The Western Balkans Region is at a crucial time in its integration process into the European Union. The Covid 19 crisis has brought enormous financial and economic problems to the region. Yet, the focus on national self-interest, enduring burdens from past conflicts, and the jostling for influence of the big powers (amongst other factors) are undermining efforts to bring peace and prosperity. Historically, the Balkan Peninsula has been a crossroads between civilizations, religions and cultures. As a bridge between East and West, it remains a great asset for Europe as a whole. In the post-Covid 19 environment, the Western Balkan nations are faced both with historical challenges and opportunities. The ongoing process of social reform and democratization needs to be met with a commitment toward regional reconciliation and cooperation. The Balkan leaders’ efforts toward integration need to be matched by visionary leadership from EU policymakers.
Mrs. Jolanda Trebicka, President, Europartners Development, Albania
Interpretation will be available between Albanian, Croatian/Serbian and English