On 9 July 2013, the EU's Institute for Strategic Studies (ISS) presented in Brussels its new publication "The European future of the Western Balkans - Thessaloniki@10 (2003 – 2013)". ESI Senior Analyst Alexandra contributed to this book an essay about visa liberalisation.
Ten years ago, leaders from the EU and Western Balkan states met in Thessaloniki and agreed the Thessaloniki Agenda which set the Western Balkan countries firmly on the path to EU membership. Marking the anniversary of this summit, the ISS anthology assesses the progress that has been made and looks at the remaining challenges. Besides the visa question, it examines issues ranging from the political, social and economic situation in the Western Balkans to regional cooperation; from the fight against corruption and organised crime to EU missions in the region; from the role that ICTY has played in fostering reconciliation to the function of civil societies in the countries' development.
The book features contributions from exclusively female authors - academics and practitioners - from both the EU and the Western Balkans. Besides Alexandra, they include Rosa Balfour, Chloé Brière, Heather Grabbe, Isabelle Ioannides, Denisa Kostovicova, Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, Eviola Prifti, Corina Stratulat, Lidija Topic and Milica Uvalic.
At the book launch in Brussels, some of the authors including Alexandra presented their contributions. Afterwards, there was a discussion on enlargement with Axel Walldén (European Commission, DG Enlargement), Maria Eleni Koppa (MEP, rapporteur on enlargement) and Goran Svilanović (Secretary-General of the Regional Cooperation Council). Vladimir Drobnjak, the former chief negotiator for Croatia and now Croatia's Permanent Representative to the EU, concluded the event.