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Bringing the Balkans back to the EU fore

13/12/2019, Belgrade, University of Belgrade

The delay in opening EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia in October 2019 was received with concern across the Western Balkans. Of particular interest was the possibility that accession talks with other candidate countries might be delayed as well. Still, despite the decision, the enlargement fundamentals remain clear: the future of the Western Balkans is and remains in the EU.

The conference, organized by the Istituto Affari Internazioneli (IAI) in cooperation with European Western Balkans and with the support of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, aims at discussing how the incoming ‘geopolitical’ Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen could and should pick up the pieces of this geostrategic blunder. The event aims to address the question how to transform present obstacles into opportunities to reconfirm commitments made, while seizing the opportunities to reshape and reinvigorate the EU enlargement policy for a more effective and rapid transformation of the Western Balkans.