved border or territorial disputes between the former Yugoslav republics to economic and property issues, identity, protection and representation of national minorities, and the status of refugees...