European View (2012) 11:287 DOI 10.

1007/s12290-012-0235-1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

European integration of Western Balkans: from reconciliation to European future
Lucia Vesnic-Alujevic

Ó Centre for European Studies 2012

The dissolution of Yugoslavia at the beginning of the 1990s gave birth to seven independent states. After the wars that followed the initial proclamation of independence in several of these countries, a period of consolidation ensued, along with European integration as well as reconciliation efforts. The principal goal of this paper is to explain the reasons that led to the wars in the Western Balkans, the main issues that remained in the 2000s and the EU initiatives that were supposed to help in resolving these problematic issues and facilitating the accession of the countries of the region to the European Union. Despite the effort jointly performed by the EU as well as countries from the region, this article shows that a lot of work will still have to be done before all of the countries become sufficiently mature in a political, economic and societal sense to become members of the European Union.
Lucia Vesnic-Alujevic is postdoctoral Researcher at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. She obtained her PhD in Communication Science from Ghent University; she was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Studies from December 2011 to July 2012.

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