Alessandro Rotta

Alessandro Rotta


The European Connection. EU Accession Prospects and promotion of the rule of law in the Western Balkans

Corruption and organised crime are widely considered among the most serious obstacles for the democratic transition of Western Balkans countries. Consistently, the European Commission allocates an important share of its overall assistance to the region to strengthen the Western Balkan countries’ capacity in the field of justice and home affairs, and considers achievements in this sphere as a condition for further negotiations on accession by the same countries. EC and EU policies, however, appear to be inherently skewed on the repressive dimension of the crime phenomena, dealing mostly with police co-operation, visa policies and border control, and thus fail to address the issue from an human security point of view. As corruption and crime find a conducive environment in shrinking welfare provisions, social insecurity and patronage networks, it might be wiser to deal also with such root causes, giving them specific relevance in designing EC assistance. The research aimed at exploring, based on the analysis of Serbia and Albania as case studies, the feasibility of a more comprehensive EU approach to the fight against organised crime and corruption. To this objective it reviewed specific EC tools, and their potential for transforming internal dynamics of these two countries in the relevant policy fields, and considered experiences drawn from the Italian context, where EC assistance has been used to develop a bottom-up approach to the construction of legality and to strengthen the rule of law, and where civic organisations and wider sectors of society have been instrumental in shaping anti-mafia strategies not confined to merely repressive and law enforcement measures. Building on an analysis of the main features of the crime and corruption phenomena in Albania and Serbia, and of their impact on society in particular, the research also explored opportunities for replicating Italian best practices in the context of these two countries, and, on this basis, tried to draft policy recommendations for future EC assistance.













Alessando Rotta (1973) works as Political Advisor at the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. From 2000 to 2006 he worked as a researcher and co-ordinator of studies on SEE at the Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale (CeSPI) in Rome, where he was mainly focusing on EU policies towards the Balkans, international co-operation, migration dynamics and organised crime in SEE. He still collaborates with CeSPI, notably for finalising his research in the framework of the European Foreign and Security Policy Studies Programme.

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