Over the last twenty years, the countries of Western Balkans have introduced significant democratic reforms and made a considerable shift toward a market economy. The rise of reformist politicians, external support from international partners, and an active civil society have ensured that advanced democratic standards have been adopted, at least nominally, in the works of government. Internal and external factors are converging to make the next few years a critical juncture for the Western Balkans. The momentum towards better governance and economic prosperity is wearing down. A number of urgent policy actions are needed to return the region to the reform track.
The following policy action agenda aims to provide detailed high-level policy measures for national stakeholders and international partners that can reignite the region’s reformist momentum. The policy action agenda also draws out a framework for enabling constructive capital and stronger U.S. and European political engagement as meaningful alternatives to Chinese and Russian malign economic and political influence.