The EU and the Western Balkans in 2020 launched a regional economic integration initiative entitled ‘The Western Balkans Common Regional Market’, aimed at economically integrating the Western Balkans based on the EU Single Market rules by 2025. The economic integration initiative has been met with challenges, and this contribution provides an assessment of EU-led initiatives to promote economic integration within the Western Balkans between 2014 and 2021, analysing some of the challenges to ensuring that the Western Balkans Common Regional Market is operational by 2025. The contribution conceptualises the mode of governance approach used by the EU in engaging with the Western Balkans since 2014 and suggests that it is largely based on soft law. The contribution finds that the action plan for establishing a regional common market is flawed, as it has not taken on board the high level of corruption and the lack of rule of law in the Western Balkans. The contribution provides new insights into the nature of corruption taking place in the Western Balkans and argues that corruption and the lack of the rule of law could be a major barrier for the proper function of the regional common market.