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The Western Balkans in the European Union: New perspectives on integration?

Reflection Forum - Paris, 30-31 May 2016

A contribution to the Paris Western Balkans Conference in July 2016

More than 80 researchers and policy analysts from think tanks and academia met in Paris at the Austrian Embassy and the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI). Participants from all EU member states and the six Western Balkans countries were invited.

The Reflection Forum was organised in an innovative manner allowing for an open and direct exchange around four key thematic areas related to the priorities of the process launched in Berlin 2014 and EU integration. It provided a platform fostering the exchange of perspectives in order to broaden the reflection about the regional developments among the policy community, the media and the general public.

Links have also been created to the Western Balkans Civil Society Forum also organised in view of the intergovernmental Conference of Paris on 4 July 2016. As follow-on, in view of the next intergovernmental Conference hosted by Italy, outreach events will be held with partners in the Western Balkans region during autumn/winter 2016/17. It is planned to convene another reflection forum during 2017 in Italy.

Four thematic sets of questions were discussed in relation to the “Berlin-Vienna-Paris” and the accession processes: (i) social-economic convergence of the region with the EU, (ii) mobility, migration and border security, (iii) democracy and good governance, and (iv) future of the EU and Western Balkan in it. The General Rapporteur of the Forum was Sabina Lange of the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris.

Main findings are available here

 

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