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The European integration of the western Balkans (Part II)

Christophe Solioz

SEER Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe, 2018, vol. 21, issue 2, 153-200

Abstract: This final part of the author’s keynote on the occasion of our 20th anniversary symposium, held earlier in 2018, draws the recent history of central and eastern Europe up to date. It then goes on to explore the deep-seated changes that the author believes to be required firstly if the EU is tackle the challenges of the 21st century; and secondly if south-east European integration is to have any meaning. The first part of the article discussed the twenty years of transition since the fall of the Berlin Wall, questioning in particular the ‘turning point’ rhetoric often applied to the fate of countries of the region and the European Union, and concluded that Europe is facing a ‘polycrisis’. Now, the author focuses on the challenges presented by convergence and by economic and monetary union, as symbols of a trend towards a de-legitimising of the EU, and the rise of populism which has been bred from that. He then goes on to explore how a ‘multiplex Europe’ can be reawakened, proposing a new narrative for the Europeanisation process based on regionalism which, as he indicates, has firm roots in Europe’s recent past.

Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.5771/1435-2869-2018-2-3

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