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.
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