The euro project and the international integration of the South-Eastern European economies

13 October 2018 by Ana Podvršič

Image Credit: (Duncan Hull CC BY 2.0)

In the recent years, scholars in critical international political economy have considerably explored the differences and similarities between the countries of the European periphery. Most of the studies, however, have focused on the structural characteristics of the so-called Southern Eurozone periphery and the Eastern one. Less attention has been paid to the form of the international integration of the South-Eastern European countries into the European economy, as well as to the role these economies have played in the European division of labour. This article [1] provides some empirical insights on the extent and depth of the international economic integration of the so-called Western Balkans (WBs) and proposes avenues for a further, more thorough research on the characteristics of the South-Eastern European periphery. The notion of Western Balkans was designed by the EU representatives to refer to all countries of the Balkan Peninsula that embarked on the integration process in the late 1990s. Croatia left this group of countries in 2009, when it became a full EU member. Today, the WBs includes Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia and these are also countries that are analysed here.

One-size-fits-all enlargement strategy

Before considering the mode of international integration of the WBs, a world on the European enlargement strategy towards the South-Eastern European region is in place. On a formal level, the integration of the WBs started in 1996 with the launch of the South-East European Cooperation Process. In 1999, the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe set down concrete requirements for the integration. The European Commission used more or less the same political and economic criteria of accession as for other post-socialist countries, which started their formal integration in the early 1990s. There were, however, two additional conditions. One the one hand, the WBs had to fulfil all their international obligations and collaborations with the institutions such as the Dayton Peace Accords, UN Security Council etc. On the other hand, the aspiring countries had to show the willingness to “cooperate” on a regional level. More concretely, the EU required from the WBs to establish free bilateral trade agreements and liberalize investment regimes. Since June 2003, the WBs progressively signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreements, which were similar to the Accession Partnership designed earlier for the post-socialist countries. These agreements also included provisions for the establishment of the so-called Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area in the region that allowed the WBs to start joining the CEFTA free trade zone in 2006. [2]

After the post-2007/08 crisis, the integration process slowed down until 2014when the so-called Berlin Process was launched. It refers to annual intergovernmental meetings that seek to consolidate the integration process in light of an increased euro scepticism and the announcement of Jean Claude Juncker to stop any further expansion for the following five years. At the beginning of 2018, the EU Commission proposed a new strategy for, as it says, ’A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans’, which set 2025 as the target for Serbia and Montenegro to become members.

Despite formal differences in the enlargement strategies, the EU has adopted similar enlargement approach towards the WBs as it did for the integration of the post-socialist countries form Central and Eastern Europe, and this regardless of the fact that the political and economic situation in the WBs in the early 2000s were far worse than in other post-socialist countries in 1989.

The EU Commission has mainly used the expansion towards the South-eastern region as a method for a further promotion of rapid liberalization and market opening

In economic terms, the EU Commission has mainly used the expansion towards the South-eastern region as a method for a further promotion of rapid liberalization and market opening with a strong anti-Keynesian bias, as well as for the extension of export-led and FDI-driven growth model. The adoption of such an economic agenda towards a much “under-developed” South-Eastern European region, the development of which has been seriously hindered by bad energy and transport network and a massive deindustrialization, should be considered as being a part of a neoliberal reshuffling of the European integration project since the mid-1980s [3]. In line with the ordoliberal conception of the European integration in the aftermath of the WWII, the single market and the euro projects have sought to insulate from democratic accountability and popular pressures the macroeconomic regulations and decision-making (especially in fields of competition, trade, and money), as well as the benefits that new arrangements have brought for the recovery of capitalist factions [4]. The policy agenda for the “East”, forged in a close collaboration by the two non-elected supranational actors, the EC and the European Round Table of Industrialists, the primary institutional representative of the CEOs of the biggest European MNCs, was designed in a way as to ease to the European multinationals from manufacturing and banking sectors to take advantage of a cheaper, but geographically close labour force and of emerging profit Profit The positive gain yielded from a company’s activity. Net profit is profit after tax. Distributable profit is the part of the net profit which can be distributed to the shareholders. opportunities in the post-socialist countries.  [5]

