rrppohrid

We address this policy paper to the EU Commission. The paper aims to provide policy recommendations for the assessment of rule of law implementation in Western Balkan countries aspiring to EU membership. The main question out of which the policy recommendations emerge is whether EU institutions have an influence, and if so of what kind, on implementation of the rule of law, with a particular focus on the reforms of the judiciary in five Western Balkan Countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The research preceding this policy paper assessed the current use of conditionality criteria in the field of rule of law in Western Balkan countries and the institutional reforms carried out in the development of the judicial sector. Special attention was given to newly established institutions, such as the High Judicial Council and Judicial Academies, with the goal of assessing whether they provide an adequate normative framework for the political independence of the judiciary. The method used for this research largely leaned on content analysis of legal rules and administrative regulations adopted for this purpose, as well as of their implementation. We propose a regionally unified EU approach for monitoring progress in judicial reforms in the Western Balkan countries.