By focusing on research and education, the project aims to enhance knowledge on the key European integration processes through which the Western Balkans are currently going through. The Copenhagen criteria provide a formalized list for readiness assessment to comply with EU regulations and standards, but the recent experience has shown that some countries were not prepared for the benefits they were supposed to get with their membership in the single EU market. Using the concept of “integration maturity”, this project wants to analyze the real economic, political and institutional readiness of the Western Balkans countries to benefit from the deeper integration with EU.
The research focused on the interaction between EU members and political and economic institutions as well as economic performances and convergence of the candidate countries and potential candidates. The project research was conducted by organizing research workshops and seminars with the members of the academic community whose area of expertise is EU enlargement and “integration maturity”. The final outcome of these activities was a book of original research on economic, political and institutional challenges the Western Balkans countries face.