Through a series of texts and videos, several experts from Visegrad 4 and the Western Balkans spoke on What’s Up in Western Balkans?.
Ines Stasa, PhD Candidate at the Epoka University (ALB); Dimitar Nikolovski, Executive Director of the EUROTHINK (MK); Julianna Ármás, Research Fellow, IFAT (HU); and our own, Sonja Licht, President of the Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society spoke on the topic of the EU – Western Balkans relations. Ms. Licht stated that the EU accession is a common dream of the whole WB6 region, as it used to be a common dream of the Visegrad Four countries as well. But she stressed that “the situation now is much more difficult than at the beginning of the century and it needs more efforts, more reforms, more real commitment from our side, but also from the side of the European Union”. What else Sonja and other experts from the V4 and WB region said on this topic you can see in the video below.
The topic of Political crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina was discussed by: Tetiana Poliak-Grujić, EU Neighbourhood Programme Manager at the Visegrad Insight (PL), who said that the current political crisis in Bosnia Herzegovina very much stems from the Dayton Peace Accords and unableness to develop an institutional structure that would make Boston Herzegovina a functional state; Jasmin Mujanović, political scientist from Bosnia & Herzegovina; Srećko Latal, editor at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BH); and Tomáš Strážay, Director of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SK).
Jovan Jovanović, former Serbian MP (SRB); Ferenc Németh, Research Fellow at IFAT (HU); Igor Novaković, Research Director of the ISAC Fund (SRB) discussed Serbia-Kosovo Negotiations. Novaković thinks that a change is focus of the dialogue is needed “instead on the normalization between the elites, on normalization between societies and above all on the change of media and public discourse in both societies about the other side”.
Arian Starova, former Foreign Minister of Albania; Mariglen Demiri, Researcher at the EUROTHINK (MK); And once again Srećko Latal, editor at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BH) and Tetiana Poliak-Grujić, EU Neighbourhood Programme Manager at the Visegrad Insight (PL) spoke about the security in the Western Balkans region upon Russian invasion to Ukraine. The main conclusion from the discussion was that “the war in Ukraine has added an additional layer of complexity to the problems that already existed in the Balkans in recent years. It is mostly because of the strong political influence which Russia had established across the region over the past decade, which was a result of the weakening presence of the European Union and the effect of disappearance of its enlargement perspective.”, stressed out by Mr Latal.
The videos were created within the project Western Balkans – research of routes for the region, which is supported by the International Visegrad Fund.