A United or Partly United Europe? Will the Western Balkans and Turkey Ever Join?
While political leaders and the people of Croatia are still celebrating the EU‘s decision to accept this post-Yugoslav state as its 28th member in 2013, the EU accession of other current officially recognised candidates and potential membership candidates looks more uncertain and distant than it has ever been since the EU offered them association with the prospect of accession in the early 2000s. Pressured by internal political stability problems and economic underperformance on one side and by the indifference and/or incapability of the EU and its political leaders to provide ‗promised‘ adequate assistance on the other, an ever larger number of the political elite and wider public in the official and potential EU membership candidates from the Western Balkans and Turkey are giving up on the ―EUrope idea‖. The continuing ―pro-enlargement‖ rhetoric and occasionally repeated optimistic promises of the EU‘s and its member states‘ officials and politicians no longer seem to sound convincing even to those officials and politicians themselves.