Munich – ESI at panel discussion: “Slovenia’s second EU Council Presidency – What vision for the European path of its non-EU neighbours?”

16 June 2021
Slovenian and EU flags​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
 Slovenian and EU Flags. Photo: flickr / Carlo 

ESI’s Gerald Knaus was invited to a panel discussion organised by the Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft (SOG) to discuss Slovenia’s second EU Council Presidency – What vision for the European path of its non-EU neighbours?

The discussion focused on Slovenia’s EU agenda, the stalled EU enlargement process, the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans promising a post-Covid recovery including a green and digital transition, and the goal of a Common Regional Market and reconciliation and good-neighbourly relations within the WB6. Moreover, the panel addressed the need to put Southeast Europe and especially the Western Balkans more forcefully on the EU’s agenda.

Gerald presented ESI’s proposal to opening the EU Single Market to the Balkans as a credible goal in the accession process for the Western Balkan nations.

Speakers included Ambassador Susanne Schütz (Director for South-Eastern Europe, Turkey, EFTA States, OSCE and the Council of Europe in the German Federal Foreign Office), Simonida Kacarska (Director of the European Policy Institute, Skopje) and Gerald Knaus. The discussion was moderated by Florian Bieber (Professor of Southeast European History and Politics, Director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz).

In addition, Manuel Sarrazin (Member of the German Bundestag, Spokesperson for Eastern Europe of the Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens, President of the Southeast Europe Association, Berlin) introduced the event and Peter Grk (Director Western Balkans, Foreign Ministry of Slovenia, Ljubljana) gave a keynote speech on Slovenia’s EU Council Presidency priorities for the WB6.