Conference “EU Enlargement in the Western Balkans in a Time of Uncertainty” held in Belgrade

Group for Development Policy (GDP), European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) and the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group – a joint initiative of the European Fund for the Balkans and the Centre for Southeast European Studies of the University of Graz (BiEPAG) organised the expert conference “EU Enlargement in the Western Balkans in a Time of Uncertainty”, in Belgrade, on 16 December 2016. Speakers included Florian Bieber, André De Munter, Erwan Fouéré, Jovan Nicić, Zoran Nečev and Selma Malamedžija, while journalist Jovana Gligorijević and Dejan Anastasijević served as moderators.

The purpose of the conference was twofold. Firstly, it served as a platform for the presentation of two policy briefs: (1) on the EU Enlargement in the Western Balkans (BiEPAG), and (2) on the Berlin Process and Regional Cooperation in the Western Balkans after the Paris Summit (GDP, Belgrade; Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis Skopje and Foundation New Policies, Sarajevo). The latter provided recommendations on improvement of the implemenation of two declarations adopted at the 2015 Vienna Summit of the Berlin Process, i.e. the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office of the Western Balkans and the Declaration on the Regional Cooperation and the Solution of Bilateral Disputes.

Secondly, the conference provided a forum for the discussion on how to reanimate democratisation and the European project in the Western Balkans and on the future of the Berlin Process.

Finally, this conference was a final activity of the regional research project Enhancing Regional Cooperation: Monitoring of the Implementation of the Vienna Western Balkans Summit Commitments, supported by EFB within its 2016 Think and Link Programme.

Two regional research papers have been completed under the auspices of this project: Regional Study on the Implementation of the Vienna Summit Commitments and Policy Brief after the Paris Summit. They can be downloaded HERE and HERE.