Round table on public support for the European perspective of the WB next week in Brussels

European Commission

BRUSSELS – Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, together with South East Europe Public Sector Communication Association (SEECOM) and European Fund for the Balkans are organising a round table discussion “Boosting Public Support for the European Perspective of the Western Balkans” next Tuesday (5 February) in Brussels.

The event will feature two panel discussions followed by Q&A sections. The first one will focus on the issue of public support for the process of European integration in the countries of the region, while the second will concentrate on the situation in EU member states.

Recent surveys, such as the Standard Eurobarometer for November 2018, have shown that the EU enlargement policy is one of the least supported among the ordinary citizens of the Union, with only 43 percent of those who support further enlargement and 45 who oppose it.

On the other hand, Euro-enthusiasm is still present in most of the Western Balkan countries, with the support-oppose ratio being lowest in Serbia (55-25 percent). However, the most important question remains how to maintain the existing support and even increase it in the coming years.

The round table will be opened by Myriam Ferran, Director for Strategy and Turkey at DG NEAR, Ognian Zlatev, President of SEECOM and Igor Bandović, Senior Programme Manager at the European Fund for the Balkans.

Two panel discussions will feature a number of public officials, journalists and civil society representatives from both member states and Western Balkans, including Tamara Puhovski, CEO of ProPuh Social Innovations, Zoran Nechev, Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) member, Nikola Burazer, Executive Editor of the European Western BalkansAdrian Bratu and Marina Marković, representatives of Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Romania and Serbia, and Srđan Majstorović, Chairman of the European Policy Centre from Belgrade and BiEPAG member.

Closing remarks will be delivered by Claus Giering, Head of Inter-institutional Relations and Communication at DG NEAR and Vuk Vujnović, Secretary General of SEECOM.