News archive - [Event Review] - 14th Steering Platform on Research for the Western Balkan Countries

Budva (Montenegro) turned out to be a perfect location for the recent 14th meeting of the Steering Platform on Research for the Western Balkan Countries.
The event was held on 5-6 June 2013 and was co-chaired by the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and by Montenegro - the host and co-chair on behalf of the Western Balkan Countries and the European Commission.

Among other themes, the meeting served for discussing on the latest developments and the state of play on the next EU Research and Innovation programme 'Horizon 2020', and in particular the conditions and procedures for association to it.

In view of their possible association to 'Horizon 2020', WBCs were also encouraged to step up efforts on R&I capacity at national level. Based on the presentation of the Progress Reports, it was encouraging to learn that the WBCs are in the process of revising their Law(s) on Research, Science and Technology and/or adopting national strategies on innovation and are working on S&T statistics.

At the Steering Platform meeting the prolongation of the duration of the WBC.INCO.NET was announced as a means to support the WBCs in making the bridge from FP7 to Horizon 2020. Some new activities were also presented, in particular the final Conference and Brokerage event to take place in Vienna on March 27-28, 2014 - so please save the date.

As stated in the conclusions from the Steering Platform

"In view of the termination of the WBC.INCO.NET (April 2014), all members of the Steering Platform underlined the importance of continuing the policy dialogue with the WBCs beyond the duration of this FP7 project. In this context, the Platform welcomed the possibility outlined by the RCC in its presentation of the SEE Europe 2020 strategy, which would include a Regional Platform on Research and Innovation to monitor progress on the SEE 2020 strategy related to R&I (smart growth pillar). This Regional Platform would also be responsible for the implementation of the proposed Regional strategy for research and innovation under preparation, with the support of the World Bank. It was noted that bringing the current Steering Platform under the auspices of the RCC would increase synergy and unite all actions under one forum. Given the importance of the Steering Platform from a pre-accession point of view, Members also asked to consider the possibility of ad-hoc support under IPA and/or 'Horizon 2020' to ensure the uninterrupted continuation of the present Steering Platform and the dissemination of information that the WBC.INCO.NET has so far provided through the WBC Newsletter and website. Whatever solution was found, a real plea was made to continue the policy dialogue until the accession of all the WBCs to the EU."


Montenegro as a host country proved once again its hospitality: a well organised event with an unforgettable gala dinner was the result, where Minister of Science - Ms. Sanja Vlahovic welcomed the participants of the platform and expressed her whishes for the successful meeting series. She highlighted once again also the achievements of the WBC-INCO.NET project in the previous years, beeing a relevant instrument when it comes to the regional cooperation in RTDI.

Numerous prominent guests and representatives of Steering Platform Member countries in Montenegro took the opportunity to join the Platform members during the dinner and exchange some thoughts on RTDI issues and regional cooperation: e.g. Mr. Mehmet Niyazi Tanilir (Ambassador of Turkey); Mr. Izmir Talic (Ambassador of Bosnia and Hercegovina); Mr. Aleksandar Vasilevski (Ambassador of FYR of Macedonia, Mr. Gerald Hauser (Consul of  Austrian Embassy in Montenegro), Mr. Romain Boitard (EU Delegation to Montenegro).

The Steering Platform members also welcomed the discussions with representatives from RTDI sector in Montenegro: Mr. Predrag Miranović (Rector of University of Montenegro); Mr. Andjelko Lojpur  (Vice rector of the University of Montenegro); Mr. Duško Bjelica (President of  UO UCG, Montenegro); Mr. Mileta Golubović (President of Montenegro Future Forum Project) and Mr. Aleksandar Pavićević (Director of Directorate for Development of SMEs). The European Commission was represented by Mr. Laurent Bochereau, Ms. Tania Friederichs and Ms. Anca-Adriana Cucu from DG for Research and Innovation and Mr. Henk Visser from DG Enlargement.


Croatia expressed an interest in hosting and co-chairing the next meeting in the second half of 2013, together with the upcoming EU Lithuanian Presidency and the European Commission. Information on this will be announced in due time.

To find out more please follow the links below, they will lead you to the

  • conclusions of the Steering Platform,
  • progress reports on recent developments regarding S&T cooperation in/with/for the Western Balkan Countries (December 2012 - June 2013) as well as
  • presentations given at the meeting.

Here you can find some interviews given by

  • Laurent Bochereau, EC - DG for Research and Innovation
  • Brendan McCormack, Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union
  • Darko Petrusic, Ministry of Science, Montenegro
  • Ines Marinkovic, WBC-INCO.NET coordinator

Please see also the participants list attached below. 

Geographical focus
  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Danube Macroregion
  • European Union (EU 27)
  • International; Other
  • Kosovo*
  • Montenegro
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • SEE
  • Serbia
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
  • General

Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on June 20, 2013
Modified on December 19, 2013