The EU and border management in the Western Balkans: preparing for European integration or safeguarding EU external borders?

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Collantes-Celador, G. ; Juncos, A. E. (2012)

This article evaluates the European Union (EU)’s border strategy for the Western Balkans. It identifies an increasing tension between, on the one hand, the Union’s use of its border strategy to foster the long-term stabilization of the countries of the Western Balkans and their future integration into the EU and, on the other hand, the use of border management as an instrument to ensure its own internal security. This tension can be broken down into a threefold contradiction inbuilt into the EU’s strategy: short-term vs. long-term objectives; a security vs. development focus and interventionism vs. local ownership approaches. These contradictions, aggravated by local and regional political, economic and security challenges, can explain existing shortcomings in the EU’s border interventions in the Western Balkans.
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