The Western Balkans and the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council

Romania's presidency over the EU Council comes during a crucial period that will include the end of the United Kingdom's membership in March 2019, elections for the European Parliament (May 2019), further discussions on the MFF, as well as decisions on the Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 as well as high level appointments (June 2019). Against this backdrop, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) organized an expert workshop in Bucharest on the Western Balkans Agenda of the Romanian presidency on October 24, 2018.

The new EU institutional cycle will determine the level and the quality of ambitions for the re-launching of the European integration project in the coming years. It will also clarify the place that the Western Balkans will have within these renewed EU plans.

It is pivotal that the Romanian Presidency address the Western Balkans as part of the broader process of EU consolidation, with particular focus on the strengthening of Southeast Europe. Notwithstanding internal challenges Romania, as the biggest Balkan country, has the responsibility to set an ambitious agenda for Southeast Europe including EU Integration in the years to come.

Convened by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), a select group of experts from the WB-6 and representatives from Romanian institutions in charge of preparing the presidency met to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Romania in addressing the future of the Western Balkans in Europe.

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