Western Balkans Process | Joint Science Conference (updated)

The Berlin Process is a platform for high-level cooperation between high official representatives of the Western Balkan Six (WB6) and their peers in Berlin Process host countries. The main objective is to help accelerate the entire region’s closer alignment with the EU. Iin this context, the Berlin Process concentrates on areas such as infrastructure development and connectivity, business, regional youth exchanges, reconciliation and science. With the establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), the agreement to develop a Common Regional Market, the signing of the Regional Roaming Agreement and the creation of “green lanes” to speed up border procedures with key goods in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Berlin Process has brought significant results that are tangible for the people in the region and that are intended to prepare the region for accession to the EU.

On the invitation of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an intergovernmental conference on the Western Balkans was held in Berlin on 28 August 2014. It was the launching conference of the Western Balkans Process. Since 2014, the Berlin Process has aimed to improve and intensify the Western Balkans' regional integration. 

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. A standing conference  in the framework of the Western Balkans Process / Berlin Process was then initiated. The circle of stakeholders of this Joint Science Conference 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. The 1st Joint Science Conference was held in Halle and Berlin in 2015, the 2nd Joint Science Conference in Vienna in 2016, the 3rd Conference was held in Paris in 2017, the 4th Conference in Rome in 2018, the 5th in London in 2019. No Conference was held in 2020, while the 6th Joint Science Conference was held online on 1-2 July 2021



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