The process of EU-enlargement to the Western Balkans, in spite of public statements and initiatives, is in a stalemate. This feeds frustrations and disillusionment, but also illiberal drifts and the always-brewing nationalist temptations in those countries that see the prospect of accession shifting toward an increasingly uncertain future.
Against this backdrop it is high time for the European Union to revise its approach to enlargement, as the EU project is not complete without the Western Balkan countries. Yet, it is not so much a question of updating – again – cold methodologies and technocratic procedures, but to identify and agree – quickly – on a common, consistent, and concrete path. Our two authors set off from a similar starting point – the acknowledgement that we need to change approach – to delineate different routes and different timings for a common goal: EU-accession for the Western Balkans.