The process of democratisation and Europeanisation is not possible without the Western Balkan civil society
Representatives of the European Fund for the Balkans’ (EFB) and its Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) took part in the meetings and panels within the Western Balkans Summit in Poznan (3 – 4 July). They participated in discussions with the foreign ministers of the Berlin Process in order to present their views on the main challenges the region is facing.
For the first time during the Berlin Process, civil society representatives were invited by the Polish MFA, Jacek Czaputowicz, not only to provide input, but to stay during the entire foreign ministers’ meeting. The Executive Director of the EFB, Aleksandra Tomanic, and six representatives of the Western Balkan civil society organisations (CSO) – Jovana Marovic (Politikon Network), Vukosava Crnjanski (CRTA), Adnan Huskic(Center for Election Studies), Gjergji Vurmo(Institute for Democracy and Mediation), Naim Rashiti (Balkans Policy Research Group) and Marko Trosanovski (Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis) discussed regional trends. The state of democracy in the Western Balkans, rule of law, bilateral issues, EU enlargement, media freedom and the future of the Berlin Process were some of the issues raised by the CSO actors. During the foreign ministers meeting, the idea that the prime ministers meeting of the Berlin Process would be a more appropriate place for civil society representatives to discuss these topics has been raised by some ministers.
“Looking at results achieved so far, and looking at the long way ahead – you will not manage by yourself. You will need help. Let us help you.” – Aleksandra Tomanic, the EFB Executive Director at the ministerial meeting
Source: The Berlin Process Information and Resource Centre