20 June 2019, Tirana Times Library
The Regional Forum “Berlin Process ‘Ahead of Poznań Summit 2019′” organized in Tirana by EU Policy Hub in the framework of SEE THINK NET, gathered in an open discussion representatives from the government, international community, academia and experts in the field, about the future of the Western Balkans in EU and how the Berlin Process can contribute in this path. During this event the partner organizations presented two recent policy briefs that provide important analysis on the development of the Rule of Law and Security Cooperation in the Western Balkans.
In his address, the Ambassador of Poland in Albania H.E Karol Bachura reiterated the fundamental role that civil society has in this process of EU Integration while stressing the importance of the Poznan Summit happening in July on 4-5 July 2019, the 6th meeting since 2014. H.E Karol Bachura stated: Poland has a great interest for the integration of Western Balkans in EU and is currently working hard for a productive Sammit of Pozana 2019. He also mentioned that the future of the Western Balkans has only one path: the EU. In his address H.E Bachura focused on the reconciliation of the Balkan societies as a key element of the Berlin Process which eventually will boost the integration efforts in the WB.
The Vice Minister of Justice, Mrs. Fjoralba Caka emphasized how the Berlin Process is strongly connected with the three main columns as defined by the Copenhagen Criteria: Political, Economic, and Acquis Communitaire. In this framework all the Western Balkan countries have a clear road map in achieving such criteria. Also Deputy Minister Caka confirmed the government’s commitment to work with a rapid step in this regard in order to have concrete and tangible results.
Mr. Ivan Nikolovski, presented the initiative of 9 organizations from the Balkan countries united under the name SEE Think Net as the first regional network composed of CSOs to monitor the topics related to the Berlin Process. He stressed the successful engagement and results of the Network members in the supporting and contributing in the efforts and policies toawards EU accession.
Ms. Jovana Marovic Executive Director of Politikon Network, one of the most active CSOs in Montenegro’s in the field of EU integration presented the Policy Document “How to foster the Rule of Law in the Western Balkans: 10 notes for the Decision-Makers” focusing in addressing the gaps in the rule of law such as: improvement of regulations, change of socio-political culture, improving regional cooperation, improve transparency etc. In this regards, Mrs Marovic voiced some of the main concerns that relate mainly to CSO’s approach to access official documents and contribute in the related national policies. “…accessibility of office documents would make governance more transparent and increase citizens’ credibility in policy making”, she stressed
Mrs. Donika Emini, representing the Network member, Kosovo Center for Security Studies, presented the Policy Brief: Regional Security in the Western Balkans: The Role of the Berlin Process shared with the audience some key observations in regards to regional security cooperation in the Western Balkans. Ms. Emini stressed that it is very important to develop closer ties and boost the cooperation between the countries of the region, to ensure dissemination of information among law enforcement institutions so that security is conceived at the regional level.
The floor was opened to questions and opinions from the participants who touched different aspects of the Berlin Process and shared their views on the boosting but also the hindering factors concerning the EU integration of the Western Balkans.
SEE Think Net Network was established in mid-march 2018 with the goal to produce and contribute significant policy inputs and provide policy recommendations on topics that derive from the Berlin Process. As such, its activities are devised in order to closely monitor the Berlin Process and the policy areas the process encompasses.
More information about SEE Think Net Network: http://www.eupolicyhub.eu/en/euph-member-of-the-first-regional-think-tank-network-to-monitor-the-berlin-process/