European Western Balkans

Civil Society and Think Tank Forum of the Berlin Process on 14-15 October in Tirana

Tirana; Photo: European Commission

TIRANA – The Open Society Foundations–Western Balkans (OSF-WB), mandated by the Government of Albania as the current holder of the Presidency of the Berlin Process, and in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and the Cooperation and Development Institute (CDI), is organizing this year’s Civil Society & Think Tank Forum 2023 (CSF 2023).

This initiative aims to create a platform for constructive and inclusive dialogue among civil society representatives, public authorities, EU representatives, donors, and other stakeholders from the Western Balkans and EU member states.

“By sharing best practices and developing policy recommendations, the CFS 2023 aims to foster regional cooperation, boost EU-related reforms, and support the accession process of the countries in the Western Balkans”, organizers stated. 

It is added that CSF 2023 will be an opportunity for sharing and discussing policy recommendations mainly on seven key topics such as energy, access to the European Single Market, digitalization and connectivity, climate and green agenda, mobility and migration, security and geopolitics, and the politics of enlargement.

Seven thematic working groups are engaged in advocacy with Western Balkan governments, EU Member States, and regional and international institutions. The outcomes will be presented and deliberated upon during the Civil Society and Think Tank Forum, preceding the Leader’s Summit.

The Civil Society Forum is a platform for enabling dialogue between Balkan citizens and regional and European decision-makers, within the Berlin Process. Its goal is to ensure civil society participation in the deliberation and creation of policies tailored to bring the countries of the region closer to each other and to anchor them in the European Union.

In a series of annual and interim regional meetings and online discussions, think tanks and activist organizations from the region gather to debate issues brought up through the annual agendas of the Berlin Process. On the basis of their research and field knowledge, they articulate recommendations on a wide range of topics issued to regional and European decision-makers.

The series was launched in 2015 with the Civil Society Forum of the Western Balkans Summit Vienna 2015. The last CSF was organized in 2022 in Berlin, hosted by the Aspen Institute from Germany and the Southeast Europe Association which gathered more than 100 participants. Recommendations from the last CSF can be found here. 

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