In fact, the European Washington Consensus for the WBs was even more restrictive than for the countries from the Central and Eastern Europe. Besides the requirement concerning the establishment of a free trade and investment zone, the overall financial assistance was much lower compared to what the ten post-socialist countries had received. What is more, up to the 80% of the financial aid consisted of technical assistance, without the possibility of using these funds for more important and necessary projects such as infrastructure, led alone industrial reconstruction. [6]

Economic integration

Given such an enlargement strategy, it is probably unsurprising that during the last two decades the WBs became strongly integrated in the European core-periphery asymmetries. Bellow, the integration of these countries is considered along four channels of core-periphery relations represented by asymmetrical international flows of (1) commodities Commodities The goods exchanged on the commodities market, traditionally raw materials such as metals and fuels, and cereals. (trade), (2) productive capital (FDI), (3) money/financial capital and (4) labour.


Figure 1 Geographical structure of trade, 2016, %

Dabrowski and Myachenkova, 2018.

After the late 1990s, the WBs became deeply integrated in the European trade exchanges (see Figure 1). The EU became by far the most important trading Market activities
Buying and selling of financial instruments such as shares, futures, derivatives, options, and warrants conducted in the hope of making a short-term profit.
partner of the WBs and nowadays counts for at least 70% of their total trade.
Regional trade exchanges have remained also important. The WBs continue to realize more than one tenth of their trade with the countries from the region. The only exception here is Montenegro whose main trading partner on an individual basis is Serbia. In line with the overall lower level of industrialisation, export sophistication is rather low and services account for about two thirds of the overall exports.World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

. [7]


Liberalization and privatisation process that took place in the previous decade, allowed for a substantial inflows of foreign capital (see Figure 2). Traditionally, the most important investors have been the Eurozone countries, like Austria, followed by the Netherlands, Greece and Italy. Note, that the share Share A unit of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset, representing one part of the total capital stock. Its owner (a shareholder) is entitled to receive an equal distribution of any profits distributed (a dividend) and to attend shareholder meetings. of each investor economy differs much from one country to another.

Montenegro again stands outs with a stock of FDI overcoming the country’s GDP GDP
Gross Domestic Product
Gross Domestic Product is an aggregate measure of total production within a given territory equal to the sum of the gross values added. The measure is notoriously incomplete; for example it does not take into account any activity that does not enter into a commercial exchange. The GDP takes into account both the production of goods and the production of services. Economic growth is defined as the variation of the GDP from one period to another.
level. This country not only has plenty of investment opportunities in tourism and travel but it has also established a particularly capital-friendly environments in Europe. Among others, tax system is one of the most competitive, the country dispose of a relatively qualified but cheap labour and adopted the euro as a national currency
. We will come to this issue below.

Figure 2 Net FDI stock, % of GDP

Source: UNCDAT.stat. Note: Data for Montenegro and Serbia, 2007, not available.

Foreign investments have been mainly directed at the services: financial sector, telecommunications, the energy sector, wholesale and retail, construction, real estate. The overall winners are without doubts foreign banks, as can be seen from Figure 3. At the end of the 2000, Albania and Bosnia and Hercegovina practically did not dispose of any bank under domestic ownership that would play any meaningful role on a national markets. The market shares of foreign-banks in Serbia and Kosovo also exceeded 70%. It is estimated that the share of bank assets owned by foreign banks in Macedonia is also above 90% and is close to 85% in Montenegro. [8]

Figure 3 Market shares of foreign-ownerd banks, % of total assets

Source: Raiffeisen Research 2004, 2008, 2014.


