Rule of law in the Western Balkans: Necessary steps ahead

Establishing the rule of law remains a key challenge in the Western Balkans and represents one of the greatest obstacles in the EU accession process of the six countries of the region (Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia).

Rule of law: stagnating or backsliding

While the EU’s membership conditions in this area have become stringer than in any previous enlargement round, and despite the EU’s employment of a more sophisticated monitoring mechanism, the actual performance of these countries on rule of law matters is rather modest. In fact, the countries are either stagnating or backsliding, a trend that has not only been confirmed by the reports from the European Commission, but also other independent indices like the Freedom House index.

This event will discuss the key challenges faced by countries in the Western Balkans in the area of rule of law and experiences in implementing relevant reforms especially in areas such as the fight against corruption and organised crime, the judiciary and freedom of speech.

It brings together experts from the Think for Europe Network – Institute Alternative (Podgorica, Montenegro) and European Policy Centre (Belgrade, Serbia), the Clingendael Institute (The Hague, Netherlands) and their networks, diplomats, politicians, policy and decision-makers rule of law in the western balkans: necessary steps ahead, and other practitioners. It is a public event, aimed at facilitating and encouraging public discussion.

Programme (17 OCT 2019 13:00 – 16:45)

13:00 – Registration and coffee (Hall)

13:30 – Developments in the Rule of Law in the Western Balkans

  • Anne Mulder (Member of Parliament and rapporteur Western Balkans for the Parliament)
  • Dina Bajramspahic (Research Director, Institute Alternative, Montenegro)
  • Wouter Zweers (Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute)

15:00 – Coffee Break

15:30 – Free Media and the Freedom of Expression

  • Dragana Bajic (Researcher, European Policy Centre, Serbia)
  • Janneke Fokkema (Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs) 

16:45 – Informal reception            

The event will be moderated by Louise van Schaik (Head Europe in the World, Clingendael Institute)

The Clingendael Institute and the Think for Europe Network (TEN) are jointly organising this event.

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