The third day of „POLITEIA Western Balkans School for Youth Participation“was held on the 11th of May 2021. The introduction was given by Nataša Vučković, Executive Director of Center for Democracy Foundation. Topic was „European Union and Western Balkans: predictable future? Other’s actors in Western Balkans – chance or obstacle for EU integration?“ and lecturer was Ivan Vejvoda from Institute for Human Sciences - Austria.
Ivan Vejvoda pointed that projects like Politeia school are very significant for regional cooperation, youth networking and democracy in the Western Balkans. He highlighted that we should all work together to improve the mentioned goals.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the European Union approached the countries of the region with a lot of support and help, announcing that all Western Balkans countries will become members if they fulfill conditions for accession. EU gave a strong support for Western Balkans societies and their future in the EU. However, even today, there are countries that have not opened negotiations on joining the EU, which should be an imperative for them.
Unfortunately, as we can see today, there are numerous crises that have affected the world, and thus the EU, which is why it did not pay enough attention to the Western Balkans. All these challenges caused a slowdown of EU integrations in the WB.
Ivan Vejvoda concluded his lecture by emphasizing the importance of regional cooperation. We are a small region and economically, as individual countries, we are irrelevant. But together, as a region, we are becoming relevant and that is why all regional initiatives are extremely important.