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Berlin Process 2022: Western Balkans week in Berlin

Branderburger Tor, Berlin; Photo: Wikimedia
BERLIN — The 2022 edition of the Berlin Process takes place this week in the city where it started back in 2014. Besides the 3 November meeting of the heads of states of the Western Balkans six with representatives of the participating EU Member States and the UK, the Western Balkans Summit 2022 is complemented by two other events organised with the aim of including civil society and the youth from the Western Balkans in the Berlin Process — the Civil Society and Think Tank Forum and the Western Balkans Youth Forum.

 

The Berlin Process Civil Society and Think Thank Forum takes place on 1 and 2 November and will gather over 100 civil society representatives from the Western Balkans for a two-day conference where topics ranging from regional economic cooperation to EU accession process of the region will be discussed. The event in Berlin is a second component of the CSF, the first one being an online preparatory workshop which took place on 19-20 October.

The CSF is organised by Southeast Europe Association together with the Aspen Institute Germany and it is “designed as a public presentation of the results and key recommendations elaborated by think tanks and civil society organization at the workshop and a public discussion with decision-makers from the Western Balkans region and the EU,” while also providing a platform for networking and exchange of best practices among the members of Western Balkans civil society and their colleagues from the EU.

During the opening of the event, participants were addressed by the German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock via video message, as well as by Stormy-Annika Mildner, Executive Director of Aspen Institute Germanyand Christian Hagemann, Executive Director of Southeast Europe Association.

The third event held this week in Berlin is the Western Balkans Youth Forum, which began on 31 October and lasts until 3 November. The Youth Forum is organised by the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) and the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ).

This event will provide over 70 youth representatives from the Western Balkans with the opportunity to share their input on the role of youth in the Berlin Process through a declaration which will be presented to the heads of states on 3 November. The Youth Forum will also consist of a variety of interactive sessions, as well as panels during which the youth representatives will discuss topics such as sustainable peace and civic education with representatives from the civil society, academia and the institutions.

The participants of the Youth Forum were welcomed by Albert Hani, Secretary General of RYCO, Susanne Schütz, Director for South-Eastern Europe, Turkey, OSCE and Council of Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office and Ognjen Marković, Team Leader of Western Balkan Youth Lab at the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).

Both side events are supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

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