ARTICLE
The Dangers of Halting Enlargement Prospects in the Western Balkans
 
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Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca
Publication date: 2020-07-30
 
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2019;55(3):7–19
 
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ABSTRACT
Emmanuel Macron’s refusal to grant the EU permission to initiate accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania during the European Council meeting of 17-18 October, 2019, sent a shockwave throughout the EU establishment and the Western Balkans, at the same time calling into question the course of the entire enlargement policy. However, one has to go beyond the mainstream explanations provided to the public by the French President, and analyze in depth the circumstances that lay at the basis of the action. This article attempts to pinpoint the genuine reasons behind this rather unexpected attitude as well as to summarize the most significant reactions it prompted, using an actor-centered analysis. It is the authors’ view that halting or significantly breaking one of the most prominent normative tools the EU has at its disposal in the region is rather worrying, which is why some prospects are provided for a better understanding of the likely con-sequences thereof.
ISSN:0209-0961