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The European integration of the western BalkansA presentation drawn on the text published here was made as the keynote in the framework of the SEER Anniversary Symposium: 20 Years of SEER Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe, Tuesday 8 May 2018.Christophe Solioz

Christophe Solioz

SEER Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe, 2018, vol. 21, issue 1, 9-30

Abstract: This article, the first in a series, provides an analysis of the south-east European EU integration project, taking here a historic perspective of the position as it applied in those first twenty years up to 2009. It seeks in particular to question the ‘turning point’ rhetoric - often applied to the fate of countries of the region and the European Union. It is clear that Europe is currently facing a ‘polycrisis’: a crisis in economics (banking, debt, currency, growth, inequality, cohesion and work); an institutional and political crisis; and also a crisis of imagination and trust. Indeed, the end of the post-Wall era is characterised by an immediate post-accession crisis apparently introducing a period of de-consolidation. As to how the EU and south-east European integration responds to this, the view of the author is that there is a need for paradigm change, prompted by a new understanding of the post-1989 period, by Europe’s multi-layered, polycentric nature and by the magnitude of the new world order’s changes, all of which have rendered the Union’s instruments and strategies thus no longer appropriate for tackling the challenges of the twenty-first century.

Date: 2018
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