The Western Balkans should participate in, and contribute to, this reflection on the future of Europe. This reflection, after all, is about a Union, which the countries of the region are striving to join. But beyond the need to contemplate their future in the same light as the future of the EU, their participation in this reflection is essential to build a shared sense of belonging across the region; to profile the Western Balkans as a contributor in the making of Europe; to increase the joint ownership of the European integration project and give Western Balkans citizens the opportunity to mobilise and engage in transnational discussions transcending ethnonational lines.
This deliberation process, which is broader than discussions typically dominated by national politics and EU enlargement policy alone, is crucial to strengthen a community of purpose connecting the EU and the Western Balkans. Pushing for the inclusion of this “region (already) in Europe” into the EU’s strategic debates on the future of Europe is the aim of this initiative launched in 2020.
The initiative accordingly promotes the participation of Western Balkan citizens in those key debates on the future of Europe. It relies on a group of 12 experts from the Western Balkans. With their support, a series of workshops and public discussions have been organised throughout the region in order to stimulate an interactive and transnational exchange of views on topics that are of essential significance for the future of the EU and the Western Balkans alike.
Kupreška 20, 71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
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June 2019: Launch of the initiative
25 September 2019: Pilot Event in Tirana (public discussion)
January 2020: Identification of the 12 authors of the Manifesto
April – June 2020: Digital Getting-Ready Retreat: the authors of the Manifesto participate in 9 thematic Webinars on the grands débats on the future of Europe (link)
22 September 2020: Workshop and Public discussion in Skopje (link)
20 November 2020: Workshop and Public discussion in Sarajevo (link)
19 May 2021: Workshop and Public discussion in Belgrade (link)
17 June 2021: Workshop and Public discussion in Podgorica (link)
30 May and 1October 2021: Workshop and Public discussion in Prishtina (link tba)
12 October 2021: Workshop and Public discussion in Tirana (link tba)
27 October 2021: Panel discussion in the framework of the Belgrade Security Forum (link tba)
January 2022: Publication of the Western Balkans Manifesto for the Future of Europe (link tba)
February 2022: Presentation of the Manifesto and Public discussion in Vienna: “A Western Balkan Vision for the Future of Europe!”
March 2022: Presentation of the Manifesto and Public discussion in Berlin: “A Western Balkan Vision for the Future of Europe!”
April 2022: Presentation of the Manifesto and Public discussion in Brussels: “A Western Balkan Vision for the Future of Europe!”
May 2022: Presentation of the Manifesto, Public discussion and closing event in Paris: “A Western Balkan Vision for the Future of Europe!”