The Western Balkan region is a priority for the European Union. The EU is already the main political, economic and trade partner of the region. People from the European Union and from the Western Balkans do not only share a common history and culture, they share a common future. As High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell stated: “the future of the region lies in the EU”.
It is then only natural for the Western Balkans to be included in the discussions on the future of the EU. Listening to what citizens of the Western Balkans have to say in this exchange between citizens across the continent will enrich the debates of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE).
What can the Western Balkans do for the EU?
As part of the Prespa Forum Dialogue, the panel “What can the Western Balkans do for the EU?” will be the first in a series of public and civic contributions from the region to the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Discussions will reflect the themes of the CoFoE such as the green economic development. Participants will also exchange ideas for securing reliable supply chains across Europe. This will be an opportunity for civil society organisations to share their ideas for building a Europe, which is free, whole, prosperous and resilient.
Following the panel, the organisers will upload the report and its key recommendations on the platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe.
The panel is organised by the think tank Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” (IDSCS, North Macedonia) in cooperation with the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and with support of the EEAS StratCom Western Balkans Task Force. It will gather representatives of civil society as well as policy and opinion makers from the Western Balkans and from the EU.
Prespa and the Prespa Forum Dialogue
The location of the first regional contribution to the CoFoE is very symbolic for the EU and the Western Balkans. Prespa stands for brave leadership and for reaching wise compromises, a place of mutual respect and of constructive diplomacy. It is known as a symbol of finding solutions instead of multiplying problems, focusing on building friendships - first between neighbours. As such, the Prespa Forum Dialogue is a natural place for the Western Balkans contribution to the future of Europe.
While still healing from the pandemic, which hit us all, it is time to look at, reflect on and engage in our common future. This journey will start at the Prespa Forum, providing citizens’ answers to the following question: What can the Western Balkans do for the EU?
How to follow
The event will be streamed on the following links:
You can participate in the discussions through the following Twitter handles and hashtags: @PrespaForum #PrespaForumDialogue #PFD
The European Western Balkans web portal will report and cover the panel and following events related to the Conference on the Future of Europe across the region.
Conference on the Future of Europe
In spring 2021, the European Union launched the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), a new, bottom-up and pan-European initiative aimed to give citizens, civil society and authorities a greater say in EU policy making. The Conference offers a new public forum for an open, inclusive, and transparent debate with citizens around a number of key priorities and challenges, and will run until spring 2022.