European Commission has launched a new Recovery plan for Europe as an answer to corona virus that has shaken Europe and the world to its core, testing healthcare and welfare systems, societies and economies and our way of living and working together. With the Next Generation EU recovery instrument and reinforced long-term budget the EU strives for a fair socio-economic recovery, repair and revitalisation of the Single Market. Such a strategic approach should guarantee a level playing field, and support the urgent investments, in particular in the green and digital transitions, which hold the key to Europe's future prosperity and resilience.

What can this new EU initiative bring to the Western Balkans region? How will affect the new approach in EU enlargement policy? EU has always been perceived in this region as an actor that will anchor the sustainable development of Western Balkans countries with its policy frameworks and instruments applied in practice. The EU Enlargement Policy continued semi-successfully with efforts to build the rule of law, including security, fundamental rights, democratic institutions and public administration reform, as well as on economic development and competitiveness in the region.

This new approach implies pursuing partnership from all society sectors in order to ensure greater coherence, complementarity and effectiveness of EU developmental policies in Post-Covid-19 Era. However, COVID 19 crisis has even more challenged partnership, solidarity and responsibility in the Western Balkans representing key values of EU striving towards further sustainable development and progress.

Are we as a region capable of agreeing over the policy fundamentals of the recovery as EU did? Did the practices of building partnerships across the different sectors of the Western Balkans societies showed that we can also create a more dynamic space for recovery? Are the governments of the region capable to show more responsibility in work and  to foster more differentiated partnerships in accordance with our individual development paths and needs – by partnership meaning not only cross-sector, but also cross-country.

Conference will be organised online via ZOOM. Working language of the conference is English.