The Western Balkans in the European Union: new perspectives on integration?
Reflection Forum in the run-up to the Conference of Paris on the Western Balkans
Paris, 30-31 mai 2016
More than 80 researchers and policy analysts from think tanks and academia met in Paris at the Austrian
Embassy and the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI). Participants from all EU member
states and the six Western Balkans countries were invited.
The Reflection Forum was organised in an innovative manner allowing for an open and direct exchange
around four key thematic areas related to the priorities of the process launched in Berlin 2014 and EU
integration. It provided a platform fostering the exchange of perspectives in order to broaden the
reflection about the regional developments among the policy community, the media and the general
Links have also been created to the Western Balkans Civil Society Forum also organised in view of the
intergovernmental Conference of Paris on 4 July 2016. As follow-on, in view of the next intergovernmental
Conference hosted by Italy, outreach events will be held with partners in the Western Balkans region
during autumn/winter 2016/17. It is planned to convene another reflection forum during 2017 in Italy.
Four thematic sets of questions were discussed in relation to the “Berlin-Vienna-Paris” and the accession
processes: (i) social-economic convergence of the region with the EU, (ii) mobility, migration and border
security, (iii) democracy and good governance, and (iv) future of the EU and Western Balkan in it. The
General Rapporteur of the Forum was Sabina Lange of the European Union Institute for Security Studies
Forum organised by:
French Institute for International Relations (Ifri), Paris; Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE), Nice/Berlin/Istanbul; Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe (CFA), Vienna.
In co-operation with:
Austrian Institute for International Politics (Oiip), Vienna; Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Berlin; Instituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Rome; European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), Paris; Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG); Erste Foundation (ERSTE), Vienna
With the support of:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of France, Austrian Embassy in France, Federal Foreign office of Germany and Federal Ministry for European, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria.