• The Conference on the Future of Europe

    Why the Balkans countries should receive an invitation

    The European Union is preparing to launch a two-year Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) to discuss with stakeholders at different levels of governance about the evolution of the European integration project. Despite its longstanding commitment to the Balkans, the Union has failed so far to consider the possibility of including the region in the CoFoE process. The Conference is likely to deal with key priorities, such as the green transition, digital innovation, democracy and governance, or the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering the EU an opportunity to engage with the Balkan countries beyond the enlargement talks, on issues of mutual concern and interest.

    If the EU is serious about the European perspective of the region, how would it justify excluding political leaders and citizens from the Balkans from a Conference which is potentially decisive for its future? Since in the early 2000s, the European Convention involved delegates of the governments and national parliaments of the accession candidate countries in its activities, why would the Balkan aspirants be left out this time, when they are even closer to EU accession than then? How could political elites and citizens from the region be involved in the CoFoE, more concretely? And how could the Balkan countries organise themselves at the political and civil societal level to follow the Conference even if in the end the EU does not specify any kind of involvement for them?

    Our speakers will discuss these and other issues. The EPC & CEP publication “The Conference on the Future of Europe: is the EU still serious about the Balkans?” will serve as a basis for debate at this online event.

    • Enrico Letta

    Former Prime Minister of Italy Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs Sciences Po

    • Vladimír Bilčík

    Member of the European Parliament

    • Tanja Miščević

    Deputy Head, Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Sarajevo

    • Milena Lazarević

    Programme Director and Co-founder of CEP, Belgrade

    • Corina Stratulat

    Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (Moderator)

    Attendance: Only by invitation



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