7-8 September 2021 

Durres, Albania

Upon separate invitation only 

The EU cannot seek an enhanced role in the international environment without re-engaging with its immediate neighbourhood, especially the Western Balkans. The “enlargement fatigue” argument is notwithstanding, and the accession process has been reformed to ensure proper accountability from the aspiring to join the Union Western Balkan countries. Yet, while currently, Bulgaria is officially holding the start of the accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, there are other member states that are not thrilled with the idea of the EU enlargement. This two-day interactive roundtable event featuring young leaders from Western Balkans, EU and national policymakers, experts, and civil society representatives will try to touch upon the following questions: 

  • What is the EU’s strategy towards the Western Balkan region?  
  • How can the EU show proper commitment (e.g., is the new investment plan the right tool)?  
  • What is the role of the Western Balkans governments and society in the process of national reforms and development?  
  • Could there be an alternative to accession in order to manage expectations, boost development and achieve a win-win situation for all sides? 
  • Are the Western Balkans in danger of being ‘lost’ by gravitating towards other external alternatives? 

The event is part ofGLOBSEC GEOPE—Geopolitical Europe: Are the Member States Ready for It? Project supported byJean Monnet Actionsof the EU’s Erasmus+ program.