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The Western Balkans Discuss the Future of Europe!
In the past ten years, the European Union (EU) has faced a long list of serious challenges, from the economic and financial crisis in the late 2000s to the outburst of the Covid-19 pandemic earlier in 2020. These challenges have put the unity of the EU to the test. The need for swift reactions has strained the advancement of a more robust strategic vision.
While a new reflection on the future of Europe has been initiated with the publication of the EU’s White Paper on the Future of Europe in March 2017, followed by President Macron’s speeches in Athens, La Sorbonne. Much remains to be done to rediscover the reasons underlying the European integration process in the first place, rejuvenate the European project and make it again a higher source of inspiration for the citizens of the continent.
Despite all odds, there could not be better timing for this reflection to be intensified. A new Strategic Agenda has been outlined for 2019-2024 and a “Conference on the Future of Europe” has been launched in May 2021 with the aim to overhaul the general functioning of the EU. Key Member States have already put forward several proposals. In these times of pandemic, where concerns over short-term contingency plans prevail, reflecting on the future of Europe is more necessary than ever for citizens to be able to look beyond the crisis.
The Western Balkans should participate in, and contribute to, this reflection on the future of Europe. After all, the Western Balkans are “a region (already) in Europe”. This conference will address some of the main questions currently debated in the European Union and beyond, underline aspirations from the Western Balkans towards the future of Europe and above all seek to answer the following questions: what distinct contributions can the countries of the region make to advancing the European project? How would their membership strengthen the Union? And to address concerns expressed in some parts of the EU that the widening of the Union might hinder its future deepening?
Meeting ID: 895 9058 3506
Hotel Prishtina, 20 Pashko Vasa, Prishtina 10000, Kosovo
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