Most of the WBs experienced a high degree of euroization during the previous decade as a consequence of predominantly foreign owned banking sector, a favourable economic conjuncture and the availability of cheap euro credits. Euroization refers to a situation in which a large proportion of a country’s assets and liabilities Liabilities The part of the balance-sheet that comprises the resources available to a company (equity provided by the partners, provisions for risks and charges, debts). are denominated in euros. In the context of the WBs, the euroisation is especially important when considering the loan stock. With the shares of foreign currency denominated loans well above 60% in total loans, countries like Serbia, Albania, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina are among the most informally euroised economies in the European post-socialist region. Before the crisis, only Latvia and Estonia had higher shares of foreign currency denominated loans that the WBs. [9]

Figure 4 Foreign-exchange dominated loans, % of total loans

Source: Dabrowski and Myachenkova, 2018. For Serbia, 2006, see Chailloux, Ohnsorge and Vavra, 2010. Note: Data for Albania, 2006, not available.

In fact, high levels of informal euroisation were among key reasons that led domestic authorities in the WBs to effectively tie their economies to the euro system through fixed pegs of various sorts. Bosnia and Herzegovina has adopted a currency board which fixes the exchange rate of the local currency, now called the ‘convertible mark’ to the Euro, the Macedonian dinar is pegged to the euro, and only Serbia and Albania have managed floating exchange rates, but around a narrow band to the euro. Two countries, Kosovo and Montenegro, have unilaterally adopted the Euro as the legal tender. A relatively stable exchange rate acts as an additional security mechanism that helps to avoid the cost of servicing foreign-denominated loans when they reach prohibitively high levels and when they could endanger the solvency of domestic companies and households. Speaking of the reasons why these countries opted for such exchange rates regimes, it is worth mentioning that in two cases, i.e. Bosnia in Herzegovina and Kosovo, fixed pegs were imposed from the so-called international community, meaning mainly the EU representatives. In Montenegro, the choice to adopt euro as national currency was mainly political and seen as a necessary step to separate domestic economy from the Serbian economy. [10]


When speaking of the subordinated integration of the WBCs, there is another channel of integration that should be discussed, i.e the asymmetrical flows of labour and related remittances. As a result of the violent conflicts of the 1990s, lower income per capita and high unemployment levels, a large segment of the labour force from the WBs has emmigrated to more developed countries, in particular to the Northern-Western Europe. Personal remittances, originating largely from the EU, play an important economic and social role in most of the countries, even though to varying degrees. As can be seen from Figure 5 the relative importance of remittances was much bigger before the crisis in many countries, which might be related to the economic boom. Crucially, the WBs largely use this remittances, that reached over 10% of GDP in 2007 on average to finance their chronic trade deficits (see below). That means that the personal transfers and compensation of employees working abroad play important structural role in the accumulation regimes of these economies. Slight exception in this pattern are Montenegro, where current account imbalances have been generally financed by inflows of FDI and official development help and Macedonia, where remittances are considerably lower than in other countries. According to the World Bank Data, Serbia was among the largest recipients of remittances in the region of Europe and Central Asia in 2016 when the inflows of emigrant labour money stood at about 3.2 billion euro. [11]

Figure 5 Personal remittances, received, % of GDP

Source: World Development indicators. Note: Data for Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia, 2002, not available. Personal remittances comprise personal transfers and compensation of employees

Western Balkans in the Eurozone crisis

Thus, the form of the integration of the WBs in the European economy shaped the growth trajectories and associated vulnerabilities of these countries. During the 2000s, foreign takeover of domestic banking sectors contributed to the formation of peripheral financialisation and debt-led accumulation regimes based on the expansion of foreign interest Interest An amount paid in remuneration of an investment or received by a lender. Interest is calculated on the amount of the capital invested or borrowed, the duration of the operation and the rate that has been set. -bearing capital, mass importation of household consumer goods, and an unsustainable surge in the real estate prices. As we can see from Figure 6 that shows annual averages of GDP and current account balances for 2006 and 2007 for the selected WBs, catch-up process accelerated significantly in the previous decade. This came, however, with a high price. Since foreign investors mainly targeted non-tradable sectors and helped little to rebuild domestic productive capacities and infrastructure, the period of economic recovery went hand in hand with widened trade deficits, indicative of a significant deindustrialization and insufficient job creation. [12]

Figure 6 GDP and current account balance Balance End of year statement of a company’s assets (what the company possesses) and liabilities (what it owes). In other words, the assets provide information about how the funds collected by the company have been used; and the liabilities, about the origins of those funds. , Western Balkans countries, % averages 2006 and 2007

Source: World Development Indicators.

