The Civil Society Forum Series is focused on establishing a sustainable and relevant second-track platform in the so-called “Berlin Process”, creating an impetus for debate among decision makers and wider Europe. The series was launched in 2015, with the Civil Society Forum of the Western Balkans Summit Vienna 2015 as a joint initiative of ERSTE Foundation, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, and Karl Renner Institute, in close cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. The idea of being recognized as an important segment where the governments and the politicians in the region can continuously maintain closer cooperation with civil society has remained as an imperative from the very beginning.

The Civil Society Forum Series intends to contribute to the greater role, visibility and impact of civil society in the Berlin Process and in the broader EU integration process of the Western Balkan aspirants. Civil society organisations have rallied around this initiative with the desire to develop a common position, following in the footsteps of the Berlin, Vienna and Paris Summits, and to construct a more permanent Forum for civil society to cooperate and develop a dialogue with political leaders and governments.