EU Business Law Working Papers 2/2018

Dr Éva Lukács Gellérné: The challenges of free movement of persons in the Western Balkan context

Non-EU member Western Balkan countries aspire to join the EU which is a genuine condition hence they are surrounded by EU countries and they are dedicated to democratise within this framework. Free movement of persons is one of the most significant symbols of the EU which signals its integrity and unity. That is why opening the negotiation chapter on free movement marks a historic point in the accession process, too. The article sheds light on the general framework of negotiations and the general absorption capacity of Western Balkan states with a focus on labour market situation and push factors of migration.  Also the state of affairs in the realm of legal and institutional approximation requirements is tackled upon, including issues of employment and social security. The article wishes to contribute to a better understanding of the underlying challenges in this field driven by the conviction that the historic window of opportunities is there for the region to advance on the European path marked by peace and progress.