A high degree of euroization, the currency pegs to the euro, and dependency on remittances from the European core countries made the WBs highly vulnerable in face of the upcoming global crisis, and especially to the Eurozone turmoil. All countries were affected by the outbreak of the global economic crisis through all the above-mentioned channels, even though at the varying degrees depending on the specificities of their pre-crisis accumulation regimes. As can be observed from Figure 7, general speaking, the growth pattern of the WBs was highly dependent on the dynamics in the Eurozone. GDP slumps in 2008 and 2011 followed the double-dip recession of the Eurozone economies. The slowdown of the economic recovery in 2014, however, is mostly related to the nature disaster and unprecedented floods that affected especially Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.

Figure 7 GDP growth, %, EA-19, annual averages of the Western Balkans countries

Source: World Development Indicators. Note: Data does not include Albania and Kosovo.

These two countries were also particularly hit by the reductions in cross-border flows of interbank funding and private credit by Eurozone parent banks that operated in the region. In fact, the problem of deleveraging and of a potential economic disaster that this could bring to highly euroized WBs was on the top of the policy-making agenda during the crisis and reinforced the presence of international actors in the region. [13]


In the aftermath of the crisis, many wondered about the reaction of foreign owned banks in South-Eastern European the region. In 2009, the European Central Bank Central Bank The establishment which in a given State is in charge of issuing bank notes and controlling the volume of currency and credit. In France, it is the Banque de France which assumes this role under the auspices of the European Central Bank (see ECB) while in the UK it is the Bank of England.

, the EU Commission, the EBRD, the IMF IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.
and the states from which parent banks originated held a meeting in Vienna to orchestrate a “rescue plan”. They sought to persuade foreign banks to slow down the pace of deleveraging and to keep their subsidiaries in the South-Eastern European region (as well as in other post-socialist countries that became informally euroized during the 2000s, like Hungary). The core of the agreement was similar to those behind the financial packages used in the following years by the Troika Troika Troika: IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank, which together impose austerity measures through the conditions tied to loans to countries in difficulty.

for disciplining the Southern Eurozone periphery
. [14] It consisted of protecting banks’ portfolios and profits with a massive injection of money. [15] At the same time, the costs of the crisis were transferred mainly to domestic working classes and broader population.

The global financial crisis created the opportunity for the IMF to get the WBs back under its control after they succeeded to escape it in the early 2000s

In this regard, the presence of the IMF was very helpful. The global financial crisis created the opportunity for the IMF to get the WBs back under its control after they succeeded to escape it in the early 2000s. In 2009, Bosnia and Herzegovina were together with Serbia the first to resort to the IMF financial assistance, based on strict conditionality and the implementation of austerity measures and a further economic liberalization. Direct intervention in public and minimum wages, followed by structural reforms to increase downward wage flexibility were among the conditions for receiving assistance. [16] In the following years, stand by arrangements were signed also with Macedonia and Albania. During the last years, the WBs became solely dependent on the IMF “help” to prevent the outbreak of balance of payments Balance of payments A country’s balance of current payments is the result of its commercial transactions (i.e. imported and exported goods and services) and its financial exchanges with foreign countries. The balance of payments is a measure of the financial position of a country vis-à-vis the rest of the world. A country with a surplus in its current payments is a lending country for the rest of the world. On the other hand, if a country’s balance is in the red, that country will have to turn to the international lenders to meet its funding needs. crises. [17]

