European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) and the Centre for Southern European Studies of the University of Graz (CSEES) in cooperation with the European Policy Centre (EPC) are organizing the Policy Dialogue “After Croatia – Re-energizing the EU enlargement policy on the Balkans” in Brussels on November 25, 2013.
EU enlargement to the Balkans seems to be running on autopilot after Croatia’s accession last July and amidst the on-going crisis. Integration has continued on a step-by-step basis with Montenegro – which got the ball running on negotiations with the EU in June 2012 – Serbia and Kosovo – which reached a historic agreement this April – and Albania – which received the Commission’s endorsement for “candidate status” last month. But the process has been losing traction in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – which has been in limbo for eight years due to the name dispute with Greece – and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has been paralysed by internal blockages. Moreover, the prospects for democratic consolidation and economic prosperity in the region have gradually become as unpredictable and troublesome as the member states commitment to the enlargement dossier.
How can the balance between transformation and integration be restored in the Balkans? Where do the main hurdles and opportunities lie in the region? How can public and élite perceptions of Balkan enlargement in EU national capitals be improved and how can the Union maintain the reform momentum and its appeal in the region, notwithstanding the distant time frame until the next accession round? Such questions will be discussed by a panel that includes:
Tanja Miščević, Serbia’s Chief EU Negotiator
Aleksandar A. Pejović, Montenegro’s Chief EU Negotiator
Christian Danielsson, Director-General for Enlargement in the European Commission
Anton Nimac, Head of the World Bank’s Vienna Office,
Christoph Retzlaff, Head of EU Enlargement, neighbourhood and
EU external relations, Foreign Office of Germany
Florian Bieber, Professor of Southeast European Studies and Director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz.
The event will be chaired by Rosa Balfour, EPC Senior Policy Analyst and Head of Europe in the World programme.