ESI founding meeting in Sarajevo
The first meeting of ESI took place in June 1999, in the garden of restaurant Lovac in Sarajevo.
ESI's 8 founding members were a group of young people who had worked in different organisations in and on the Balkans: OSCE, the World Bank, OHR, the European Commission, various European Foreign Ministries. Their motivation: to help international institutions understand their environment and become more effective in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina, and to advance the integration of the Balkans into the European Union following the end of the Kosovo war.
The founding members were soon joined by others who shared these ambitions.