Against this backdrop, the Western Balkans represent both a challenge and an opportunity for the Italian government. Over the years, Italy has consistently pursued a European agenda for the Western Balkan countries, which has been in line with its strategic national interest for political, economic, and security reasons. Nonetheless, Italy has not always fully exercised its political weight in the European context. While German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has clearly committed to the continuation of the enlargement process and the “Berlin Process”, the French President Emmanuel Macron launched the European Political Community. In such a dynamic context, Italy has the potential to play an active role and strive for synthesis among various visions over the future of Europe and the Western Balkans.
All this considered, the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT), with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and in the framework of the strategic partnership with Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation, will host a two-day meeting in Rome to discuss expectations and prospects for the medium-term future of the Balkan region. The meeting will include high-level representatives and policy makers and civil society representatives, both from the region and the EU. The aim is to promote an informal gathering to discuss mutual expectations and develop further concrete initiatives for cooperation between the countries of the region and with EU member countries.
This event will be opened by Antonio Tajani, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tobias Billström, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement.
Foreign Affairs Ministers from the Western Balkans, EU high-level policy makers as well as civil society representatives will actively participate in this initiative.
Working language: English
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