Rethinking the European Union-Western Balkans cooperation on fighting organised crime in light of new challenges brought by the migration crisis

Fran├žois Lhoumeau
Content Type
Special Report
The Centre for Security Studies
Faced with the migration crisis it has experienced since 2015, the EU has not presented a unified policy. Moreover, the different approaches to crisis management have undergone various reversals - from a simplified reception policy at the beginning of the crisis to a complete closure of borders from 2016. These policies had a direct impact on the Western Balkans region, then at the centre of the crisis. First a crossing point, the region has been repeatedly asked to be the guardian of EU borders. This has resulted in a significant number of migrants trapped within the borders of the Western Balkans. As the region is mainly a transit point, organised crime has been strengthened around migrant smuggling and human trafficking activities by the policies initiated at the end of 2015. Despite the EU's growing attention to this issue, regional cooperation efforts need to be strengthened. In addition, the EU must use the tools of enlargement to establish a comprehensive strategy based on strengthening the rule of law and maintaining security
International Affairs
Political Geography
Global Focus