The implementation of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (or CEFTA) offered hope of economic growth and more efficient integration with the EU. However, differences in the trade balance and international political disputes have hindered the region's economic integration. The recent trade wars could threaten it altogether.<.I>
The idea of free trade has become so well incorporated into the public discourse on European integration that any infringement of its principles is either overlooked as a minor incident or unintended behaviour of a less experienced partner. Meanwhile, a regular customs war broke out in the Balkans. Slowly and quietly, in a manner unusual for the region, the Balkan governments have mustered their best warriors to fight their enemies in the trenches of bureaucratic regulations. The very traditions of the Byzantine and Ottoman courts laid the foundations for impermeable administrative fortresses hampering free trade and European integration of the region.
March 5, 2019 -