In addition to the IMF pressures, in 2013, the EU Commission decided to strengthen its control over the reform process in the region and included the WBs in the annual monitoring procedures. In parallel to the formation of the Troika interventionism, the macroeconomic policy and regulations of all EU member states became ex ante monitored and coordinated the so-called new European economic governance (NEEG) and annual European semester cycles. The regulatory provisions have evolved progressively since 2010 through the adoption of various packages. With respect to their socio-political content or impact, the NEEG could best be described as more of the same European Washington Consensus. One the one side it calls for more liberalisation, privatisation and austerity, enhances non-elected and executive bodies at national and supranational level at the expense of democratic policy-making and institutions; on the other side, the NEEG has introduced established new policy tools that reinforced the interference of the European executive in national wage settlements. [18] As a consequence, each country from the South-Eastern European region that aspires to become a member of the EU is henceforth obliged to submit an annual Economic Reform Programme that is to be checked by the EU Commission. According to it, the main developmental obstacle of the WBCs and therefore the reform priority of domestic authorities is the insufficient economic governance, structural reforms and lack of competitiveness. [19]

Therefore, during the crisis, the main policy directions that underpinned the pre-crisis unsustainable trajectories of the WBs remained more or less unchanged. Many of inherited imbalances from the pre-crisis period were further enhanced, at the same time as the new ones have been generated. The gains from the economic growth of the 2000s have been nullified, current account deficit have deepen again. A trade deficit that the WBs accumulated with the EU between 2005 and 2016 mounts to 97 billion euro. [20] Foreign indebtedness remain high, and actually aggravated further the emergence of public debts (see figure 8). That means that a substantial part of the economic gains have continued to be transferred each year to core EU countries through imports and the repayment of loans to Western banks. This core-periphery pattern, together with policy limitations on public expenditures and investment, make the WBs poorly equipped to face serious problems of chronic shortages of jobs and unemployment, and the reverse trends with respect to massive outflows of the most skilled and qualified labour force, the youth. In addition, these countries cannot even hope for the EU structural funds to alleviate the impact of the crisis and to foster more socially inclusive growth. [21]

Figure 8 Average government gross debt Gross debt This concept does not include government assets. The debt in the terms of the European Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) is a consolidated gross debt, meaning that it does not take into account either public assets or debts between public administrations. To take the example of a household of several people, the household’s debt, as understood in SGP terms, would be the sum of the total debt of those people but would not count any sums that they might have lent one another. Nor would the debt be reduced by the value of goods that belonged to the household, such as their car or their house. , WBs, % of GDP

Source: Eurostat (Figure 9), World development indicators (Figure 8). Note: Kosovo is not included.

Figure 9 Average annual unemployment (ILO), WBs, % of total labour force

Source: Eurostat (Figure 9), World development indicators (Figure 8). Note: Kosovo is not included.


Instead of conclusion, three avenues for a further research on the euro project and the particularities of the South-Eastern European periphery are proposed. First, in the case of the WBs, the European integration mainly referred to the extension of markets and the creation of new secured and profitable areas for capital flows. This is also why, together with a deep integration of the WBs in the European economy through various channels, it would be useful to include more systematically these countries into the current debates on the European core-periphery relations. It seems that the developmental trajectories of the WBs are in no way exceptional and have many similar structural features with other national economies from the European periphery.

In fact, Bartlett and Prica have already proposed to conceptualize the WBs as the “European super-periphery”. [22] While their attempt to bring forward both similarities and differences of the WBs with respect to other types of the European periphery is very insightful, it might be more useful to elaborate on a concept that would also point to the specific structural role these countries have come to play within the European core-periphery hierarchy. The hypothesis proposed here is that the WBs’ structural role is to export labour, and to supply the core countries and their non-tradable sectors with cheap but relatively educated labour force.

