News archive - [Event Review]: 1st Joint Science Conference of the Western Balkans Process

The 1st Joint Science Conference of the Western Balkans Process was held from July 15-17, in Halle and Berlin, Germany. It was organised by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina together with the German Federal Government and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. It brought together national academies, rectors’ conferences and distinguished scientists invited ad personam – in total over 50 key stakeholders of the national science systems. Participants came from all WB countries as well as from Slovenia, Austria, France, Italy and Germany. Embassies of the participating countries to Germany and other institutional representatives participated as observers.

The Joint Science Conference is one of the pillars of the Western Balkans Process (also known as the Berlin Process), which was officially launched with the 1st Western Balkans Summit held in Berlin by the German Chancellor Merkel on 28 August 2014. Being aware of the importance of education, science and research for the overall success of the EU-integration efforts of the Western Balkans, the political umbrella of the Western Balkans Process has entrusted the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina with planning and organising the Joint Science Conference. Analogue to the meeting of the high-level group of heads of government and ministers, the stakeholders from the science systems will meet annually initially until 2019, working in the form of a standing conference.

The joint statement of the Joint Science Conference can be downloaded below in a short and extended version (EN). The statement is also available in local languages (Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Serbian and Slovenian). Please see below the link to the language versions of the joint statement. 

It entails recommendations reflecting the voice of science and that are addressed at policymakers of the Western Balkans countries, the EU-member states and the EU-Commission. They demand a substantially higher financial support for higher education, science and research (3% of national GDP), a modernisation and interconnection of the Western Balkan science systems and integration into the European Research Area, as well as an institutionalised dialogue between science, politics and society. The establishment of a South-East European Research Council or Foundation and the supranational convergence of resources in Western Balkans Centres of Excellence are proposed as concrete measures.

Further details can be found on the conference’s website

Geographical focus
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on August 28, 2015
Modified on August 28, 2015