6 June 2012
ESI meets young government officials from the Western Balkans
Brussels. Photo: flickr/lewishamdreamer
Brussels. Photo: flickr/lewishamdreamer

On 6 June 2012, ESI Senior Analyst Alexandra Stiglmayer discussed with a group of 20 young government officials from the Western Balkans the interaction between think-tanks and government bodies. The civil servants attended a three-day seminar in Brussels held in the framework of the Fellowship Programme for Young Government Officials of the European Fund for the Balkans.

Alexandra said independent think-tanks have to have good relations to government officials in order to obtain information and have an impact with their policy recommendations, but that they also must preserve their independence. She said this was sometimes a difficult balancing act, but indispensable. She used examples from ESI's Schengen White List Project to illustrate how ESI has coped with these challenges. After her presentation, there was a lively discussion.

Information about the European Stability Initiative, its origin, history and activities, is available here.

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