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EU-Balkans Ambassadorial Roundtable
Organised in conjunction with International Business & Diplomatic Exchange (IBDE) and the European Commission Representation in the UK.
24 November 2011
The “EU-Balkans Ambassadorial Roundtable” offered an opportunity to address the challenges of political and economic reform in the region by way of a constructive dialogue of relevant stakeholders - diplomats, EU officials, business people – with academics specialising in research in this field.
European integration stands alongside comprehensive and sustainable growth as the overarching goals for the Balkans. As all Western Balkan countries plus Turkey aspire to full EU membership, the domestic challenges they face and the membership criteria they are expected to fulfil make the pursuance of political reforms as well as sound economic policies essential to ensure the region’s progress.
Further to a closer cooperation among the Balkan states themselves, necessary in order to overcome the legacy of the Yugoslav wars, the key regional priorities thus include socio-economic development, sound public finance, external assistance management, enhanced consultation among all stakeholders and anti-corruption measures.
The European Union supports governments in addressing these challenges through the so-called Stabilization and Association Process. It offers key instruments for political stabilisation, transition to a market economy and regional cooperation, and thus represents a prime motivational force for reform in the region. However, the EU also faces challenges of its own with regard to future enlargement, not least the onset of an “enlargement fatigue” among existing member states.
See below for further images.
Photographs by Alban Bytyci