The Western Balkan countries have experienced significant progress over the past 15 years. They have gone through the systems of the market economy, privatized many inefficient state and socially owned enterprises, quickly adopted modern banking systems and strengthened the external orientation of their economies. However, the pace of systemic reforms are disappointing, thanks to the combination of reform fatigue, stakeholder resistance, policy impetus that limited the reform efforts and delays with membership in the European Union. The Western Balkan countries are still lagging behind for the new EU member states in terms of economic change and income levels, which account for about one-third of the level of advanced EU economies. In addition, these countries are burdened with a large deficit in foreign trade, which is why a large number of unemployed people are present. To improve living standards and revival of income convergence will be crucial to reviving reform momentum
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