The EESC organised its 9th Western Balkans Civil Society Forum in Holiday Inn Hotel Thessaloniki Monastiriou 8, Thessaloniki 546 29, Greece, on 19 and 20 October 2023.
The main topics on the agenda were:
- The state of democracy in South East Europe: civil society "health test" on the road to EU enlargement
- 2023 European Year of Skills:
- Lifelong skills development in South-East Europe, through initial and Continuing Vocational Education and Training (IVET and CVET)
- Education, Skills and the Youth Guarantee in the Western Balkans
- Continuing training, up-skilling and re-skilling in the Western Balkan
- Civil society's contribution to the implementation of the Green Agenda and sustainable development of the South-East Europe
It brought together approximately 120 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.
Oliver Röpke, president of the European Economic and Social Committee, Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography, and Maira Myrogianni, Secretary General for International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hellenic Republic, participated in this major event.
A final declaration with recommendations from civil society organisations was adopted at the end of the event.