News archive - 2nd Joint Science Conference 2016, Vienna - Joint Statement now published

The 2nd Joint Science Conference of the Western Balkans Process (JSC-WBP) was held on May 22-24 2016 in Vienna. It was hosted by the Austrian Academy of Sciences and organised by the Academy and the Leopoldina, German National Academy in cooperation with the Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the Austrian Ministry of Science, Research and Economics, the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Swiss development organization Helvetas. The Joint Statement is now published and online available.


The 2nd JSC-WBP focused on improving science, research and higher education systems in the Western Balkans (WB) in the light of integration into the European Union (EU), emphasising three areas of discussion:

  1. institutional and systemic change,
  2. quality assurance in different areas, and
  3. concrete ideas for implementing positive change.

Key Recommendations

  1. Build a social and political culture appreciating the relevance of science for open society and economic development. Involve scientists in policy-making and institutionalise communication by establishing National Science Advisory Councils or similar bodies.
  2. Apply international quality criteria to and involve international scientists in evaluation and recruitment.
  3. Embrace a welcoming culture for attracting outstanding scholars from the diaspora and international scientific community. Guarantee long-term planning security. Offer mobility measures for brain circulation at all career levels.
  4. Create national autonomous research funding institutions and depoliticise the science system.
  5. Adopt special instruments within Horizon 2020 for WB61 and EU132 to combat inequalities in the EU and develop one central information hub for EU-funded opportunities.

Please consult the Joint Statement attached below for more detailed information including recommendations for action to national Decision-Makers and to European Commission. An event review is available also in German at the Website of the Austrian Academy of Sciences here.

Further information about the Joint Science Conferences is available here: JSC - Leopoldina, German National Academy

Source: Austrian Academy of Sciences

Background: Western Balkans Process / Berlin Process – Joint Science Conference

After the launching of the political initiative, the Leopoldina as Germany’s National Academy, was entrusted by the German Federal Government to take over the initiative in the field of education, science and society. In awareness of the importance of such an undertaking for a European prospect for the Western Balkans, the Leopoldina decided to invite key stakeholders of the national science systems to a launching conference in Germany – the 1st Joint Science Conference. The conference was held from 15 to 17 July 2015, in Halle and Berlin, at the Leopoldina and the German Federal Chancellery. It was the starting point for a series of conferences between 2015 and 2019 (and beyond).

The circle of stakeholders is represented by national academies of sciences and arts, rectors’ conferences, distinguished scientists ad personam and junior scientists. Further representatives of (international) organisations, the EU-commission, national governments and embassies take part as invited participants or observers. The participants discuss current challenges and possible solutions and improvements for the science systems in the Western Balkans. The results are usually summarised in Joint Statements, Final Conclusions or Communiqués. These are fed into the annual Western Balkans Leaders’ Summits in form of recommendations and independent advice.

Source: Leopoldina

Geographical focus
  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Kosovo*
  • Montenegro
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Serbia
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on July 5, 2016
Modified on July 5, 2016