If this hypothesis makes sense, then – and this is the last point – the European core-periphery relations should be analysed not only in terms of asymmetrical flows of commodities, money capital and industrial capital, but also in terms of asymmetrical flows of labour. Moreover, the extent and depth of the international integration of the WBs also suggests that the analysis of the dysfunctional character of the single market and the euro regimes should go beyond formal understanding of the Eurozone as a set of countries that have become legal members of the Economic and Monetary Union to include also those economies that have become de facto integrated and dependent on the euro system.


- Ban, Cornell. “From Cocktail to Dependence: Revisiting the Foundations of Dependent Market Economies.” GEGI Working Paper, no. 3 (2013).
- Bartlett, Will and Ivana Prica. “The Deepening Crisis in the European Super-Periphery.” Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 15, no. 4 (2013/12/01 2013): 367-82.
- Bartlett, Will and Ivana Prica. “Debt in the Super-Periphery: The Case of the Western Balkans.” Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal (2018): 1-20.
- Becker, Joachim. “Dollarisation in Latin America and Euroisation in Eastern Europe: Parallels and Differences.” In Dollarization, Euroization and Financial Instability. Central and Eastern Europe between Stagnation and Financial Crisis?, edited by Joachim Becker and Rudy Weissenbacher, 223–78. Marburg: Metropolis, 2007.
Becker, Joachim. “Monetarni Režim, Financializacija in Krize V Vzhodni Evropi.” Borec : revija za zgodovino, literaturo in antropologijo 65, no. 698/702 (2013): 121–31.
- Becker, Joachim. “Europe’s Other Periphery.” New Left Review 99 (2016): 39–64.
- Becker, Joachim, Johannes Jäger, Bernhard Leubolt, and Rudy Weissenbacher. “Peripheral Financialization and Vulnerability to Crisis: A Regulationist Perspective.” Competition & Change 14, no. 3–4 (2010): 225–47.
- Bonomi, Matteo and Dušan Reljić. “The Eu and the Western Balkans: So near and yet So Far.” Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik Comments 53 53 (2017).
Chailloux, Alexandre, Franziska Ohnsorge, and David Vavra. “Euroisation in Serbia.” EBRD Working Paper No. 120 (2010).
- Dabrowski, Marek and Yana Myachenkova. “The Western Balkans on the Road to the European Union.” Bruegel Policy Contributions, no. 4 (Februar, the 22th 2018 2018).
- Durand, Cédric. “Introduction: Qu’est-ce que l’Europe?” In En finir avec l’Europe, edited by Cédric Durand, 7–47. Paris: La fabrique, 2013.
- Galgóczi, Béla. Why Central and Eastern Europe Needs a Pay Rise. Working Paper 2017.01. Brussels: ETUI, 2017.
- Ivanova, Maria N. “Why There Was No ‘Marshall Plan Marshall Plan A programme of economic reconstruction proposed in 1947 by the US State Secretary, George C. Marshall. With a budget of 12.5 billion dollars (more than 80 billion dollars in current terms) composed of donations and long-term loans, the Marshall Plan enabled 16 countries (notably France, the UK, Italy and the Scandinavian countries) to finance their reconstruction after the Second World War. ’ for Eastern Europe and Why This Still Matters.” Journal of Contemporary European Studies 15, no. 3 (2007): 345–76.
- Panagiotou, Ritsa. “The Greek Crisis as a Crisis of Eu Enlargement: How Will the Western Balkans Be Affected?” Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 13, no. 1 (2013/03/01 2013): 89-104.
- Raiffeisen Research. Cee Banking Sector Report 2004. 2004.
- Raiffeisen Research. Cee Banking Sector Report 2008. 2008.
- Raiffeisen Research. Cee Banking Sector Report 2014. 2014.
- Schulten, Tolsten and Torsten Müller. “European Economic Governance and Its Intervention in National Wage Development and Collective Bargaining.” In Divisive Integration. The Triumph of Failed Ideas in Europe — Revisited, edited by Steffen Lehndorff, 331–64. Brussels: European Trade Union Institute, 2015.
- Uvalić, Milica. Serbia’s Transition: Towards a Better Future. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2010.
- World Bank. Western Balkans: Reviving up the Engines of Growth and Prosperity. Washington DC: World Bank Group, 2017.


