Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” – Skopje (IDSCS) within the framework of the regional network of civil organizations and experts for monitoring the Berlin process – SEE Think Net yesterday in Skopje and Prishtina promoted the policy paper titled “Solving bilateral issues in the Western Balkans: The role of the European Union and the Berlin Process“.

The publication co-authored by researchers Zoran Nechev, head of the Center for European Integration at IDSCS and Adnan Cerimagic, an analyst at the European Stability Initiative, was developed within the project “Towards a sustainable regional cooperation: Berlin process and beyond” financially supported from the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB). The publication analyzed the bilateral disputes in the Western Balkans with an emphasis on Belgrade – Pristina relations.

In the welcoming remarks Marko Troshanovski, president of IDSCS, said that one of the questions analyzed in the publication is how European policies influence the stabilization of the region which is the first interest of European countries in the Western Balkans.

Cerimagic noted that the European Union can bring back the impact in Western Balkan countries with opening accession negotiation with North Macedonia in the next couple of months.

Nechev underlined that if the EU does not recognize the result of Prespa agreement and all the efforts done especially on bilateral issues by the Greek and Macedonian government, it will have negative effect on the European process itself and on the credibility in the region.

According to Ljupco Petkovski, executive director of Eurothink, if North Macedonia doesn’t get a date for negotiations with the EU, bad signals will be send because the Prespa Agreement was built up on promises for joining the EU. He believes that such a situation will increase disappointments and skepticism among people.

The event in Pristina was opened by Mentor Vrajolli, executive director of the Kosovar Centre for Security Studies. Florian Qehaja, a chair of the KCSS board, participated in the discussion. Cerimagic presented the publication, while Nechev presented the SEE Think Net network and referred to the Prespa agreement and the dynamics of the negotiation process. The debate was moderated by Donika Emini, a researcher at the KCSS.

This publication was also promoted in Podgorica on 24 of June in organization of IDSCS and Politicon Network. Executive Director of the Politikon Network, Jovana Marović, said that the rule of law should be on the agenda of the Berlin Process, as it is a key reform process.

Donika Emini, reckoned that the heritage of Yugoslavia is the main challenge for establishing cooperation in the Western Balkans.

The Executive Director of the Centre for Development of Non-Governmental Organizations (CRNVO), Ana Novaković, considers that the Berlin Process has not met the expectations held by everyone upon its initiation in 2014 and she highlighted that citizens barely know anything about the Berlin Process.

Zoran Nechev highlighted that the publication “Solving bilateral issues in the Western Balkans: The role of the European Union and the Berlin Process“ which forms part of the project, tackles bilateral questions and encompasses two collisions – the Macedonian question and the dialogue between Priština and Belgrade.

The goal of the SEE Think Net Network is to produce significant policy inputs and provide policy recommendations on topics that derive from the Berlin Process. As such, its activities are devised in order to closely monitor the Berlin process and the policy areas the process encompasses. The Network was established in mid-march 2018 with the generous support of the European Fund for the Balkans as the first regional network composed of civil society organisations that aim to monitor the topics related to the Berlin Process.

The publication is available on the following link:

Solving bilateral issues in the Western Balkans: The role of the European Union and the Berlin Process