The EU’s enlargement toward the east was conceived, among other reasons, on the basis that it would promote the consolidation of democracy in candidate countries. The success of the eastern enlargement gave further backing to the expansion of the EU toward the Western Balkans. Yet unlike their Central European counterparts, the Western Balkans had to undergo their transitions to democracy truly from what Offe has called a triple perspective. The Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s that ravaged the peninsula developed simultaneously with the region’s transitions to democracy. This not only interrupted the transitions to democracy in the region, but also set hard obstacles for ethnic reconciliation and democratic consolidation thereafter.
This Jean Monnet Networks project aims at building a consortium of higher education institutions, civil society organizations and research institutions with the purpose of delving into the question of why the EU’s democracy promotion policies have failed to encourage reconciliation in the Western Balkans. In other words, are the EU’s inclusiveness policies able to promote democratic values such as tolerance and diversity in the Western Balkans, in addition to democratic procedures?