Balkans Integration Forum 2016

In the past few years, the configuration of international relations in Europe as well as globally has been shaken by different developments including a growing number of terrorist attacks, the effects of the economic crisis, Great Britain’s recent decision to withdraw from the European Union (EU), the migrant crisis and the inflow of refugees from war-torn regions to Europe.

In this context, the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans has assumed new features, having a bearing also on the fact that both sides are clearly showing the signs of enlargement fatigue. In these conditions, the influence of other powers seems to be intensifying in the Western Balkans, such as Russia's and Turkey's growing involvement  in the region.

These were the leading topics that were addressed at the fourth Balkans Integration Forum that was held on October 28th – 30th in Budva, Montenegro. The Forum has gathered an international group of 40 eminent experts from the civil society sector, politicians, academics, journalists and researchers in the field of international relations, geopolitics, European integration, economics and international law.

The conference was divided into four sessions, each of which provided specific recommendations to overcome problems confronting the Western Balkans countries and the EU alike. Intellectually provoking debates generated new ideas and speakers tried to identify actors of change that are necessary if we want to replace passive, reactive and corrupt political behavior with politics in which responsibility and accountability are fundamentals of progressive societies. The conference conclusions and recommendations were published in a more comprehensive conference report that will be made available soon.

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