Vienna – ESI at workshop on Western Balkans in the current geopolitical situation

12 December 2023
Kristof Bender at conference
Photo: AIES

ESI’s deputy chairman Kristof Bender participated in a workshop on “The challenges of the Western Balkans in the European integration process with special focus on the geopolitical situation and the influence of external actors” organised by the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES). 

Ahead of the European Council of 14/15 December, Kristof spoke about the sorry state of the EU accession process and presented ESI’s proposal to offer membership in the European Single Market, including access to the four freedoms and EU funds, as an attractive interim goal that can be reached by own merit, without constant blockages through bilateral vetoes (for more on this argument read this).

Other panelists included Vuk Vuksanovic of the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), Antun Krsevan Dujmovic of the Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO) from Zagreb, and Asya Metodieva of the Institute of International Relations (IIR) from Prague. The debate was chaired by Livia Benko of the AIES.