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Dushan Prorokovich, Ekaterina Entina1
  • 1 HSE University, 17, Bldg. 1, M. Ordynka str., 119017 Moscow, Russia

Open Balkan: А New International Organization or an UnsustainableInitiative?

2023. Vol. 18. No. 2. P. 106–121 [issue contents]

With the Western Balkansʼ European integration completely stalled and its future uncertain, a new regional initiative waslaunched by Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia. Initially called Mini Schengen, it grew into the Open Balkan with anambitious goal to form a single market with unhindered movement of people, goods, services, and capital. Despite activeinvolvement of state leaders, the initiative lacks transparency, legal frameworks, and concrete plans to fulfill the strategicvision. It is also difficult to expect it to grow into a classic international organization given the failure to form an implementationbody. In addition, the U.S. only conditionally supports the Open Balkan by demanding the inclusion of all six WesternBalkan actors (which in practice proves to be impossible), while the European Union (EU) only cautiously welcomes activitiesleading to further regional integration, given that it initiated the competing Berlin process in 2014.This article examines the internal and external sustainability of the Open Balkan initiative, its prerequisites, andits projects. It also argues that without support from the U.S. and the EU, an authentic regional integration in the WesternBalkans is hardly feasible. Inter alia, the three countries have modest institutional capacities and incomparably small powerpotential.

This article was prepared as part of the research project “Serbia and Challenges in InternationalRelations in 2023”, financed by the Ministry of Science, Technological Development and Innovation of the Republicof Serbia, and conducted by Institute of International Politics and Economics, during the year 2023.

This article was submitted 28.03.2023
Citation: Proroković D., Entina E. (2023) Open Balkan: А New International Organization or an UnsustainableInitiative? International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 18, no 2, pp. 106–121 (in English).
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