Albania in Berlin Process: From Berlin to Trieste

Albania in the Berlin Process Logo; Photo: CDI

The Berlin Process Series is an initiative started by Cooperation and Development Institute (CDI), in November 2015, in Tirana, and supported by Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Hanns Seidel Foundation. Their latest publication named Monitoring the Berlin Process: From Berlin to Trieste is available on-line and you can find and read it here. EWB presents summary of the publication.

An intergovernmental cooperation initiative between countries of the Western Balkans and selected member states of the European Union, known as the Berlin process was established in 2014 to enhance integration dialogue among Balkan countries and to further develop their mutual economic, political and security interests.

Their latest study “Monitoring the Berlin Process: From Paris to Trieste”, the 6th research contribution and one of the components of the Berlin Process Series, is consisted of a research on the Berlin process and its priority areas, as well as of monitoring reports on the advancement of Albania in Berlin process agenda and annual conference “Albania in the Berlin process”.

Concerning the methodology, the given study made use of the wide-ranging amount of official declarations, joint statements, speeches and press releases, assessment reports of independent institutions, along with research papers, policy briefs and opinions from think tanks and academia.

The study starts with an analysis of the Berlin process, various levels of cooperation platforms, their impact, and contribution to the European path of the Western Balkans.

Historical background of each Western Balkans Summit with key information about each summit priorities is provided in next section, up to the last summit in Paris 2016.

The following section focuses on the multi-faceted connectivity of the Berlin process, along with the achievements reached in the political sector, economy, infrastructure and youth cooperation.

The next section focuses on Albania’s progress in the implementation of its commitments taken in Vienna while reflecting upon the objectives settled by the Berlin agenda and tackling the issues of its available capacities, mechanisms, financial instruments and political situation. Additionally, it gives an insight in the to-do list of Albanian government for implementing reform measures in the energy and transport sector.

The fifth section presents essential regional cooperation initiatives with the purpose of ensuring higher coherence of the Western Balkan countries, synchronising the respective agendas, and maintaining the established dynamics in selected sectors all while keeping up with the established dynamics of each initiative. Since CDI has identified 71 regional cooperation platforms and initiatives currently existing in the Western Balkan countries, it further raises a concern – while all of them contribute in cultivating good regional cooperation, their non-coordination increases the risk of confusion, loss of information, overlapping and may induce those multilateral arrangements to lower efficiency.

The focus of the subsequent section is based on regional cooperation on a civil society level. It provides a clear observation on the role of an active civil society, which through the series of forums contribute to a constructive support in the further enhancement of the democracy in Western Balkans.

Given the Italy’s agenda for the Trieste Summit, the final section analyses existing macro-regions initiatives to make available a comprehensive set of ideas, tools, and policy instruments that can enrich the array of possibilities that the Berlin process stakeholders have at their disposal while preparing for the Summit.

The annual summit of the Western Balkans, provided in Italy as part of the Berlin process, will be held in Trieste on July 12.

E.M.