European Western Balkans

Presentation of the BiEPAG brief "The refugee crisis as a catalyst for EU Enlargement"

BERLIN – The  latest policy brief by the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) “THE REFUGEE CRISIS AS A CATALYST FOR EU ENLARGEMENT” would be presented at a panel discussion with the same title, which will be held at the Robert Bosch Stiftung premises in Berlin on June 20, 2016.

On this occasion the authors  of the brief will open a discussion about the prospects of the EU Enlargement to the Western Balkans set in the context of the internal and external dimensions of the migrant crisis that has deeply affected both the countries on the WB Route and EU as a whole.

Has the refugee crisis managed to put the Western Balkans back on the political map of Europe, underlining the strategic importance of the region for the EU’s stability and security? Does the widespread horse-trading of fundamental European values for geopolitical interests threaten to erode the EU’s credibility as a normative power? Can the EU use its strong leverage in the Balkans and the tools of EU enlargement policy to enhance both the capacities of the Western Balkan countries to handle external shocks and resolve the underlying causes of the emigration? Does the EU need to foster a more strategic thinking on how to durably stabilize the countries of the region, ensure their sustainable democratic transformation and assist their economic development?

These are just some of the questions that will be tackled in the policy discussion, that will be opened with the presentation of the main findings of BiEPAG’s new policy brief and will be followed by a panel debate.

Welcome and opening remarks:

Hedvig Morvai, Executive Director, European Fund for the Balkans, Belgrade


Natasha Wunsch, Associate Fellow, German Council on Foreign Relations, the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG)


Metin Hackverdi, Member of Deutscher Bundestag, Social Democratic Party of Germany

Nikola Dimitrov, Distinguished Fellow, The Hague Institute for Global Justice, the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG)

Srđan Cvijić, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society European Policy Institute, the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG)

The debate will be moderated by Ivana Dragićević, Senior Foreign Correspondent, N1 television, Zagreb, Croatia.

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