Europeanisation meets democracy from below: The Western Balkans Europeanisation meets democracy on the search for new European and democratic Momentum (WB2EU)

Europeanisation meets democracy from below: The Western Balkans Europeanisation meets democracy on the search for new European and democratic Momentum (WB2EU)

Supported by: Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Networks Project (621247-EPP-1-2020-1-AT-EPPJMO-NETWORK)

Project duration: October 2020 – October 2023

Project Partners: The network consists of 17 renowned think-tanks, do-tanks, higher education institutes and policy centres from the countries that will be most decisive for the enlargement process in the upcoming years.

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 project aims at the establishment of a network of renowned think-tanks, do-tanks, universities, higher education institutes and policy centres from the Western Balkans, neighbouring countries and EU member states that will be most decisive for the enlargement process and Europeanisation of the region in the upcoming years.

The “WB2EU network” shall become a reference point in the area of EU Enlargement and democratisation efforts to the Western Balkan countries. Besides the research and policy focus of the network, the outreach element will be of crucial importance. The discussion will be carried far beyond the 17 organisations of the network to foster the dialogue with decision-makers (on the local, national, regional level in the Western Balkans and on the European level within the EU institutions in Brussels), as well as civil society representatives, activists, higher education institutes, the media and the wider public. The network shall thereby be a catalyst, discussion and exchange platform, and knowledge disseminator and it will furthermore actively include various civic bottom-up initiatives able to enrich and foster democracy and Europeanisation in the region.

The project aims to:

  • strengthen pro-European and pro-democratic momentum in the Western Balkans and support the democratic reform processes and progressive democratic changes (from below);
  • develop a permanent, coherent regional and transnational/trans-European network on enlargement and democracy in the Western Balkans;
  • foster cooperation between the network, relevant EU institutions/stakeholders and connect civic activists, civil society with researchers and stakeholders;
  • encourage young researchers to focus on the European integration and democratisation process of the Western Balkans and EU-related topics more systematically;
  • conduct research and produce relevant knowledge on the process of EU Enlargement and democracy development.

 

The network will focus on:

  • gathering, producing and promoting information and research results on EU Enlargement respectively on topics of Europeanisation and democratisation of the Western Balkans;
  • supporting civic democratic engagement through the publication of a series of policy briefs and op-eds in major media outlets in all partner countries;
  • exchanging knowledge and expertise by sharing best practices throughout the network;
  • fostering cooperation and creating a high knowledge exchange platform with public actors (stakeholders, policy-makers, civil society, academia, media and wider public) and the European Commission services on the highly topical subject of EU Enlargement to create stronger institutional ties throughout the enlargement process;
  • involving young researchers, civic activists and policy community in the project and establishing a generation of “young influencers” able to provide fresh and engaged outlook to the process of Europeanisation and democratisation.

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See full list of Project Partners

For more information, you may consult the project website: https://www.wb2eu.eu/.

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