In the Polish city of Poznan, the third of July, the first panel began the sixth Summit of the Western Balkans, which lasted until Friday, the fifth of July, and is organized in the framework of the Berlin Process, currently chaired by Poland.
The summit began with the “think tank” forum, at which, among others, were addressed by the British Balkans expert James Ker-Lindsay and president of the Forum for International Relations of the European Movement in Serbia, Jelica Minic.
“I am very glad that the Western Balkans summit in Poznan begins Forum think tank. A good professional dialogue and cooperation are good atmospheric showcases the potential of the Western Balkans. In OSV, however, are convinced that there is great potential for the think-tank cooperation in the framework of the Berlin process, “said Mateusz Gniazdovski, deputy director of the Center for Eastern Studies, which received more than a hundred guests from over 15 countries.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Polish Szimon Szinkovski pro Sek, as well as Government commissioner for the Western Balkans summit, which formally opened the Forum, also took note of the idea of cooperation.
“The future of the Western Balkans, the European Union. In Poland, we firmly believe that without the Western Balkans EU project is not complete, “he said.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Deputy President of Poznan Katarzina Kierzek-Koperska.
The first of three panels of the Forum Think Tank, entitled “Connecting the dots”, was dedicated to the improvement of regional cooperation and in accordance with the title, “connecting the dots”, the institutions and the people in the countries of the Western Balkans. The participants were experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and northern Macedonia, and moderated by prof. James Ker-Lindsay, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, author of the bestselling expert “Civil Society and Transition in the Western Balkans”.
“What more can be done to maximize the connection?” Dramatically asked Ker-Lindsay opening panel.
Panelists praised the achievements of the Agenda for connectivity, which focuses on the expansion of infrastructure, energy and teleinformation connections, as well as regional cooperation. According to experts, an important outcome of the Berlin process was to convince the Western Balkan states to develop regional cooperation and common solutions to cross-border problems.
Participants next panel ( “Growing together”) discussed one of the most important issues: improving the economic and social situation in the Western Balkans and the development needs of the region.
Can the most urgent questions – sustained high unemployment and the migration of young people, the rule of law deficit, the growing distance in relation to the countries of the European Union – be solved with the help of EU policy instruments?
What are the challenges for the Western Balkans? This was a major issue during the third panel and also address the panel. Forum participants had to face the reality: as some European politicians prefer to focus on reform of the European Union instead of the enlargement policy, opposition to further enlargement is present.
Civil Society Forum was held on 04 July. Civil Society Forum is a form of cooperation, consultation, exchange of ideas and experiences among
NGOs and representatives of civil society established under the Berlin
process. Strengthening civil society is one of the four priorities of the Polish Presidency in
Berlin process. Therefore, in the framework of the Summit of the Western Balkan countries gathered in Poznan 2019
ekserti many activists on the premises of the International Fair in Poznan on July 4 to discuss the
future and the current situation in the region.
Panels are planned with the active presentation only a few
speakers. Most of the panel discussion is planned for the ministers of Foreign Affairs, who spoke about
problems related to the reality of Civilian society in the region. Paying attention to “the need that
needs to be answered,” what most expect representatives of the third sector in the Western Balkans, the
Polish Presidency in the Berlin process also attended the concluding session of
the forum to listen all the requirements and results of panel discussions that were presented during the
meeting of the leaders 5. July. Fourth of July was closed with a pair of presentation of the citizens of the region. Session under the
title “Stories from the Balkans” aims to discover the good and interesting stories that prove
sensitivity, diversity, creativity and a lot of positive emotions in the Western Balkans.
Forum topics were: the Baltic, Bregzit, climate policy, diplomacy business, Eastern Partnership,
Eastern policy, energy policy, global security, human rights, Poland in NATO,
Poland in the EU, Poland at the UN, Poland help, Polish community and Poles abroad, public
diplomacy initiative by three seas, the transatlantic link, Visegrad group, Weimar triangle, the western
They said Igor Bandović, Program Manager of the European Fund for the Balkans, E. Vieslav Tarka,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Polish, Ana Marjanovic Rudan, civil Civil
Forum of the Western Balkans, Simonida Kacarska, representative of the European institute for policy
(Skopje), Shpend Emini, Representative Democracy for Development (Kosovo), Jovana Marovic,
spokeswoman Politikon network (Montenegro).
The main event of the Summit of the Western Balkans was a meeting of the leaders or heads of state or government of the fifth of July. In the framework of the summit were organized side events, and after a forum dedicated to the think-tanks, held Business Forum EU-Western Balkans Forum and civil society.
Berlin Process is an initiative that supports regional cooperation of the Western Balkans and complements the EU enlargement policy. Launched by the German summit in Berlin in 2014. In the framework of the Berlin Process has so far held five summits in Berlin, Vienna, Paris, London and Trieste. The essence of the process is the Berlin economy, and the aim is the implementation of the infrastructure cooperation projects, in particular energy and transport, as well as the reconstruction of the airport, railway or renovation of construction of the interconnector of the gas, the so-called covered by the Agenda connection (Connectivity Agenda). All activities within the framework of the summit, Poland implemented in close cooperation with the European Commission, the OECD, the Regional Cooperation Council (RC), RYCO, chambers of commerce in the region.