The Balkans in, on the road or out of the European Union

15-16 Apr 2019, Warsaw

An international conference held by the Department of Government Studies and the Club of Political Science at Lazarski University.

During the last five years, the region of the Balkans was subject to dubious signals from Brussels, beginning with Juncker's 2014 statement claiming no further enlargements would take place during his term, to the renewed enthusiasm for the Western Balkans expressed during the EU Sofia Summit in 2018. Simultaneously, the Balkans has again become a region of a geopolitical clash where the interests of the EU, the United States, the Russian Federation, Turkey, China and even Saudi Arabia are colliding. Member states, candidates and potential candidates are the reason the region remains the most diversified in Europe in terms of relations with/within the EU. The Balkan's EU members and non-members are actively involved in most of the burning problems that EU faces including migration, rule of law, enlargement and economic recovery. Furthermore, Brexit will reshuffle the EU's decision-making process and will have a direct impact on the EU's redistributive functions.

The aim of the conference is to discuss possible scenarios for the future of the Balkans in the context of European integration. How does the EU influence Balkan countries already in the EU? What are the challenges ahead for countries on the road to the EU? Can some of these countries remain out of the process of European integration? Ultimately, what will be the regions' impact on the future of the European Union?

In order to answer these questions, the conference organisers want to focus on the role of values and interests to: analyze the role of the EU at a national and regional level, deliberate on the interaction between national and EU political elites, discuss the compatibility of the Balkan states' political systems with the integration process, discuss the current economic, political, social and security situation in the Balkans and to reflect on the post-Brexit EU approach towards the region.

Lazarski University Warsaw