To approach these questions, ESI in partnership with Wilton Park and the Executive Agency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) organized a conference. Hosted by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, the conference took place in Oslo. The ideal environment gave the participants the opportunity for original thinking and frank speaking in an for such discussions. It brought together specially invited representatives from national and sub national level from the Western Balkan countries, and policy-makers from the international community.
The intention of this conference was to provide detailed and visually compelling evidence to test out new policy ideas in time for the June 21st Thessaloniki Summit, and the follow-through afterwards. The event was carefully framed to assist the policy-process in the run-up to the summit, especially regarding the options for applying forms of EU cohesion policies to the Western Balkans that are "all eventually destined to join the EU" (Romano Prodi).
ESI provided a paper based on original research, together with a specially commissioned documentary film ("The Bosnian Story"), examining exactly how new policies could work in the region. The film will be hosted on this website in the near future.
For the structure of the conference, please click here to see the programme.