BELGRADE – The annual Belgrade Security Forum, in partnership with European Western Balkans portal, is hosting a panel “Enlargement Supporters and Opponents – What kind of Europe are we integrating into?” on Tuesday, 26 October.
The announcement of the panel stresses that the process of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans appears to have come to a standstill. However, some EU member states which are considered to comprise an “illiberal bloc” inside the Union, are strongly in favour of enlargement in the Western Balkans. Some Western Balkan governments are also considered to be illiberal regimes on the EU’s doorstep, thus becoming a part of EU’s internal political dynamics.
“How much has enlargement actually become a part of EU’s internal struggle between supporters of liberal and illiberal models of the Union and how will it affect Western Balkans’ EU accession prospects? How can the EU, divided on fundamental issues, not only find a consensus on enlargement, but use its transformative power to integrate Western Balkan countries as liberal democracies amidst global democratic decline?”, the announcement reads.
Perhaps the focus should not only be on the question “what kind of Western Balkan regimes” can join the European Union, but also what kind of European Union are the Western Balkan countries integrating into, the announcement concludes.
The panelists will be Wouter Zweers, Research Fellow with the EU and Global Affairs-research unit of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’, Patrik Szicherle, analyst at Political Capital Policy Research and Consulting Institute, Tena Prelec, Research Fellow at the Universities of Oxford and Exeter, UK and Strahinja Subotić, Programme Manager and Senior Researcher at the European Policy Centre (CEP – Belgrade).
The panel, lasting from 20:30 to 22:00, will be moderated by Nikola Burazer, Executive Editor of the European Western Balkans. You will be able to follow it online via BSF YouTube and Facebook profiles.