Abstract. It seems that the Balkans, which have always borne the stigma of non-integration, from the difficulty of defining the states that are part of this region, to the non-inclusion of the western core of this area in the European Union, are a very complex subject, difficult to deal with. The history of these Balkan peoples, divided by changing religions or political ideologies, makes their relationship with the EU even more complicated than their interstate ties.
Considered “neither inside nor outside” the European Union, with the status of candidate countries and a long list of conditions and requirements, the Western Balkan states seem to return, from time to time, to the past, to find there not only “the legitimacy of their historical rights”, but also the evocation of dusty alliances. Delaying their full-fledged, peer-to-peer accession, especially after BREXIT, causes these pro-EU countries to be shaken by their pro-EU attitudes, taking into account other options for “union”, through their collaboration with powers that are, to a certain extent, the opposite of EU values. In this complexity of Balkan and European views, the article briefly addresses the dilemmas and successes of this integration process, concluding that, despite all the changes in Europe, from the GREXIT crisis to BREXIT, EU accession remains a focal point, strong in the strategy of these Western Balkan states.
Keywords: European Union, Western Balkans, integration, accession, regional powers
Tirana, Albania, licenţiată în psihologie, Master în Administraţie Publică şi Integrare Europeană, doctorand în Istorie la Universitatea „Dunărea de Jos” din Galaţi