Do EU institutions have an influence on the implementation of the rule of law in potential candidate countries and, if so, of what kind? During the compliance monitoring process related to the effective rule of law and democracy the EU Commission tests and criticizes the effectiveness of the judiciary and strengthens the rule of law in preparation for accession. In the Western Balkans this was a process fraught with difficulties.
Despite the fact that academic scholarship and democratic politics agree on rule of law as a legitimizing principle for the exercise of state authority, there is no uniform European standard for institution-building or monitoring activities by the EU in this area. With focus on the reform of the judiciary in five case study countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, this empirical research investigates the EU's transformative power with regard to the effectiveness of rule of law and judicial sector reform in its infancy. It analyses the depth and limitations of EU rule of law promotion in the Western Balkans and presents policy recommendations intended to address the shortcomings in judiciary reform.
This book aims to fill the gap in the existing academic scholarship of EU politics, law and Western Balkans literature.
Table of Contents
South Eastern Europe in Transition
Framing the Challenge
The Innovative and Broader Impact of the Book
2. The Elusive Essence of the Rule of Law
The Problem of Knowledge
Legal Bedrock: Rule of Law and Judicial Reform
Rule of Law in the Process of EU Accession
Rule of Law Conditionality as a Requirement for Judicial Reform
Elusive Essence of Judicial Governance
3. Theory: Europeanization by Rule of Law Implementation
Europeanization in Candidate Countries
Europeanization by Rule of Implementation – Missing Links
4. Research Design: Cases and Methods
The Analytical Framework
Reconceptualization of the "Spiral Theory"
Cases and Methods
5. Legacies of the Past as Obstacles to the EU Rule of Law Promotion
Legacies of the Social Legal Culture
6. Western Balkans in the EU’s Waiting Room
State of Play: Western or ‘Restern’ Balkans
EU Approach to Enlargement
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Beyond the Autopilot Mode?
7. Judicial Reforms in the Western Balkans
Independence of the Judiciary
Accountability of the Judiciary
Efficiency of the Judiciary
Effectiveness of the Judiciary
8. Comparative Analysis
Measuring the Results
9. Scope, Depth and Limits of EU Rule of Law Promotion in the Western Balkans
Does the Rule of Law Promotion in EU Candidate Countries Work?
Mediating Factors and Constrains
The Way Forward: Policy Recommendations
Marko Kmezić is a Lecturer and Senior Researcher at the Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz, Austria.