[Online] Shifting the narrative – a revitalised approach to the Western Balkans
07 December at 2:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Democratic and economic growth are intertwined with the Balkan region’s EU accession progress. However, as the process drags on, frustration grows and steps forward falter – perhaps the time has come for both sides to revitalise this approach.
The goals for a resilient region and EU accession are the same, but it is time to recalibrate the talking points. Development prospects need to go beyond the end goal of EU membership. The benefits of a robust democracy, stable economy and social evolution should be goals in and of themselves, forging a foundation for a thriving region with its roots in durable peace, reconciliation and resilience.
This year’s EU-Western Balkans Summit aims to engage with these overlapping and interlinking themes, promote new and progressive voices, and foster pathways to regional cooperation, resilience and inclusion. Discussions will inform a series of recommendations for a better future for the Balkans and seamless cooperation with the EU. To this end, we will amplify the voices of women, youth and alternative leadership in structural development such as digital transition, green transformation, increased regional cooperation and the strengthening of democracy and rule of law.
The 2021 edition of this annual summit is part of a new approach to our work on the Balkans, moving from a problem-solving dynamic to an asset-based approach focused on the positive dynamics of the Balkans. Reframing the narrative to focus on people-centred priorities rather than political objectives can bring a fresh policy perspective to overwrought discussions on how to strengthen and develop the Balkan region and close the gap to the EU.
This summit is the highlight of our Balkans Journey, a series of events and articles discussing crucial developments and creative solutions for the Western Balkans with key stakeholders in the run-up to this annual Balkans Summit.
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