Western Balkans’ Road to the EU? Dealing with the Past and EU integration

The European Union has played and still plays an important role in the context of transitional justice and dealing with the past processes in the aftermath of the violent conflicts in the former Yugoslavia countries in the 1990s and early 2000s. After over twenty years of strong involvement of the European Union in the region, where do the countries of the Western Balkans stand in regard to integration into the EU institutions and becoming full members? Which role do transitional justice processes and comprehensive dealing with the past policies play in the context of the European integration of the Western Balkans?

The latest public opinion polls on the European Union show that an EU membership still has high priority in most Western Balkan countries and especially free movement, peace and security are mentioned as main motives to join the club. The current Balkan.Perspectives edition explores these motives and places the transitional justice and dealing with the past in the special focus of the analysis, reports, and discussions of the collection of articles, podcasts, and analysis.

[expander_maker id=”2″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]

The current edition features Hata Kujraković from Bosnia and Hercegovina, Prof Anton Vukpalaj from Kosovo, Dr Slađana Lazić and Dragan Popović from Serbia. All these authors endeavour on the same journey, however, from different starting points.  What is the importance of transitional justice and dealing with the past in the context of the aspirations to join the European Union in their respective countries?

In addition, Berina Bukva Alibašić from Bosnia and Hercegovina contributed an analysis on the question why transitional justice and EU integration processes can solely be successful in cooperation with the younger generations in the region. Dr Dushica Nofitoska critically reflects on the Prespa Agreement between North Macedonia and Greece from 2018 and its impact on North Macedonia’s aspiration to become a member of the European Union. Dr Ognen Vangelov scrutinises the Bulgarian claims on the Macedonian ethnic-linguistic identity and what this means for the future of North Macedonia within or outside of the European Union. Serbeze Haxhiaj has conducted an interview with Aidan Hehir from the University of Westminster on the role of transitional justice and EU integration.

With this edition already the third series of the Balkan.Perspectives Podcast has been published. Please visit the website for further information and to listen to the current podcasts or via your preferred streaming service. We would like to thank all our partners, the production team behind and in front of the microphones and our guests of the podcasts. In Bosnia and Hercegovina, we thank the media platform Naratorium, Đorđe Krajišnik, Lejla Gačanica and Prof Nerzuk Ćurak. In Kosovo we thank the TILLT Radio team, Vullnet Bucolli, Labinot Greiçevci and Serbeze Haxhiaj. In North Macedonia we thank Radio MOF and Ognen Vangelov. In Serbia we thank the radio show Ženergija on Radio Aparat and its author Zoe Gudović, as well as Marijana Toma.
In the name of the Balkan.Perspectives editorial team I wish you an interesting read and enjoyable listening.

Alexander Vojvoda

Editor in Chief


The Prespa Agreement – three years later

More than three years have passed since the signing of the Prespa Agreement, which ended the 25-year long dispute between Greece and North Macedonia that had disrupted the bilateral relations between neighbours for decades. Macedonia officially became the Republic of […]

Impressum 18 – 11/2021

Editor in Chief: Alexander Vojvoda

Editorial Team: Sunita Dautbegović-Bošnjaković, Martin Filipovski, Ana Pejović

Authors: Berina Bukva Alibašić, Aidan Hehir, Hata Kujrakovic, Sladjana Lazić, Dushica Nofitoska, Dragan Popović, Ognen Vangelov, Anton Vukpalaj

Podcasts: Bosnia and Hercegovina: media platform Naratorium, Đorđe Krajišnik, Lejla Gačanica and Nerzuk Ćurak. Kosovo: TILLT Radio team, Labinot Greiçevci and Serbeze Haxhiaj. North Macedonia: Radio MOF and Ognen Vangelov. Serbia: radio show Ženergija on Radio Aparat, Zoe Gudović and Marijana Toma.

Design (Cover page): Envinion

Translation: LBG Communications (Albanian), Luna Đorđević (BHCS), Martina Kimovska (Macedonian)

Proofreading: LBG Communications (Albanian/English), Zinaida Lakić (BHCS), Zanet Ristoska (Macedonian)