Kick_Off Conference Western Balkans 2 EU: A Reality Check for EU Enlargement

Kick_Off Conference Western Balkans 2 EU: A Reality Check for EU Enlargement

23.03.2021 - 24.03.2021
14:30 - 17:00

EU enlargement has not been amongst the top priorities in Europe recently. The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated everywhere, plus: it doesn’t make internal reforms required for the enlargement of the EU any easier. Beyond that, also the Western Balkans are struggling with internal problems; democracies are under pressure and the records on the rule of law are mediocre. The search for renewed energies and optimism proves difficult within the current health and economic crises.

What challenges lie ahead for the EU and its closest neighbours on the Western Balkans? Why does it appear to be so complicated to establish rule of law in the countries? How can we encourage a European perspective/a European future together?

March 23, 2021
14:30 – 16:00

"New perspectives on rule of law and justice – Where do we stand and what do we need?"

Márta Pardavi
Co-Chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee

Nedim Hogić
PhD Candidate Sant' Anna School of Advanced Studies

Sofija Mandić
Secretary General Judicial Research Center (CEPRIS)

March 24, 2021

16:00 – 17:00

"How to get EU enlargement back on track? Prioritising rule of law and judicial reform."

Katarina Barley
Vice President of the European Parliament

Nikola Dimitrov
Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs of North Macedonia

Karoline Edtstadler
Federal Minister for EU and Constitution of Austria

Jovana Marović
Executive Director of Politikon Network in Montenegro

Vedran Džihić
Senior Researcher Austrian Institut for International Politics

Paul Schmidt
Secretary General Austrian Society for European Politics


You can join the panels via Livestream:

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This is the Kick_Off Conference to the three-year EU project Western Balkans 2 EU, funded by the Erasmus+ Jean-Monnet Network of the European Commission.

For more information on the project & project partners, please visit