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Are Western Balkans ready for the EU?



What is the involvement of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the Western Balkan countries that are currently part of the EU Accession Negotiation and EU Integration Processes? The comparative study Civil Society in the Western Balkans: Involvement in the EU Accession Negotiation and EU Integration Processes from Initiatives to a Structured Dialogue answers this question and much more. 
 
The study was conducted within the framework of the project Regional Youth Compact for Europe and focuses on the Balkan countries that are involved in the accession process to the EU. It aims to give them numerous tools for the development of cooperation between authorities and CSOs which could help in the accession procedure. CSOs could, in fact, be extremely beneficial to these countries thanks to their expertise in specific fields which could be lacking in these countries. The future fulfillment of the membership conditions, Acquis Chapters 23 and 24 is precisely the chance to include civil society in this decision-making process.
 
Generally, the study underlines the difficulties encountered by each country in the assessment procedure but also shows the recent progress and initiatives. The study’s research and interviews aptly reveal where and how governmental actions would be the most impactful in the relationship between CSOs and local authorities, as well as between CSOs and the general public. Furthermore, a distinction is made between Serbia and Montenegro which demonstrate an advanced phase of the EU integration; and North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia, and Herzegovina which need to undertake more reforms to fulfill the European requirements. 
 
The study was conducted by a team of regional experts and translated into English, Macedonian, Albanian and BHS (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian), all partner languages of the project Regional Youth Compact for Europe
 
Regional Youth Compact for Europe is implemented by the Center for Democracy Foundation, European ALDA network and the ALDA–Western Balkans Network for Local Democracy, CRTA, Youth Act and Sodem. This project is funded by the European Union and the Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. 


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