The European Parliament and the Think for Europe Network (TEN) are organising the panel discussion EU and Western Balkans: Seizing the Momentum
Date: 19 February 2020 – 1 to 3 pm
Venue: European Parliament, Brussels, room ASP 3G2
Following the publication of the Commission’s Western Balkans Strategy 2018 was supposed to be the ‘year of enlargement’. It did not work out. 2019 was mainly a year of ‘enlargement frustration’. 2020 should finally offer the European Union and the Western Balkans a new chance to address the low level of mutual engagement and grow closer together. Considering the number of shared problems and interests of the EU and the region, a deeper engagement is paramount.
What are the most pressing issues in the relationship between the EU and the Western Balkans? Can the revised enlargement methodology make a real difference? How can the role of parliaments, civil society and citizens in the accession process be enhanced? What can be done to render rule of law reforms more effective? To what extent can political elites and citizens of the
Western Balkans be involved in the Conference on the Future of Europe? These are some of the questions that this event will consider. The discussants will provide concrete inputs1 on how to reinvigorate the EU membership perspective of the region.
Participating Members of the European Parliament will be invited to take the floor to respond to the panelists and enrich the discussion with their own insights and proposals.
▪ Milena Lazarević, Programme Director, European Policy Centre (CEP), Belgrade
▪ Simonida Kacarska, Director, European Policy Institute (EPI), Skopje
▪ Sotiraq Hroni, Executive Director, Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM), Tirana
▪ Dina Bajramspahić, Research Director, Institute Alternative (IA), Podgorica
▪ Anida Šabanović, Director, Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), Sarajevo
▪ Rreze Hoxha, Research Fellow, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS), Pristina
Moderator: André De Munter, European Parliament, DG for External Policies of the Union, Enlargement, Western Europe and Northern Cooperation Unit.
Inputs will be partly based on the TEN policy briefs ‘Effective benchmarking for concrete rule of law reforms in the Western Balkans’ (October 2019) and ‘Curbing the executive bias in EU enlargement policy for stronger
democracy in the Western Balkans’ (November 2019).