Research Presentation: Western Balkans 20 Years after the EU Summit in Thessaloniki

More+Events ♦ Published: June 15, 2023; 15:21 ♦ (Vindobona)

On Friday, June 30, 2023, at 09:00, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw), together with prominent politicians from Austria and the Balkans, will present their new study on the EU's geo-economic influence in the Western Balkans. The event will take place in the Reitersaal of the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank in Vienna.

Together with Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and wiiw present their new study on the EU's geo-economic influence in the Western Balkans. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Olahus, cropped [CC BY-SA 3.0]

The study presentation entitled "The Western Balkans 20 Years after the EU Thessaloniki Summit" will highlight current developments and the influence of the EU on the region. Supported by Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and wiiw.

The program will start at 09:00 with an opening speech by Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg on "The European Perspective: Keeping the Western Balkans on the Agenda". This will be followed by a presentation by renowned economist Branimir Jovanovic, who will examine the EU's impact on the Western Balkans from a geo-economic perspective.

The event will be moderated by Stefani Weiss, Senior Expert at the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Brussels. After a coffee break at 10:30 a.m., there will be a panel discussion at 11:00 a.m. entitled "Thessaloniki Revisited 20 Years on Time for a radically new EU Approach to the Western Balkans".

The panel discussion will be attended by distinguished personalities including Kadir Bahcecik of the European Investment Bank, Odeta Barbullushi, Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, Simonida Kacarska, Director of the European Policy Institute in Skopje, Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, President of the Republic of Kosovo, Manuel Sarrazin, Special Representative of the German Federal Government for the Western Balkans, Ivan Vejvoda, Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, and Romana Vlahutin, Ambassador and Distinguished Fellow for Geostrategy at the German Marshall Fund in Berlin. The discussion will be moderated by Hannes Swoboda, President of wiiw.

The entire event will be held in English. Interested participants are asked to register in advance. For more information and to register, please visit the following link:

The study presentation promises to provide an interesting insight into the EU's geo-economic influence on the Western Balkans 20 years after the EU Thessaloniki Summit.