The COVID-19 pandemic has produced direct consequences on the economy, political context, social climate and overall welfare of WB6 citizens. The SEE region is projected to enter a recession in 2020, whose magnitude depends on the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe. The main risk is that a prolonged pandemic, as well as a deeper recession in the EU, could make the unfolding economic crisis difficult to handle.
The incandescent political situation in the Balkan countries and their weak institutional governance will act as magnifying factors. Moreover the pandemic caused delays in the implementation pace of engaged reforms. In some cases it provided the spark that enflamed the political conflict. In general the democratic legitimacy of SEE6 institutions has worsened.
This Event Report was prepared in the framework of the Webinar “COVID-19 AND SEE6 REFORMS | how COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resilience of SEE6 institutions and the progress of reforms”, supported by Hanns Seidel Stiftung.