This Clingendael policy brief analyses the destructive effects of state capture in the Western Balkans and how it undermines the EU enlargement process. Using the case of Serbia, this policy brief shows how state capture mechanisms selectively strengthen the ruling party and its leadership while it weakens the opposition and independent institutions. State capture weakens the effectiveness of EU conditionality and reduces the credibility of the EU enlargement process. Tackling state capture, through strengthening accountability structures and increasing transparency, is identified as a key priority for the EU enlargement process to be successful in the future.
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