Civil Society Forum Belgrade

The Civil Society Forum Belgrade will serve as a place for EU and Western Balkans civil society to come together to develop recommendations and policy proposals for the EU enlargement in the Western Balkans. These outputs will be used in the preparation of the next Civil Society Forum in Paris, in July, on the occassion of the next meeting of heads of state and government from EU and Western Balkans countries

The Civil Society Forum on 12 – 13 May 2016 follows this process, making recommendations from the side of civil society and the citizens for an alternative European future of democracy, solidarity and social justice.

As part of what is known as the ‘Berlin Process’ the governments of EU countries and Western Balkans countries are in dialogue about common issues. The next summit in this process is scheduled for July 4th in Paris. This process is coordinated by ERSTE Stiftung, the European Fund for the Balkans, European Alternatives, and the Charles Leopold Meyer Foundation.

Context and objectives

At the last Western Balkans Summit in Vienna in August 2015, a Civil Society Forum was held for the first time to dialogue with the leaders’ summit. Political decision makers came to dialogue with civil society, and a civil society representative was able to join the leaders’ summit. Various civil society organisations gathered around this initiative with the desire to develop a common position when it comes to following the footsteps of the first Berlin Summit 2014 and to construct a sustainable platform for civil society to cooperate and develop a dialogue with political leaders and governments.

The Civil Society Forum Belgrade intends to continue to contribute to the greater role, visibility and impact of the civil society in the so-called “Berlin process”.