Biblid: 1451-3188, 21 (2022)
Vol. 21, No 79, pp. 57-76
Received: 12 Aug 2022
Accepted: 28 Aug 2022
THE NEW METHODOLOGY OF THE NEGOTIATIONS ON THE ACCESSION OF THE COUNTRIES OF THE WESTERN BALKANS TO THE EU – CLUSTER 4 AND THE CREDIBILITY OF FURTHER CONDITIONALS
МИЛИЋЕВИЋ Ивана (Факултет политичких наука Универзитета у Београд), email@example.com
Despite the intensive presence of the European Union (EU) in the Western Balkans region since the beginning of the nineties and the implementation of the enlargement policy, which is considered the most successful mechanism of its foreign policy, the integration process of these countries is extremely slow. Without ignoring the multiple weaknesses of the Western Balkan states that undoubtedly limit their capacity to implement reforms, the paper pays special attention to the analysis of the conditionality policy, which the EU applies among the states of this region, in order to explain the failure of its transformative power. Relying on the theoretical model of external incentives by the authors Schimelfennig and Sedelmeier, the paper analyzes the problem of unreliable conditionality by the EU, present in conditions of fatigue from enlargement and the changed role of the EU in the region, determined by the existence of the stability-democracy dilemma. In this context, the adoption of a new methodology for accession negotiations aimed to overcome existing problems through the revitalization of the enlargement policy, and the opening of Cluster 4 in the negotiations with the Republic of Serbia is the first case of its application. The main hypothesis in the paper is that in the conditions of fatigue from EU enlargement and changed geopolitical circumstances, the opening of Cluster 4 represents, above all, an incentive for Serbia to remain on the European path. On the other hand, from the point of view of the EU, the opening of this Cluster should testify to the success of the new, revised methodology. On these grounds, the author points to the limited scope of the new negotiation methodology and the potential implications of the further practice of non-credible conditioning of the Western Balkan countries. The paper used the scientific method of content analysis of relevant legal and political sources.
Keywords: EU, Western Balkans, Serbia, enlargement policy, new negotiation methodology, Cluster 4