European integration has proven to be a valuable incentive for policy reform in neighboring Eastern European states, as has the prospect of EU accession for countries of the Western Balkans. The CSIS Europe Program monitors EU enlargement and European integration developments and their implications for U.S. policy in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe.
The European Union is committed to an EU future for Western Balkan states, but internal consolidation following the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and the European financial crisis has enhanced enlargement fatigue. The European Union is also developing its European Neighborhood Policy, but the institutional backing is still in question. The CSIS Europe Program monitors EU policy toward Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans and beyond, in conjunction with the CSIS New European Democracies Project and the Lavrentis Lavrentiadis Chair in Southeast European Studies.
In addition to its regular research and analysis, the CSIS Europe Program conducts project-specific research. Current work includes:
Time for Change: Developing a 21st Century Transatlantic Strategy for the Western Balkans
With generous support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Heather Conley and Janusz Bugajski will provide well-informed and thoughtful analysis on current U.S. and EU assistance strategies towards development and democratic reform in the Western Balkans, and make recommendations to American and European policymakers for a new transatlantic paradigm for policy and assistance in the region.
The stability of EU neighbor countries has direct implications for EU security. As part of a larger U.S.-Poland Dialogue Series, the CSIS Europe Program assesses the European Union’s Eastern Partnership with Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan; its effectiveness; and avenues for EU-U.S. cooperation in the region.
Western Balkans Policy Review
The Western Balkans region includes countries ranging greatly in their relation to NATO and the European Union. The annual Western Balkans Policy Review, headed by the CSIS Lavrentis Lavrentiadis Chair with intellectual contributions from the CSIS Europe Program, examines the wider regional situation in order to draw linkages and comparisons and devise a sound international policy toward the region.
Russian Soft Power and Young Russians in Estonia: Looking East or West?
What is the future of Russian minorities in EU and NATO countries? What implications do these populations’ perceptions of Russia and the European Union have for their countries of residence? CSIS is examining these issues through an extensive survey of young Russians in Estonia and, by contrast, in Russia. This project is generously funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation.