Berlin, 5.4.2018: Matteo Bonomi, researcher at the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, will speak in Loccum about the socioeconomic situation of Western Balkans countries and the new EU enlargement strategy towards the region. The Western Balkans back in focus event is an international conference with more than 70 participants, organised by the Protestant Academy Loccum and the Südosteuropa Gesellschaft following renewed momentum in EU-Western Balkans relations.
The conference programme states that decision makers across Europe have recently called for more vigorous action in relation to the six non-EU countries in the region. On 17 May, the Bulgarian EU presidency will host a large summit on the Western Balkans in Sofia. After years of benign neglect, the EU is now ready for an active reengagement with Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo. Brussels is clearly expressing its willingness to move ahead, strengthening cooperation and advancing integration with countries in the Balkans in key sectors, as well as providing the region with the necessary resources. The year 2025 has been referred to as the first possible target date for a new round of enlargement (for Serbia and Montenegro), with the aim of motivating EU candidates to deliver with more determination on domestic reforms.