[1This article is a shorter version of a conference presention. See Ana Podvršič, "The imperialism of the euro project and Southeastern European periphery”, Europe after Brexit, SOAS University of London and King’s College London, London, UK, 21/09–22/09/2018.

[2See Milica Uvalić, Serbia’s Transition: Towards a Better Future (Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2010).

[3Maria N. Ivanova, “Why There Was No ‘Marshall Plan’ for Eastern Europe and Why This Still Matters,” Journal of Contemporary European Studies 15, no. 3 (2007).

[4Cédric Durand, “Introduction: Qu’est-ce que l’Europe?,” in En finir avec l’Europe, ed. Cédric Durand (Paris: La fabrique, 2013).

[5Otto Holman, “The Enlargement of the European Union Towards Central and Eastern Europe: The Role of Supranational and Transnational Actors,” in Social Forces in the Making of the New Europe: The Restructuring of European Social Relations in the Global Political Economy, ed. Andreas Bieler and Adam David Morton (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001).


[7Western Balkans: Reviving up the Engines of Growth and Prosperity, Washington DC: World Bank Group, 2017.

[8Bartlett, Will and Ivana Prica. “The Deepening Crisis in the European Super-Periphery.” Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 15, no. 4

[9Will Bartlett and Ivana Prica, “The Deepening Crisis in the European Super-Periphery”.

[10Joachim Becker, “Dollarisation in Latin America and Euroisation in Eastern Europe: Parallels and Differences,” in Dollarization, Euroization and Financial Instability. Central and Eastern Europe between Stagnation and Financial Crisis?, eds. Joachim Becker and Rudy Weissenbacher (Marburg: Metropolis, 2007).

[12See Joachim Becker et al., “Peripheral Financialization and Vulnerability to Crisis: A Regulationist Perspective,” Competition & Change 14, no. 3–4 (2010); Joachim Becker, “Monetarni Režim, Financializacija in Krize V Vzhodni Evropi,” Borec : revija za zgodovino, literaturo in antropologijo 65, no. 698/702 (2013); Will Bartlett and Ivana Prica, “Debt in the Super-Periphery: The Case of the Western Balkans,” Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal (2018)

[13See Bartlett and Prica, “Debt in the Super-Periphery: The Case of the Western Balkans.”

[14Joachim Becker, “Europe’s Other Periphery,” New Left Review 99 (2016).

[15Cornell Ban, “From Cocktail to Dependence: Revisiting the Foundations of Dependent Market Economies,” GEGI Working Paper, no. 3 (2013). It is estimated that the International financial institutions provided over 24.5bn EURO of loans to 17 parent banks of banks in Central and South East Europe. See: Bartlett and Prica, “Debt in the Super-Periphery: The Case of the Western Balkans.” Adelina Marini, “The European Semester Enters The Enlargement Process”, EUINSIDE wewportal, accessible on

[16Béla Galgóczi, Why Central and Eastern Europe Needs a Pay Rise, Working Paper 2017.01 (Brussels: ETUI, 2017).

[17Ritsa Panagiotou, “The Greek Crisis as a Crisis of Eu Enlargement: How Will the Western Balkans Be Affected?,” Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 13, no. 1.

[18Tolsten Schulten and Torsten Müller, “European Economic Governance and Its Intervention in National Wage Development and Collective Bargaining,” in Divisive Integration. The Triumph of Failed Ideas in Europe — Revisited, ed. Steffen Lehndorff (Brussels: European Trade Union Institute, 2015)

[19Bartlett and Prica, “Debt in the Super-Periphery: The Case of the Western Balkans.”

[20Matteo Bonomi and Dušan Reljić, “The EU and the Western Balkans: So near and yet so far,” Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik Comments 53 (2017).


[22Bartlett and Prica, “The Deepening Crisis in the European Super-Periphery.”

Ana Podvršič

Postdoctoral Researcher



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