The past year has been marked again by rising instability in the Western Balkan (WB) region. This ranges from large scale ongoing protests in Serbia and Bosnia, increasing tensions over borders, trade disputes and the closing of markets and unsanctioned violence against journalist.
All of these factors pose significant impediments to the economy, democratic processes, the wellbeing of individuals and also to the process of joining the EU. One of the key underlying reasons behind the tensions plaguing WB is an ever-increasing torrent of nationalism that characterizes local and regional politics and the relations between neighboring countries. Extremism based on national, ethnical or religious background is one of the most evident destabilizing factors both in the EU and in the WB.