Europeanisation meets democracy from below: The Western Balkans on the search for new European and democratic Momentum (WB2EU)

Making the EU and member states policy towards the Western Balkans socio-economically more sustainable, Dominic Maugeais, ÖGfE Policy Brief, 04’2023

This Policy Brief claims that the socio-economic policy of the European Union (EU) towards the Western Balkans is not sustainable. Labour migration from the region to the EU-27 represents a double-edged sword for the Western Balkans. EU member states’ policies should align with the overall EU goal to promote social and economic development in the Western Balkans. Therefore, circular migration should be promoted to ensure retransfer of know-how and human capital. The social dimension of the enlargement policy should be strengthened to improve the working and living conditions in the region. Finally, a credible enlargement perspective should be ensured to improve the overall social and economic development outlook.

Policy Recommendations

  1. Promote circular migration to ensure retransfer of know-how and human capital to the region.
  2. Reinforce the social dimension of the enlargement policy.
  3. Ensure a credible enlargement perspective to improve the social and economic development outlook.

The Policy Brief is published in the framework of the WB2EU project. The project aims at the establishment of a network of renowned think-tanks, do-tanks, universities, higher education institutes and policy centres from the Western Balkans, neighbouring countries and EU member states that will be most decisive for the enlargement process and Europeanisation of the region in the upcoming years. The WB2EU project is co-funded by the European Commission under its Erasmus+ Jean Monnet programme. The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Photo: Envato

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