EU response to COVID-19 and consequences for the Western Balkans in the focus of the sixth “Move.Link.Engage” conference

Move.Link.Engage; Photo: Belgrade Open School

BELGRADE – The sixth annual “Move. Link. Engage” regional conference starts today in Belgrade under the title “Development for Real: Partnership, Solidarity and Responsibility in Post-COVID-19 era”. This year the overarching idea of the conference is to re-examine the EU reaction to COVID-19 pandemic, present the key features of the Recovery Plan for Europe and explore the impact of these latest developments on the EU perspectives of the Western Balkans.

“This way the conference will help CSOs and civil society as a whole to familiarise themselves with latest practices of EU institutions and the Member States and the decision-making process, as well as to learn about the ongoing processes that could have a tremendous impact on EU integration process in their countries”, reads the announcement.

This year’s conference will be opened by a panel which will examine the challenges that civil society organizations and citizens are facing in their local communities, as well as the mechanisms and actions they are taking to overcome the challenge, with aim to provide answers and clear recommendations to public authorities in the region, looking at the lessons the European Union and member states have learned from the pandemic crisis.

Other sessions will open discussions on the role of the Western Balkan countries in implementing the new EU development policy, the impact of the pandemic on the European integration process, the EU’s response to the current crisis and the consequences that the expected economic recession may have on the future of young people.

Some of the speakers are member of the European Parliament Vladimir Bilčik, Deputy Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council Tanja Mišćević, Head of the Belgrade Office of the Council of Europe Tobias Flessenkemper, senior research associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin Dušan Reljić and Policy Analyst for Western Balkans and Turkey for the European Parliament André De Munter.

“Move.Link.Engage” is a recognizable forum for discussion and discussion on important topics concerning the participation of civil society and the media in the process of European integration of Serbia and the Western Balkan region.

In the past five years, the Conference brought together representatives of European Union institutions – the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, representatives of civil society organizations and research organizations, government institutions and bodies from Serbia and the region, as well as a wide range of representatives of the media, bisiness sector and academia across Europe and the Western Balkans.

Sixth in a row, “Move.Link.Engage” conference is organized by the Belgrade Open School with the support of the Embassy of Sweden in Serbia, online from 21st to 23rd of September via Zoom.