The EESC organised its 8th Western Balkans Civil Society Forum in Skopje on 30 September 2021 and 1 October 2021.
The main topics on the agenda were: how to enhance the accession process – a credible EU perspective for the Western Balkans (new accession methodology, Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans and Common Regional Market, opportunities for citizens and CSOs from the Western Balkans to participate in the Conference for the Future of Europe, EU communication strategy towards the region); the contribution of CSOs to the Green Agenda and sustainable development of the Western Balkans as part of the EU accession process; the state of social dialogue, as well as enabling civic space in the Western Balkans.
It brought together approximately 100 participants, including a broad range of civil society representatives from the EU and the Western Balkans, as well as representatives of EU institutions, international organisations and governments of the region.
Christa Schweng, president of the European Economic and Social Committee, Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Gašper Dovžan, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and Tanja Miščević, Deputy Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, participated in this major event.
A final declaration with recommendations from civil society organisations was issued at the end of the event.