“The Western Balkans beyond resolution of bilateral issues”

SKOPJE – Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) and the Institute for Democracy ‘Societas Civilis’ (IDSCS) are organizing the panel discussion titled “The Western Balkans beyond resolution of bilateral issues” in Skopje on March 29.

EU’s credible enlargement perspective has put the resolution of bilateral issues in the Western Balkans at the forefront of the EU accession process. The Berlin process, since its establishment in 2014, also places an emphasis on these issues. A crucial step forward was made in 2018 with the resolution of the almost three-decade long name dispute between Macedonia and Greece. There are other bilateral and reconciliation-related issues to be resolved in the region.

Besides closing bilateral issues, there are many other criteria that the countries from the Western Balkans need to meet in order to progress in the EU accession process. They need to deliver tangible and sustainable reforms in crucial areas including the rule of law, fight against corruption and organised crime, and public administration.

These and other topics will be covered by this public discussion which will be moderated by Ms. Tamara Grncaroska, Journalist at Telma TV. Keynote speaker will be H.E. Mr Nikola Dimitrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia.

The panel discussion will include the following speakers: Mr Marko Trosanovski President of the Institute for Democracy ‘Societas Civilis’, Mr Florian Bieber Director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz and BiEPAG Coordinator, Ms Marika Đolai, Peace, Conflict, Development Expert and Member of BiEPAG, Mr Srđan Cvijic, Senior Policy Analyst at the Open Society European Policy Institute, Brussels and Member of BiEPAG, Ms Donika Emini Researcher at Kosovo Centre for Security Studies, Mr Ioannis Armakolas, ʽStavros Costopoulosʼ Senior Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy and Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics of SEE at the University of Macedonia and Mr Zoran Necev Senior Researcher and Coordinator of the Center for EU integration, Institute for Democracy ‘Societas Civilis’ and Member of BiEPAG.

The Q&A session is scheduled for 16.15-16.35, and the working language of the conference is English.