24 June 2013
Berlin ESI at conference on Southeastern Europe and Europe 2014
Alexandra Stiglmayer. Photo: ESI
Alexandra Stiglmayer. Photo: ESI

ESI's Senior Analyst Alexandra Stiglmayer participated in a workshop called "Southeastern Europe and Europe 2014: Rethinking and Refilling the Toolbox". The workshop was organised by the German Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft at the Bundestag in Berlin. Its aims were to take stock of EU enlargement policies and instruments, the challenges facing the EU, and the future of the EU and Southeast Europe.

The topics discussed ranged from the significance and consequences of Croatia's imminent accession on 1 July, to the economic situation in the Western Balkans, the EU and Turkey; and from the recent Serbia-Kosovo "Agreement of Principles governing the Normalisation of Relations" to ways how the enlargement process could be improved. The participants, who included think-tankers, politicians and academics from the Western Balkans and the EU, provided a variety of ideas.

Overall they agreed that there is no alternative to EU integration of the Western Balkans, but that the enlargement process, and in particular the "pre-enlargement process", has become too drawn-out and must be improved in order to remain meaningful. This was also Alexandra's main point, and she made a few proposals how this could be achieved. The participants were of the opinion that the enlargement process has to be made more relevant to people, which could be achieved by engaging grass-root organisations and civil society to a greater extent and by fostering mobility and contacts. They also expressed the belief that more had to be done to tackle the dire economic situation in the Western Balkans. The discussions are summarised in the conference report. The programme and list of participants is also available.

Rainer Stinner, member of the Bundestag – Franz-Lothar Altmann, University Bucharest – Johanna Deimel, Deputy Director of Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft – Dirk Lange, Head of the Croatia Unit, European Commission. Photo: ESI
Rainer Stinner, member of the Bundestag – Franz-Lothar Altmann, University Bucharest – Johanna Deimel, Deputy Director of Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft – Dirk Lange, Head of the Croatia Unit, European Commission. Photo: ESI
Alida Vračić, Executive Director, Think Tank Populari – Tim Judah, Journalist, The Economist – Milan Pajevic, Director of the Serbian European Integration office / Wim van Meurs, Radboud University Nijmegen. Photo: ESI
Alida Vračić, Executive Director, Think Tank Populari – Tim Judah, Journalist, The Economist – Milan Pajevic, Director of the Serbian European Integration office / Wim van Meurs, Radboud University Nijmegen. Photo: ESI
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