Europe and its Neighbours
This public debate is the first of three sessions in our Event Series 'Western Balkans - EU relations'.
Each country in the Western Balkans faces a unique set of circumstances, but the region’s structural challenges continue. The security situation remains fragile, economies are volatile and high levels of corruption and deficits in democracy and rule of law, in combination with an increased influence of external actors, threaten to undermine the progress made so far. In this context, the EU is aspiring to revive its relationship with the Balkan countries.
The new European Commission strategy for the Western Balkans searches to keep the region on track to EU accession and revive the EU’s strategic influence over the region. The upcoming EU-Western Balkans Summit of 17 May will be of key importance to provide relations with new impetus. Given this increased attention, the Clingendael Institute invites you to join a series of EU-Western Balkan events:
- Event # 1: April 23, 2018 - Debate with the President of the Republic of Kosovo, H.E. Hashim Thaçi
This debate was held on the occasion of Mr. Hashim Thaçi's presentation titled 'Vision, challenges and opportunities of Kosovo'. The debate was moderated by Jan Marinus Wiersma, Senior Visiting Fellow of the Clingendael Institute.
- Event # 2: Beginning of May - Debate on EU-Serbian relations in the context of the Serbian accession process
The second seminar revolves around EU-Serbian relations in the context of the Serbian accession process. We will discuss Serbia’s current position and road ahead in its bid for joining the EU, the EU strategy for the Western Balkans published in February, and the takeaways of the EU-Western Balkans summit taking place in Sofia (Bulgaria) on the 17th of May. (Date to be confirmed).
- Event #3: Beginning of September - Broader debate on the EU’s relations with the Western Balkans, drawing from the outcomes of the EU-Western Balkans summit
Drawing from the outcomes of the EU-Western Balkans Summit, we will discuss to what extent the EU is capable of steering the region towards EU accession, and whether the incentives and instruments it employs are strong enough to do so, given the increased influence of other actors over the region. Potential alternatives will be discussed, as well as the prospects for EU relations with the region in the coming years. (Date to be confirmed).