The Demise of the Concept of the Western Balkans? Departures in Democratization and European Integration in Europe’s Southeast
On Friday, March 16, 2012, the Balkan Trust for Democracy hosted a presentation in Belgrade by the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) on “The Demise of the Concept of the Western Balkans? Departures in Democratization and European Integration in Europe’s Southeast.”
Stefan Ralchev and Goran Stojkovski, IRIS Research Associates, presented research findings on recent progress and setbacks in differing democratization and European integration processes in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. Dr. Ognyan Minchev, BTD Non-Resident Fellow and IRIS Executive Director, urged a re-examination of the concept of the ‘Western Balkans,’ as used in reference to the seven countries, in light of changes from the post-conflict agenda in which the term was adopted, and similarities in the social and political challenges confronting these countries as well as Bulgaria, Romania, and Greece.
Srdjan Djurovic, Director of the Center for Applied European Studies, and Irena Cerovic, Programme Coordinator, Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, delivered remarks further analyzing the study’s conclusions, opening a spirited floor discussion between representatives of local civil society.
The full version of the study is available here.