The discussion aims to look critically into the process of accession of the Western Balkan countries to the EU that remains stagnant. Current events (war in Ukraine) have shaken the foundations of the EU and once again have raised the question of EU values and purpose. The countries in the WB region have once again taken completely different stands towards the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The countries of the Western Balkan are disappointed and divisions are deepening among them, which can, in some cases, be seen through the increased turn towards nationalism. The countries are slowly losing hope for EU membership which is why they need an impulse and optimism that would come from the EU. Finally, after the years spent on the European path, it is necessary to remind ourselves of the reasons why we decided to walk it in the first place, particularly in the time when Russian aggression towards Ukraine has taken place.
Key questions to be discussed:
- When will the Western Balkan become part of the European Union? What are dramatically innovative solutions? Do they even exist?
- What is our attitude towards democratic values and why do we stick to proclamations when we talk about them?
- If the EU is a peace project, why does it take so long to accept the countries longing for peace into the membership?
- Is now the time for WB countries to clearly state without any additional explanation is their place in and with the EU countries or with some other block of the countries?
- Predrag Zenovic – Lecturer at Humanistic Studies, University of Donja Gorica
- Naim Leo Besiri – Executive Director, Institute for European Affairs
- Ana Gvozdic, Program Officer, YIHR Croatia
- Ramadan Ilazi – Head of Research, Kosovar Center for Security Studies (KCSS)
Moderator: Arber Fetahu – Research fellow, GLPS
Mr. Naim Leo Besiri, Mr. Predrag Zenovic, Mr. Ramadan Ilazi, Ms. Ana Gvozdić, Podgorica Youth Summit