Civil Society Forum Trieste 2017 – Recommendations

The Civil Society Forum policy recommendations are being formulated for topics which are in line with the priority themes of the upcoming Trieste Summit and were developed in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Italy, as hosts of this year’s Summit: Business Environment and Innovation, Rule of Law, Youth Cooperation, Regional Cooperation and Bilateral Issues. The recommendations were prepared during an expert meeting (Civil Society Forum in Tirana, April 2017), and with inputs provided through a broad online consultation process. As result of the online consultation process with the involvement of a wide circle of CSOs from all over the Balkans, two more topics will be included in the final document of summarising the CSF policy recommendations: Environment, Energy and Climate Change and Communicating the Berlin Process in the time of rising populism – possible roles of civil society.

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Civil Society Forum Tirana 2017 – Potential Recommendations

During the Civil Society Forum meeting in Tirana, organisations from the Western Balkans and their experts have been deliberating and preparing contributions on the four topics presented below. The purpose of this endeavour was to formulate policy recommendations for the intergovernmental meeting on the occasion of the Western Balkans Summit in Trieste, which will take place on July 12 this year.

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Civil Society Forum Paris 2016 – Recommendations

The Civil Society Forum (CSF) brought together more than 100 activists and representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from the European Union (EU) and the Western Balkans (WB) to formulate recommendations for the future of the European project, and the integration of the Western Balkans countries.

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Civil Society Forum Belgrade 2016 – Recommendations

The Civil Society Forum Belgrade Forum was realised as a joint initiative of the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) and ERSTE Foundation, supported by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Info Point Novi Sad, The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and the Provincial Secretariat for Science and Technological Development, and in close cooperation with the European Movement in Serbia – Local Council in Novi Sad and the Center for Regionalism.

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Civil Society Forum Skopje 2016 – Recommendations

Democracy, Europe, Social Justice: Future Strategies


The acknowledgement of the global crisis of democracy was the upshot of the discussion on the challenges democracy faces at the moment. Democracy and its institutions, both in the West and in the Western Balkans, are believed to be captured by groups guided by special interest – both political and business elites. This increases the mistrust of people in democratic institutions resulting in diminished popular faith in democratic practice and providing a fertile ground for the rise of populist politics offering simple solutions to complex political and social problems. Rising social inequalities and the insufficient level of education on democratic values were pointed as the main reason for the democratic malaise. What makes the situation even more frustrating in some countries of the Western Balkans is the awareness that the authoritarian turn comes after a period of steady democratic achievements that are now being reversed.

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Civil Society Forum Vienna 2015 – Recommendations

Socio-economic and political reforms remain key for the successful European integration of the Western Balkans. This process can only be successful with the broad and comprehensive inclusion of civil society. The Western Balkans Civil Society Forum constitutes one venue for civil society to articulate recommendations, make suggestions and be a critical and competent voice at the series of Western Balkans summits that began in Berlin in 2014 and continues in Vienna in 2015 and Paris in 2016. Three themes have been identified as key areas of social concern: the culture of regional cooperation, freedom of expression and the creation of jobs.

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