19th edition of EU-Western Balkans Summit in Brussels

The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) partnered with the Brussels-based think-tank Friends of Europe (FoE), with the support of the European Commission, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United States European Command, and organised the annual EU-Western Balkans Summit beginning of December. Main topics were enlargement process, integration, transformation challenges.

 

The Summit serves as a platform, which brings together senior policymakers from the region and representatives of the EU institutions and Member States, as well as other opinion makers, to address the political, economic and social issues that affect the Western Balkans.  

The Incoming RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu, who is to assume her duties from the current RCC Secretary General, Goran Svilanovic as of 1 January 2019, spoke in the Summit's 2nd session ‘Walking the talk on Connectivity'. She underlined that enlargement is about connectivity and that the pace of the regional cooperation will influence the pace of the EU integration. Western Balkan development is a shared responsibility. 

„Transformation of Western Balkans is about connectivity: about integrating our economies into a single market, about connecting people and sharing values, about our common political, security and economic interests. We must also make sure that the economies become more inclusive. Entire societies should benefit from growth with no groups left behind.”   

The session on Connectivity, moderated by Shada Islam, Director for Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe, together with Bregu featured also Radosav Babic, Director-General for Investments, SME Development and EU Funds Management at the Ministry of Economy ofMontenegro, Tanja Fajon, Member of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo* and Trustee of Friends of Europe, and Linda Van Gelder, Regional Director for the Balkans at the World Bank. 

The panel also tackled major challenges and opportunities linked to key connectivity projects in the Western Balkans; identification of priority economic reforms that are still needed in the Western Balkans in order to sustain the “credible enlargement perspective”; and a question if the Western Balkans leaders paid enough attention to the concerns of their young people as regards to education and entrepreneurship. 

For more information, also on the other two panels please visit the source page

Geographical focus
  • SEE
  • WBC
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on December 7, 2018
Modified on December 23, 2018