INPROFORUM 2017

Western Balkans on their Way towards EU Integration: Trade Analysis
Tomasz Grodzicki

Language: en
Last modified: 2018-04-10

Abstract


The paper aims to analyse the international trade of Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo[1] , Montenegro and Serbia) with the focus on EU integration. Over 75% of the total Western Balkans‘ trade is done with EU countries. Western Balkans are actively involved in the regional integration as all of them are the members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). Western Balkans have been reducing trade barriers in recent years. Nevertheless. The Western Balkan countries still face with outdated procedures for border checks what make even regional trade difficult. The World Bank in its doing business report underlines that there is still room for improvement for the Western Balkans region, as the time and administrative burden in Western Balkans states are a way higher than in the EU member states as well as OECD countries.

Another aspect is that the Western Balkan countries very often have their own free trade agreements with other non-EU countries (and they do not have free trade deals with EU member states). In this way, entering the EU will force the Western Balkan countries to follow EU single market rules, so no longer will they be allowed to keep their current free trade agreements.


Keywords


Western Balkans; trade; EU integration; trade agreement

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