TRAIN 2018: Discussing Scenarios and Strategic Options for EU Engagement in the Western Balkans

09/10/2018 - 12/10/2018 | 10:00 - 17:00 | Brüssel | Invitation only

Category: Balkans

From the 9th to the 12th of October, the third and final seminar of this year’s TRAIN Programme cycle took place in Brussels, once again bringing together think tank experts from the Western Balkans and across the EU to discuss the prospects for regional cooperation and European integration. Following their kick-off seminar in Berlin in April and a follow-up session in Belgrade in June, the researchers have developed concrete scenarios for 2025 and, on that basis, formulated policy recommendations for EU engagement.

© Daniel Osorio/Babylonia Brussels

As the final step of the TRAIN Programme’s one-year Strategic Foresight project, the participants presented three raw scenarios to experts from EU institutions and think tanks in Brussels. Based on the feedback of their interlocutors, they analyzed risks and opportunities of their scenarios and discussed strategic options for the European Commission in order to help meeting the wide range of future challenges. Particular emphasis was placed on the influence of Russia in the region, the solution of bilateral disputes between Western Balkan states, and the linking of EU funds to progress in regional cooperation. The result of this year’s TRAIN Programme will be summarized in a joint publication at the end of the year.

TRAIN stands for “Think Tanks Providing Research and Advice through Interaction and Networking”, and addresses independent policy research institutions from the Western Balkans. The programme aims to contribute to the support of civil society and to the strengthening of national and European policy dialogue for key issues in the EU integration process. This year’s Strategic Foresight process is facilitated by Foresight Intelligence and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office (Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe).

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