European Movement in Serbia took an active part at the Civil Society & Think Tank Forum in Tirana (CSF2023) on October 14th and 15th, 2023, in the eve of the WB6 Summit that followed on October 16th as part of the Berlin Process. #CSF2023 emphasized the need for increased EU financial support for the Western Balkans region and voiced concerns about democratic reforms. Evropski pokret u Srbiji contributed dilligently to the preparation of CSF2023 Policy Papers, particularly concerning the WB6 region’s access to the EU Single Market led by Simonida Kacarska and Stefan Ristovski from European Policy Institute. #CSF2023 panel discussion “Full Access to the EU Single Market as a Pathway to Prosperity” discussed which political and legal decisions need to be made to advance economic integration of the WB6, as well as the need to improve capacities and put forward an economic rationale that gives credibility to the EU enlargement process. Panel discussion led by Dragana Djurica welcomed Jorida Tabaku (Member of Parliament), Jeton Zulfaj ( Political Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister), Pranvera Kastrati (Senior Connectivity Expert, Regional Cooperation Council), Silvana Mojsovska (Full-time Professor, Institute of Economics), Zdravko Ilic (Senior Expert on Trade in Services, CEFTA), Stefan Ristovski (Researcher, European PolicyInstitute), and Nenad Djurdjevic (Director, Regional Center for Strategic and Political Initiatives).

Several conclusions were highlighted, including (but not exhaustive): the importance of removing internal barriers in the Western Balkans; the centrality of the Berlin Process and the utmost need for furthering the regional cooperation under the Common Regional Market Agenda of the WB6; enhancing economic integration of the region in line with the Economic Reform Programme cycles; strengthening institutional support of the line Ministries along with Parliaments and Local Authorities; the significance of the rule of law; implementing the “phasing-in” approach in the EU integration of the region; addressing the technical capacity issues of the participating institutions; utilization of existing “good examples” in approximation of the region towards the EU single market; addressing the need for transparency, whilst promoting all-inclusiveness (institutions, citizens, business, and academia), trust-building, and voicing the needs of the citizens and the business in the whole process, and diligent monitoring of reforms.

The forum, organized by the Open Society Foundations – Western Balkans under Albania’s Presidency of the #BerlinProcess, aimed to foster civil society participation in shaping policies for closer regional integration and EU alignment. #CSF2023 #EuropeanIntegration #WB6Summit