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P. Demes - Minna - I. Vejvoda - Gerald - Misha - A. Rondos -- Neven Mimica - Marcus Brand

Road to Thessaloniki

March 2003

In October 2002, ESI launched its campaign for an ambitious EU-Balkan summit in 2003:

"The European Union should send a strong signal to the countries of the Western Balkans that the promise of Europeanisation is not an illusion. The European Union's Zagreb II summit planned for June 2003 under the Greek presidency is the ideal opportunity to send such a signal, and should mark a turning point in relations between the Union and the Western Balkans."

ESI also urged a review of EU assistance methodology:

"The real challenge is to increase the impact of European aid to the Western Balkans by introducing new assistance strategies, based on the lessons and techniques of European regional development policy."

ESI analysts and members pressed the case across Europe and the US: at a World Economic Forum in Athens; at meetings with EU officials in Brussels; at background meetings with regional leaders. ESI was also invited (for the fifth time in three years) to address the EU's Council on the Western Balkans (COWEB) in Brussels in June 2003.

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