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EU and the Balkans: policies of integration and disintegration

Leila Simona Talani
Cambridge Scholars Publishing (September 2008)

Integration and disintegration are the two poles of the economic, political and security discourse in an area, the Balkans and Southern Eastern Europe (SEE), which over the past fifteen years has been the stage of dramatic events. Integration and disintegration are the two dimensions of an identity problem that many feel the area can solve by joining the European Union and diffusing its many conflicts in the peaceful waters of Europeanisation. However, quite apart from the obvious point that the accession process cannot be taken for granted in relation to many of the new Balkan countries, integration into the EU can be argued as having been and still being a further catalyst for disintegration.

This book assesses the extent to which the integration of the Balkans into the EU will either foster or discourage the integration of the area itself, as well as the winners and losers under this process. The book addresses the topic in a multidisciplinary way. The contributions are the result of a fruitful co-operation between scholars from the Balkans, the UK and the US. The book tackles the issue of the relation between the EU and the Balkans in all its controversial and contradictory dimensions.

Dr Leila Simona Talani is a research fellow in the European Institute at LSE and a lecturer in European Politics at the University of Bath.