A new EU strategy for the Western Balkans: Lessons from EU-CEE and the Russian invasion

08  June 2022    4:00 pm CEST

Study presentation and expert discussion

In cooperation with:


Online zoom event. Please register using the link below.


The Russian invasion of Ukraine poses risks for the Western Balkans, where memories of the war are still present and ethnic disputes have never been settled. The region is slowly cooling towards the EU after spending almost two decades in its waiting room. The announced accelerated EU accession of Ukraine, however justified and likely, threatens to increase frustration in the Western Balkans if the EU does not change its strategy towards the region.

In our new study „The long way round: Lessons from EU-CEE for improving integration and development in the Western Balkans“, we make the case for a necessary change in the EU’s strategy towards the Western Balkans, as the current strategy has failed to deliver regional economic integration and development. Instead of doing more of the same, we ask whether and how the successful example of the former communist countries that joined the EU between 2004 and 2013 can be repeated in the Western Balkans.

The main issues to be discussed on this event are:

  • How can the EU promote regional economic integration and development in the Western Balkans?  
  • What should be the new EU strategy for the Western Balkans?
  • Are there prospects for a new dynamic in their EU accession process?
  • What impact could visible progress have on the region as a whole and on its territorial and constitutional disputes?
  • What is at stake for Europe if there is no visible progress?


Welcome by Hannes Swoboda, President of wiiw and IIP, former MEP

Presentation of new wiiw study "The long way round: Lessons from EU-CEE for improving integration and development in the Western Balkans"
by Branimir Jovanovic, Lead author and wiiw Balkan Expert

Panel discussion with
Stefani Weiss, Senior Expert for EU Governance, Foreign and Security Policy in the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s ‘Future of Europe’ programme
Dusan Reljić, Head of Brussels Office, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
Ranka Miljenović, Executive Director, European Policy Center (CEP), Belgrade
Richard Grieveson (Moderator), wiiw Senior Economist and Deputy Director


Please register via the following link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_c0-2BZ3JRM2jJeOsbYDvDw