The European discourse on ‘transition’ mainly looks at democratization through growth. But might the current enlargement strategy have it wrong after all? Is it truly a ‘functioning market economy’ that leads to democracy? Does not the reverse hold true, that is non-inclusive growth might undermine democratic development? Unleashing the market where social structures are weak means giving advantage to those already powerful and well-connected. An unfair economic competition entrenches social and political inequality – leading to unstable, indebted economies, low levels of trust, participation, happiness, health, public safety, education, and social mobility. In other words, unequal societies remain stuck in the muck – actual development requires equality. To discuss the consequences of inequality in the Western Balkans and its meaning for enlargement policy, FES EU Office is organizing a roundtable debate with experts from the Western Balkans and the EU.