GLPS held a discussion in Paris on the topic: “France and the Western Balkans in the making of a stronger Europe”

June 3, 2022

On June 02, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS), jointly with the Foundation Jean Jaures and the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, organized a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “France and the Western Balkans in the making of a stronger Europe”, held in Paris, France. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, one of the EU’s closest neighbours, is a watershed moment in Europe and beyond. The aggression war shattered Europeans’ illusions that power politics can be ignored and that trade and market integration alone suffice to ensure peace on the Continent. This profound crisis in the East comes on the top of a series of other challenges, which the EU had to face in the past decade. While their scope and scale remain unclear, the implications of this war can already be felt in all regions in Europe, including of course in the Western Balkans. Their intersection with ongoing debates in the Europe, with the Conference on the future of Europe, the Strategic Compass and more generally with the Union’s geopolitical ambitions and value-based commitments will be of key importance. The future of the accession policy is now at stake.

What role can France take in this constellation of issues? How can it further boost its engagement in the Western Balkans and support Serbia and Kosovo’s progressive forces? How should the EU approach persisting issues in the region (from democratic backsliding to bilateral issues) readily exploited by geopolitical actors to their own benefit? And above all, how can progressive forces in Serbia, Kosovo and the region contribute to the making of a stronger Europe?  These were among the key points discussed during the debate. The discussion was closed, under the Chatham House Rules. A Policy Brief was presented during the event, which can be downloaded here.

Venue: Fondation Jean Jaurès in Paris, 12 Cité Malesherbes, 75009 Paris, France.

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