The development of the Western Balkans will be discussed in Sofia by high-ranking European politicians and experts in the field of geopolitics, international relations and national security. The Sixth Western Balkans Conference is organized by the New Direction Foundation for European Reform, Vice President of which is a member of the Party of European Conservatives and Reformists and co-chairman of VMRO – Bulgarian National Movement (VMRO-BND) is a nationalist Bulgarian political Angel DzhambazkiAngel Dzhambazki is a Bulgarian nationalist and politician, Deputy Chairman of "IMRO – . Co-organisers are the Warsaw Institute and the Youth Network for European Democracy (EDYN).

In the forum, which will be opened by Dzhambazki at 10 am on December 2 (Saturday) in Hall 3.2. Key topics such as the process of EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, security, migration and foreign interference, media freedom, Russian aggression against Ukraine, etc. will be discussed. A round table for young political leaders on the topic "The Future of the Western Balkans" will also be held.

The event will be attended by Emilia Rexhepi, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo for Minority and Human Rights Issues, Miroslav Gačević, Deputy Minister for Political and Economic Criteria in the EU Accession Process (Serbia), Tandzha Mistevic - Minister of European Integration, representatives in the European Parliament Ladislav Ilčić (Croatian Suvernists, ECR), Ryszard Czarnecki (Law and Justice, Poland), Andrej SlabakovAndrey Slabakov was born on 13.08. 1960 graduated from the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts, majoring in Cinema and (VMRO – Bulgarian National Movement (VMRO-BND) is a nationalist Bulgarian political, ECR), Marko Milanovic Litre, Member of Parliament in the Croatian Parliament, Deputy Chairman of the New Direction Foundation (ECR-Croatia), Teuta Vodo, former Deputy Minister of Justice of Albania, Associate Professor at Universite' Paris Cite' and Sciences Po Paris, researcher at IPSE, Slaven Raguz, MP in the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Republican Party (Bosnia and Herzegovina), as well as politicians from the region, professors, journalists and public figures, MPs, youth leaders, political scientists and others.

Two commissioners will take part in the Western Balkans conference, organized by Angel Dzhambazki

The countries of the Western Balkans, geopolitically and historically, belong to Europe and their accession to the European Union is a natural process identified as a priority at the European Council summit back in 2003. However, years after the first Western Balkan countries applied for membership, only Croatia joined the Union on 1 July 2013. Meanwhile, for other countries in the region, the enlargement process has become a challenge.

For the other countries in the region, the enlargement process proved to be a complex undertaking that requires resolving bilateral issues and implementing democratic and economic reforms to harmonize with EU standards and pave the way for their eventual accession.

Russian aggression against Ukraine returned enlargement as a top priority on the European agenda with some key events in 2022. On June 23, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova were granted candidate status, while Albania and North Macedonia held their first intergovernmental conferences on July 19 of the same year.

Despite this progress, however, obstacles persist and the EU appears to be feeling tired of further enlargement, coupled with a lack of trust among the nations of the Western Balkans.

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Andrey Slabakov

Angel Dzhambazki

IMRO

Western Balkans

Conference