The next few years will be decisive for the democratic and European future of the Western Balkans. In addition to a credible enlargement perspective and a positive enlargement narrative, which needs to be reinvented and reinvigorated, it is vital to support rule of law, civil dialogue, pluralism and the fight against corruption as well as the social dimension. It is crucial to invest more in social inclusion, to support the broad vision of just and democratic societies, which needs to include various bottom-up initiatives and actors. This Op-ed is prepared and published in the framework of the project “Europeanisation meets democracy from below: The Western Balkans Europeanisation meets democracy on the search for new European and democratic Momentum (WB2EU)” co-funded by the European Commission under its Erasmus+ Jean Monnet programme.
Our “WB2EU network” will activate, connect, research, disseminate and create joint output on the defined topics by bringing together academia, civil society and relevant stakeholders on national, regional and EU level. The project is led by the Austrian Society for European Politics (ÖGfE) and includes 16 renowned think-tanks, do-tanks, higher education institutes and policy centres from the European countries that will be most decisive for the enlargement process in the upcoming years.
For more information about this project, please visit the project website: https://www.wb2eu.eu/.