For the fifth issue of our ACM Briefs, published in March 2022, we would like to introduce a study on War in Ukraine and implications for Montenegro’s EU membership. These policy briefs are a part of the bigger project funded by the Balkan Trust for Democracy (GMF) and USAID, aimed at providing laser-sharp insights into the political and social trends in the region, strengthen dialogue, present concrete policy recommendations regarding pressing international and security issues in the Western Balkans.
This Policy Brief gives an overview on the uncertainty over the future course of the EU enlargement policy in the Western Balkans region. After more than two decades of stabilization and accession process, and years of the stagnation of the EU integration dynamic, there are a few different opinions regarding the impact of war in Ukraine on that EU policy. The key question is the following: does the EU plan to extend its absorption capacities for the enlargement towards eastern neighbors or, on the contrary, to postpone them, through differentiated or staged accession for an undefined period? This question directly affects Montenegro’s accession in the EU, which is the focus of the brief. There is an optimistic conclusion that the EU’s 2025 enlargement agenda is still achievable for Montenegro, even though the country faces strong Russian influence and a very delicate political and social moment.