Despite falling economic prospects and growing political divisions in the EU, the Balkans still aim at full EU membership. Is that an achievable prospective? From Russia to China, from the US to Turkey: can other international actors be more credible partners and take advantage of the EU’s weakness? How and to what extent can COVID-19 further destabilise the political context of the region?
ISPI is hosting this event online. You will be able to access the livestream on this page, as well as on Facebook and Youtube, starting from May 14 at 15:00 (CEST).
During the event, take part in the debate and submit your questions for panelists by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on Facebook and Youtube.
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The event will be held in English only.
The event is part of the initiative Why the Balkans Matter. The Future of the Region in the Age of the Virus
Despite the outbreak of the pandemic, 2020 began with renewed hopes for the Western Balkans. Last March, the General Affairs Council green-lighted the opening of EU accession talks for Albania and North Macedonia. Moreover, after more than a year of stalemate, the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia will probably be resumed soon. Yet, the region is still prey to high instability factors, both economic and political. While all the Balkan countries are allegedly committed to a future in the European Union, the influence and soft power of other international powers are rising, as shown by the so-called “health diplomacy” during the COVID-19 crisis.
The initiative consists of two online events aiming to discuss the topics deepened in the Report "The Balkans: Old, New Instabilities", published by ISPI with the support of the Unit for Analysis and Policy Planning of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in accordance with Article 23- bis of the Decree of the President of the Italian Republic 18/1967.
The next round table "The Balkans: when Pandemic Hits Fragile Economies" will be held on 21 May from 15:00 to 16:30 (CEST)