The European Fund for the Balkans runs a fellowship programme for government officials from the Western Balkans. For the 8th year, 20 young civil servants, selected on a competitive basis, have the opportunity to gather experience by working for 10 weeks in a ministry or other host institution in an EU member state. Before, all participants meet in Berlin for a 10-day preparation programme.
Within this framework, ESI's Kristof Bender was invited on 28 August in Berlin to a panel discussion on "Debating Europe – Have we reached the tipping point?" The second panellist was Werner Weidenfeld, Founder of the Center for Applied Policy Research. Kristof spoke about the implications of the current European challenges – from Brexit to the refugee crisis – on the Western Balkans and the EU enlargement process.