News archive - Western Balkan Region as part of the new ERA

Working Document on a new ERA is acknowledging WBC as part of the geopolitical dimension of a new ERA.

"Science, research and innovation have an important role to play in integrating the Western Balkan region and in implementing the renewed strategy  'A credible enlargement perspective for an enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans'. Research and innovation are the front-runners in accession negotiations and have delivered tangible results. Participation in Horizon 2020 is a Western Balkans success story: participants from the Western Balkans (all countries but Kosovo* are fully associated to Horizon 2020) are receiving more than €20 million per year (far higher than the figures from the 7th framework programme) in a competitive manner."

Outstanding challenges

"Getting the Western Balkan countries ready for EU membership and fully integrating them into the European Research Area is the main challenge. This will include national capacity building, modernising the national science landscape, and completing the development of Smart Specialisation Strategies focusing national R&I efforts. Widening/Sharing Excellence under Horizon Europe will provide extra support to the Western Balkans (for example the large Teaming grant ANTARES to Serbia in Horizon 2020).

The strategy 'A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans adopted in February 2018, recognised the European future of the region and called for significant enhancement of the EU’s political, technical and financial support, to boost the economic growth and support the reforms required to move forward on the EU path. The European perspective of the entire regionwas confirmed again in March 2020, when Member States endorsed the Commission‘s proposals for a strengthened methodology for the accession process and decided to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. Fostering the stability and prosperity of this region remains a key priority for the EU.

The green transition and digital transformation are crucial for relaunching and modernising the economies of the Western Balkans, helping to create jobs and growth. Similarly, for an economy that works for people, addressing the long-standing challenges faced by young people in the region, including limited job prospects, inequality and brain drain, education, culture, research and innovation are essential drivers.

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 Admin on October 3, 2020
Modified on October 3, 2020