The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies – wiiw
Webinar: Looking back, looking forward: Regional cooperation in the Western Balkans
14 October 2020, 4:30 pm
In cooperation with: Bertelsmann Stiftung
The European Commission is about to release its Enlargement Package for the Western Balkans together with a new Investment Plan for the region. According to Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi, it is a priority number one of the current Commission to “bring the region much closer, much faster to the European Union”. Regional economic cooperation and the establishment of a regional common market is furthermore praised as potential "game changer" for the Western Balkans.
But is the EU following the right strategy? Is regional cooperation a game changer?
A new major report by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and wiiw has taken up these questions. The study ‘Pushing on a string? An evaluation of regional economic cooperation in the Western Balkans’ examined the economic effects of the EU"s strategy of regional economic cooperation and the reasons for its failure. It argues that the Western Balkan countries would benefit much more from a deeper form of integration into the EU internal market than from all efforts to further advance their intra-regional trade - not least because the basic prerequisites for a functioning regional economic cooperation are still not in place and because the potential upside from deeper economic integration among six relatively poor countries is quite low.
Welcome by Hannes Swoboda, President of wiiw & Stefani Weiss, Senior Expert, Bertelsmann Stiftung
Study presentation by Richard Grieveson, Deputy Director, wiiw
Comments by Florian Bieber, Professor of Southeast European History and Politics and Director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University (CSEES)
Moderation of Q&A session by Mario Holzner, Executive Director, wiiw