The article explores the recent shift in the European Union’s approach towards candidate states in the Western Balkans.1 It argues that the European Commission has started to pay greater attention to parliaments in candidate states in order to promote and secure accession-related reforms. As a result, national parliaments in candidate states have greater opportunities to shape the content of these reforms, including those in the rule of law sector. Consequently, the article elaborates on the factors that could potentially affect Balkan parliaments’ involvement in the accession process.

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Keywords EU enlargement, national parliaments, rule of law, Western Balkans
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Journal East European Politics
Strelkov, A.A. (2016). The EU and rule of law promotion in Western Balkans – a new role for candidate states’ parliaments. East European Politics. Retrieved from