The 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 Civil Society Forum of the Western Balkans Summit Vienna 2015 constitutes one venue for civil society to articulate recommendations, and make suggestion 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:
- Building a culture of regional cooperation
- Freedom of expression
- Creation of jobs and prosperity
The Civil Society Forum consists of several components to develop and formulate proposals.
In a first step, three regional workshops have been held in Tirana, Belgrade, and Sarajevo to prepare the topics. The discussion on all three topics will be continued at the civil society workshops in Vienna.
In the evening of 26 August 2015, the day before the Western Balkans Summit, the Civil Society Forum will stage a big debate including leading politicians and 200 civil soiety representatives.
The recommendations and proposals of the forum will be presented to the political leaders on the Western Balkans Summit. To integrate the young generation into the dialogue as well, the renowned regional TV show Vicinities will record a special edition: Vicinities Europe.