26 June 1999
ESI founding meeting in Sarajevo

The first meeting of ESI took place in June 1999, in the garden of restaurant Lovac in Sarajevo.

ESI's 8 founding members were a group of young people who had worked in different organisations in and on the Balkans: OSCE, the World Bank, OHR, the European Commission, various European Foreign Ministries. Their motivation: to help international institutions understand their environment and become more effective in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina, and to advance the integration of the Balkans into the European Union following the end of the Kosovo war.

The founding members were soon joined by others who shared these ambitions.

About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com