by Dr. Giorgos Triantafyllou, Research Fellow, South-East Europe Programme Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy
The latest Enlargement Strategy of the European Union, adopted in February 2018, presented in a clear and comprehensive way the EU’s expectations from the Western Balkans countries (WB6), allowing for the possibility that Montenegro and Serbia – widely considered as the front-runners for European integration – could become Member States by 2025. However, the enlargement perspectives, as outlined in the Enlargement Strategy are considerably less favourable for the other four Western Balkan countries, with Kosovo being recognized as the country that currently stands further away from the EU. Indeed, the European perspective of Kosovo is not only hindered by its open bilateral dispute with Serbia, but also by the fact that Kosovo needs to complete many deep and comprehensive reforms so as to get closer to the well-established membership criteria of the EU. Undoubtedly, one of the most important reforms that Kosovo needs to complete is the Security Sector Reform; a process that since 2013 seems to be stuck in a stalemate.