Albanian Institute for International Studies, European Movement in Serbia and European Policy Institute organized the first panel discussion within the new project “European Integration of the WB: Making a Realistic Perspective out of a Shifting Target” in Skopje on June 17, 2019. The discussion focused on the impact of the elections for the European Parliament and the Brexit on the European integration process of the Western Balkans, with particular reference to Albania, Serbia and Northern Macedonia.

Participants agreed that Brexit takes too much energy from the European Union, which has a negative impact on the EU integration process, delaying opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. In addition, it was emphasized that both cooperation and competition are needed between countries of the Western Balkans in the process of European integration, since it would help all countries achieve better results in the implementation of reforms. Vladimir Medjak, Vice president of European Movement in Serbia, stressed that it is not a question of whether it is possible to integrate the Western Balkan region into the EU, but whether the Union has the political will to do so.

The discussion was moderated by Ardita Abazi Imeri from European Policy Institute, and panelists were, besides Vladimir Međak, Alba Cela from Albanian Institute for International Studies, Malinka Ristevska Jordanova from European Policy Institute, Dragan Tilev from the Secretariat for European Affairs and Gorica Atanasova Gjorevskafrom the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Overall objective of this project is to contribute to regional cooperation, and strengthen regional cohesion in the WB6 region. The project is implemented by the Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS) from Tirana as lead organization and European Movement in Serbia from Belgrade and European Policy Institute from Skopje are project partners, with the support of the Western Balkan Fund.