- November 20, 2018
- November 22, 2018
To conclude this year’s Aspen Southeast Europe program, the Aspen Institute Germany hosted its Southeast Europe Working Group on November 20-22, 2018. Under the overarching topic “Taking Stock of the EU Enlargement Strategy and Its Impact on Reform Processes in the Western Balkans”, the main goal was to develop concrete policy recommendations as a result of the issues discussed at the Aspen events throughout the year. The working group consisted of high-level government representatives from the Western Balkans Six, select experts as well as representatives from the German Government, Bundestag, and the EU. The key topics during the Working Group evolved around the rule of law, as well as political influence on independent institutions in the Western Balkans. Both aspects were discussed against the background of the European Commission’s 2018 Enlargement Strategy and its implications for the reform processes. The Working Group identified concrete policy recommendations, discussed their advantages and inconveniences, and pointed out the respective steps that should be taken by Western Balkans, German, and EU decision-makers. To round up the discussions, the conference group met with members of the Parliamentary Group “Southeast Europe” in the German Bundestag.