Western Balkan Regional Cooperation

Client/Funding Institution

Bertelsmann Stiftung


Regional cooperation has been the main instrument of EU intervention in the post-conflict Balkans. The overall goal of this policy has been to increase economic and social connectivity in order to achieve political stability and enhance security, as a precondition for EU accession. This process has now lasted for about two decades. This study evaluates the success of the EU’s strategy of regional cooperation in the Western Balkans over the last two decades from an economic perspective. It defines the prerequisites for successful regional cooperation in an institutional, political and economic sense, and assess the extent to which they existed in the Western Balkans at the start of the 2000s. It identifies the key facets of the EU’s strategy to deepen trade, investment and infrastructure connectivity in the Western Balkans, and establishes the impact that this has had. Finally, it assesses the state of play in 2020, and makes suggestions for the way forward.


June 2018 - July 2020

wiiw team Leader

Richard Grieveson

wiiw Staff

Mario Holzner, Veronika Janyrova, Isilda Mara, Monika Schwarzhappel


External Publications

Pushing on a String? An evaluation of regional economic cooperation in the Western Balkans

Related News

Countries covered: Balkan States, SEE

Research Areas: Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy