The Western Balkans in the European Political Community: Another waiting room?

Authors:Mathieu Neelen
Date:10 February 2023
Document type:Policy reports

On the 9th of May 2022, French President Macron spoke in front of the EU Parliament to pitch a new ‘European Political Community’, breathing new life into an initially failed idea of François Mitterand to bring together democratic European nations. After a first meeting on October 6 in Prague, the European Council stated that the European Political Community (EPC) aims to strengthen Europe’s security, stability and prosperity and foster political dialogue and cooperation to address shared issues. With the accession of the Western Balkans or Ukraine still far out of sight, and in the wake of the Russian war against Ukraine, the initiative is said to allow the EU to engage more closely with the countries on the Union’s waiting list such as the Western Balkans. Although a second summit is coming up this year, planned for spring 2023 in Moldova, observers still struggle to define what the EPC is or wants to be. What can Western Balkan nations expect to gain from this new initiative, the most recent in an already long list of initiatives that have sought to breathe new life into the accession process?

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