A sigh of relief, perhaps even cautious optimism, has swept across the Western Balkans. The EU Council’s decision to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova, alongside a conditional green light for Bosnia and Herzegovina, signals renewed engagement with the region. But is this truly a new dawn, or just a flicker of light in persistent uncertainty?

The stakes are high, with implications for political stability, economic growth, and ultimately, the future of the Western Balkan six countries.

Nonresident Senior Fellow Ilva Tare speaks to Atlantic Council Europe Center’s Balkans Forward team: Maja Piscevic, Amb. Cameron Munter, and Valbona Zeneli about the impact the future of EU enlargement process.

Will the renewed EU enlargement commitment mark the long-awaited entry point for the Balkans onto the European stage? While the Council’s decision marks a step forward, is it enough to sustain the momentum for Western Balkan accession, or are there still significant hurdles to overcome before reaching the European stage? Will the EU reform the enlargement process, and how possible is it to achieve the ambitious goal of doubling the region’s economic growth in a decade?



#BalkansDebrief is an online interview series presented by the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center and hosted by journalist Ilva Tare. The program offers a fresh look at the Western Balkans and examines the region’s people, culture, challenges, and opportunities.

Watch #BalkansDebrief on YouTube and listen to it as a Podcast.


Europe Center

The Europe Center promotes leadership, strategies and analysis to ensure a strong, ambitious and forward-looking transatlantic relationship.

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