[Virtual panel discussion] The European Union role in the Western Balkans economic integration and development: What can we learn from the previous enlargements?

Regional economic integration has been promoted as a stepping stone for the Western Balkans in meeting the economic Copenhagen criteria, while filling in the void the standstill the EU enlargement process has faced in recent years. In different formations and political platforms, the commitment of the WB leaders has brought new political momentum for the regional integration project. Even though the European Union has been a promoter and a supporter, it has not put forward innovative tools to support this project. An early integration in the EU Single Market as foreseen in the new enlargement methodology is yet to be operationalised, while the EU’s financial support for the region sees no significant increase with the Economic and Investment Plan.

In view of these developments, the European Policy Institute Skopje in cooperation with the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies invite you to join the online panel discussion to explore and discuss how the EU should reinvigorate its approach to boost WB regional economic integration and development.

This virtual discussion will serve as a presentation and discussion of the findings of the recent study The long way round: Lessons from EU-CEE for improving integration and development in the Western Balkans published by the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies and Bertelsmann Stiftung. This study aims to draw lessons if and how the success story of the CEE countries economic development and regional economic integration as part of broader EU integration can be applied in the Western Balkans. The panellists will reflect on the study findings and share their views on the political, economic and institutional challenges for replicating the EU-CEE model in the case of the EU accession process of the Western Balkan Six.

After registering, you will receive the Zoom link to join the discussion.


The agenda for the discussion is available at the link bellow

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