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Post Paris, Post BREXIT – Perspectives for the Western Balkans

Post Paris, Post BREXIT – Perspectives for the Western Balkans

(Organised by CIFE in cooperation with CFA / ÖFZ, IAI and the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisors Group (BiEPAG), with the support of the German Foreign Office / Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and Erasmus +)

On 4 July 2016 the French President François Hollande hosted a summit on the Western Balkans in Paris. It was the third of its kind after the launch of the “Berlin process”. Back in August 2014, in the wake of the centenary of First World War, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel initiated an intergovernmental process with the countries of the Western Balkans. Its aim has been to improve their cooperation, put “fundamentals first” and thereby reinvigorate the European integration of the region. The first conference in Berlin was followed by a second one in Vienna in 2015. The conference in Paris marked already the middle of the process as it was conceptualized to conclude in 2018, at the occasion of the centenary of the end of the First World War. The aftermath of the Paris conference hence offers an ideal opportunity for review and a discussion of the way ahead, in view of the conference planned for summer 2017 in Italy upon invitation by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

At the Belgrade Security Forum the organisers open a space for a follow on debate to the Reflection Forum “The Western Balkans in the European Union: new perspectives on integration?” The debate will provide a forum for information exchange and reflection on the achievements of the process so far and help to generate fresh contributions for the way ahead also in view of the discussion held at the Belgrade Security Forum.