Obzor 2020, 2016-2019
Summary: As the countries of the Western Balkans (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania) come closer to the European Union, the gap between formal and informal institutional practices does not decrease, but, just the opposite, increase. While on the one hand there is a strong need for these countries to adapt to the ways the European Union functions, on the other hand the difficulties in the application of legal, political and economic bearings necessary for accession to the EU are evident. Under the conditions of a destructive economic crisis and significant political and post-war tension, the reality of these societies is weighed down by informal economy, political clientelism, ethnic tensions, gender inequality and social exclusion. All these are major challenges to the European integration of the Balkans societies. The project INFORM is an all-encompassing study of informal institutional practices, as well as interaction between the formal and informal institutions in the Western Balkans, both in the political and economic area and in everyday life. The results of the project will provide knowledge needed for the creation of the institutional harmonisation of the EU and the countries of the Western Balkans.