Western Balkans Summit Vienna 2015 – Civil Society Forum


The Civil Society Forum is part of the programme of the Western Balkans Summit Vienna 2015 and offers a unique opportunity to civil society representatives from South Eastern Europe to voice their concerns and formulate concrete demands to high representatives of the European Union, its member states, and the governments of the countries of the Western Balkans.

Politics and civil society representatives discuss on equal footing

The Civil Society Forum takes place on 26 August 2015 at the Ankerbrotfabrik in Vienna. Six committed citizens representing the Western Balkans civil society engage in an unparalleled debate with six renowned political leaders, tackling three main topics: enhancing regional cooperation, securing freedom of expression, creating jobs and prosperity. After an introduction by the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz, the following high-ranking politicians engage in the debate: Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania; Aleksandar Vučić, Prime Minister of Serbia; Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations; Igor Crnadak, Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Igor Lukšić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro.

Civil society is represented in the debate by: Ardian Haçkaj, Director of the public policy platform Shtetiweb at the Cooperation and Development Institute, Albania; Meliha Bajramović, Coordinator of Plenum Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Faik Ispahiu, Director and Executive Producer of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and Internews Kosova; Dona Kosturnova, Executive Director of the Youth Educational Forum, Macedonia; Dejan Milovac, Director of the Center for Investigations and Deputy Director of MANS, Montenegro; Aleksandar Simurdić, Secretary General of the European Movement, Local Council Novi Sad, Serbia.

The Western Balkans Summit Vienna 2015 takes place on 27 August 2015 with the participation of a number of heads of EU member states and countries of South Eastern Europe. It is a continuation of the “Berlin Process”, which was initiated in August 2014 by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to show further political commitment to the future enlargement of the European Union towards the Western Balkans.

More information here.

The Civil Society Forum of the Western Balkans Summit Vienna 2015 is 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.