Events > In Dialogue with the Western Balkans

Event Details:

  • 16th May 2018
  • 12:00 – 19:00
  • Hall 8, National Palace of Culture, Sofia,
EMI Events

In Dialogue with the Western Balkans


Creating a Region of Growth, Security and Connectivity on the Path to Europe

With the European Commission’s new strategy for the Western Balkans,  the countries of the region were given a fresh perspective for joining the Union. The 2025 horizon is a new chance for the region to complete all the necessary reforms. The EU needs to start discussing and communicating this new opportunity not only to policymakers, but also with societies in the region and across the EU. Citizens have a role to play by motivating their governments to implement reforms in the next 5-7 years.  That is why one of the main tasks of the EU should be to start a vivid dialogue with the societies in the Western Balkans: media, analysts, NGO activists and opinion makers, and to facilitate their participation in the process.

 This forum for dialogue was held on 16 May 2018, between the Bulgarian presidency, the EU institutions, governments from the Western Balkans and European Movement representatives.



12:00 – 13:00
Registration and working lunch

13:00- 14:10

Welcome by Eva Maydell MEP, President of the European Movement International


  • Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Andrej Plenkovic, Prime Minister of Croatia
  • Manfred Weber, Chair of  the EPP Group in EP
  • Mikuláš Dzurinda, WMCES President, former Prime Minister of Slovakia (1998-2006)

14:10 – 15:45
Roundtable I: EU Perspective for the Western Balkans

Short impulses from :

  • Ekaterina Zaharieva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Nikola Dimitrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Angelina Eichhorst, Deputy Managing Director for Western Europe, Western Balkans and Turkey- European External Action Service
  • Mikuláš Dzurinda, WMCES President, former Prime Minister of Slovakia (1998-2006)

Active interactions from:

  • Remzi Lani, Executive director of the Albanian Media Institute
  • Alida Vracic, Executive Director of Think Tank Populari
  • Jovan Teokarević, Director of the Belgrade Centre for European Integration, Open Society Foundation in Serbia
  • Andreja Stojkovski, President of EUROTHINK – Centre for European Strategies, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Nikolaos Tzifakis – Research Associate, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, Assoc. Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Peloponnese
  • Maja Bobic, European Movement, Serbia

Moderator: Vessela Tcherneva, ECFR’s Deputy Director and Head of ECFR Sofia Office

Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:30
Roundtable II: EU-Western Balkans connectivity

Short impulses from:

  • Lіlуana Pavlova, Mіnіѕter for the Bulgarіan Preѕіdenсу of the Counсіl of the EU 2018
  • Rosen Pleveliev, President of Bulgaria (2012-2017)
  • Damian Gjiknuri, Minister of Energy and industry
  • Christian Danielsson, Director-General, DGNEAR

Active interactions from:

  • Filip Radunovic, GIZ
  • Vesselin Valkanov, Head of RCC Brussels office
  • Andi Dobrushi, Executive director OSF Albania
  • Veton Latifi, Professor, South-east European University, Tetovo

Moderator: Eva Maydell MEP, President of the European Movement International

17:30 – 17:40
Concluding remarks



This event received financial support from the European Parliament. Sole liability rests with the organisers, the European Parliament is not responsible for the activity.

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