Petition to President of European Council

19 April 2019

Belgrade, Skopje, Tirana, Sarajevo, Pristina, Podgorica


Dear Mr. President Tusk,

Civil society organisations of the Western Balkans, citizens of our societies, express their hopes and expectations that the European Council will accomplish its promise to set a clear path towards opening the accession negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania in June 2019, as stated in the Council conclusions on Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process, adopted by the Council on 26 June 2018. We consider good neighbourly relations as one of the key drivers of consolidation of the Western Balkans and its faster integration in the European Union. We highly appreciate the courage and persistence of the leadership of the Republic of North Macedonia and Greece and the pattern of resolving open bilateral issues set by them. We believe that it will be conducive to the settlement of other disputes in the region bringing stability and European future to all of us. We are afraid that further postponing of the accession negotiations with the two important Western Balkan Countries would seriously affect the pro-European attitude of the population all over the region and could affect the credibility of the European Union. Moreover, it could discourage political elites in the region to resolve other important bilateral disputes. Two more candidate countries in the Western Balkans would bring a new energy, stability and hope to the region that suffered a decade of conflicts and two decades in confidence building and developing regional cooperation. We believe in the project of the European Union, expect its internal reforms to make it even stronger and are ready to contribute to make the EU a real home to all the people of Europe.

Civil Society Organisations of the Western Balkans


1. Academy for Training and Technical Assistance (ATTA), Prizren, Kosovo 2. Agency for Cooperation, Education and Development (ACED), Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina 3. Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS) 4. Albanian Media Institute 5. Alliance of Antifascists of Serbia 6. Alliance of Antifascists of Vojvodina 7. Association of Women “Anima”, Djulici, Bosnia and Herzegovina 8. Association Women of the South, Pirot, Serbia 9. Atlantic Council of Serbia 10. Autonomous Women’s Center, Belgrade 11. Balkans Policy Research Group (BPRG), Prishtina 12. Beekeeping Association of Serbia (SPOS) 13. Belgrade Centre for Human Rights 14. Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) 15. Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE) 16. Belgrade Open School (BOS) 17. Center for Applied European Studies (CPES), Belgrade 18. Center for Civil Liberties (CEGAS), Podgorica 19. Center for Democracy Foundation, Belgrade 20. Center for Development of Non-Governmental Organizations (CRNVO), Podgorica 21. Center for Foreign Policy (CFP), Belgrade 22. Center for Free Elections and Democracy (CeSID), Belgrade 23. Center for Regionalism, Novi Sad 24. Centre for Civic Education (CCE), Montenegro 25. Centre for Contemporary Politics – European Western Balkans, Belgrade 26. Centre for Public Impact (CPI), Tirana 27. Centre of Modern Skills, Belgrade 28. Citizens Association for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and all forms of gender-based violence “ATINA”, Belgrade 29. Civic Alliance (CA), Montenegro 30. Civic Platform, Belgrade 31. Civil Action Pančevo, Serbia 32. Coalition Margini (Coalition “Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities”), Skopje 33. Cooperation & Development Institute (CDI), Albania 34. CURE Foundation, Sarajevo 35. Equal Opportunities, Belgrade 36. EU Policy Hub, Tirana 37. European Movement in Albania 38. European Movement in Montenegro (EMIM) 39. European Movement in Serbia – Novi Sad 40. European Movement in Serbia (EMinS) 41. European Movement in the Republic of Macedonia (EM-MK) 42. European Policy Centre (CEP), Belgrade 43. European Policy Institute (EPI), Skopje 44. Finance Think – Economic, Research and Policy Institute, Skopje 45. Foreign Policy Initiative BH (FPI BH), Sarajevo 46. Forum 10, Novi Pazar, Serbia 47. Forum of Tuzla Citizens, Bosnia and Herzegovina 48. Foundation Open Society – Macedonia (FOSM) 49. Fund B92, Belgrade 50. Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), Belgrade 51. Gender Alliance for Development Centre (GADC), Albania 52. Group 484, Belgrade 53. Health Education and Research Association (HERA), North Macedonia 54. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia (HCHRS) 55. Human Rights Action (HRA), Montenegro 56. Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), Belgrade 57. Humanitarian Law Centre Kosovo 58. Institute Alternative (IA), Podgorica 59. Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” – Skopje (IDSCS) 60. Institute for European Affairs, Belgrade 61. Institute for Territorial Economic Development (InTER), Belgrade 62. ISAC Fund (International and Security Affairs Centre), Belgrade 63. Kosovar Civil Society Foundation (KCSF) 64. Kosovar Gender Studies Center (KGSC) 65. Link plus, Belgrade 66. Local Community Development Foundation – Stip, North Macedonia 67. Local Democracy Agency (LDA) Central and Southern Serbia, Knjaževac, Serbia 68. National Coalition for Decentralization, Niš, Serbia 69. Nena – Group for Peace and Women’s Rights, Leskovac, Serbia 70. Open Centre “Bona Fide”, Pljevlja, Montenegro 71. Open Society Foundation Albania 72. Open Society Foundation Serbia 73. People for Secular Values, Novi Sad, Serbia 74. Politikon Network (PIN), Podgorica 75. Progress-Institute for Social Democracy, Skopje 76. SOS Line for Women and Children Victims of Violence, Vlasotince, Serbia 77. Tolerance of Serbia 78. Transitional Justice, Responsibility and Memory in Bosnia and Herzegovina 79. Urban-In, Novi Pazar, Serbia 80. Women Citizens for Constitutional Reform, Bosnia and Herzegovina 81. Women in Black, Belgrade 82. Women’s Government, Belgrade 83. Women’s leadership academy, Belgrade 84. Women’s Platform for the Development of Serbia 85. Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) Bosnia and Herzegovina 86. Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) Kosovo 87. Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) Montenegro 88. Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) Serbia

Individual signatories: 1. Ivan Vejvoda, Director – Europe project, Permanent Fellow – Institute of Human Sciences, Vienna 2. Goran Svilanović, Diplomat and politician, independent expert, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Serbia 3. Sonja Lokar, International gender expert, freelance, Slovenia 4. Vesna Pusić, MP, former Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Croatia 5. Fuada Stanković, Professor, University of Novi Sad, Serbia 6. Hedvig Morvai, Director, Strategies and Europe, ERSTE Foundation 7. Željko Jovanović, Director, Roma Initiatives Office – OSF 8. Nadežda Gaće, Editor-in-Chief, New Magazine, Serbia 9. Milica Delević, former Director of the European Integration Office of the Serbian Government, former Assistant Minister for European Integration 10. Spomenka Lazić, Ph.D, Economist, Agency Energofina, Novi Sad, Serbia 11. Nataša Kandić, Project Coordinator, RECOM, Belgrade 12. Vladimir Grečić, Professor, University of Belgrade, Serbia

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