Research project on the regional cooperation on the Western Balkans in the context of the Berlin Process

Group for Development Policy (GDP) started the implementation of the regional research project ‘Enhancing Regional Cooperation: Monitoring of the Implementation of the Vienna Western Balkans Summit Commitments’ in cooperation with partner organisations, Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” from Macedonia and Foundation “New Policies” from Bosnia and Herzegovina. This project is supported by the European Fund for Balkans within Think and Link 2016 programme.

The aim of this project is to provide a contribution to the regional policy creation in the context of the Berlin Process, which gathers representative of several EU member states and governments of the Western Balkan countries. Within the auspices of the Berlin Process two summits took place: in Berlin (2014) and Vienna (2015).

Partner organisations will examine whether and/or to what extent the governments participating in the Berlin Process have managed to put in life the commitments they agreed upon in two declarations adopted at the 2015 Vienna Western Balkans Summit, 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. The special emphasis will be given to the assessment of the implementation of the commitments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia. Furthermore, the project will explore the role of the civil society organizations in the Berlin Process.

The regional study on the on the implementation of the commitments will be produced, on the basis of the joint research methodology. It will include findings and recommendations, which will be presented on the regional roundtable with relevant stakeholders in June 2016, on the eve of the next summit that will take place within the Berlin Process in Paris on 4 July 2016.

After the Paris Summit, GDP and partner organisations will conduct additional research and prepare recommendations for the improvement of the implementation of the Berlin Process commitments in the field of regional and youth cooperation (Regional Policy Brief). These will be presented at the press conference in December 2016.