30 August 2008
ESI at the Green Summer University in Cottbuss: The Western Balkans on the way to the EU

ESI participated in the first Green Summer University, which took place at the Viadrina University of Cottbus, Germany. For several days, Greens from all over Europe came together and discussed topics such as ecology, European enlargement and foreign policy.

One workshop was dedicated to recent developments in the Balkans. Gisela Kallenbach (Green MEP) had invited Sonja Biserko (President of the Serbian Helsinki Committee), Veton Surroi (leader of the Kosovar ORA Party), Marijana Grandits (Director Working table I, Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe) and ESI senior analyst Eggert Hardten to the workshop "Step by Step: Western Balkans on the way to the EU". The discussants agreed that granting candidacy status to all Western Balkan states has become a sine qua non for European Enlargement politics. Nevertheless, a lively discussion arose with the audience why this has yet not materialized.

The forum was overshadowed by the events in the Caucasus. In the evening, a podium of prominent Green politicians and representatives from Georgia spoke to an overcrowded auditorium of participants mainly from Eastern Europe. It was a beautiful chance to experience how much Europe has already grown together at the grassroots.

Eggert Hardten, Sonja Biserko, Gisela Kallenbach, and Marijana Grandits
Eggert Hardten, Sonja Biserko, Gisela Kallenbach, and Marijana Grandits
Eggert Hardten, Sonja Biserko, Gisela Kallenbach, Marijana Grandits, and Veton Surroi
Eggert Hardten, Sonja Biserko, Gisela Kallenbach, Marijana Grandits, and Veton Surroi