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Asymmetrical economic & institutional changes in the Western Balkans: Cooperation with the European Union


  • Alexander J. Kondonassis
  • A.G. Malliaris
  • Christos C. Paraskevopoulos


The Western Balkans have historically been a poor area of Europe. The total population of the Western Balkans is 24.7 million. Ethnic differences of long standing have led to conflicts and to political and economic instability. Poverty and instability have combined to produce a vicious circle of institutional backwardness. Recent conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo have aggravated an already adverse economic situation. GDP in 1999 was substantially lower than that in 1989. The EU plans to enter into contractual relationships with all the Western Balkans in the form of Stabilization and Association Agreements (SAAs). The pacts are aimed at helping to establish economic and political stability, to implement institutional reforms, to practice regional free trade and cooperation and to privatize the economies of Western Balkans. These are also the presumed goals of the Western Balkans. This study focuses on a review of the progress made by the Western Balkans toward meeting the above stated challenges. A main conclusion is that the attainment of these goals has been asymmetrical for economic, political and institutional reasons.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander J. Kondonassis & A.G. Malliaris & Christos C. Paraskevopoulos, 2005. "Asymmetrical economic & institutional changes in the Western Balkans: Cooperation with the European Union," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(1-2), pages 43-64.
  • Handle: RePEc:ers:journl:v:viii:y:2005:i:1-2:p:43-64

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    1. repec:mes:jeciss:v:30:y:1996:i:4:p:1057-1075 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:mes:jeciss:v:26:y:1992:i:2:p:513-523 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:mes:jeciss:v:27:y:1993:i:2:p:493-503 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Eftychia Tsanana & Constantinos Katrakilidis, 2014. "Do Balkan economies catch up with EU? New evidence from panel unit root analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 641-662, November.

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    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies


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