- February 11, 2021
On February 11, 2021 the Aspen Institute Germany hosted a background discussion on the current situation in the Western Balkans between representatives of the German Government and staffers of the German Bundestag. Christiane Hullmann, Head of Division 209 Western Balkans at the German Federal Foreign Office, Matthias Lüttenberg, Head of Division 212 Bilateral Relations to the Countries of Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus and Central Asia at the German Federal Chancellery, Thomas Motak, Deputy Head of Division E12, EU External Affairs (EU Enlargement, European Neighbourhood Policy, EU External Financing Instruments) at the German Federal Foreign Office, and Helge Tolksdorf, Head of Division EU-Enlargement, Southeastern Europe, Turkey at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), shared their assessments of the situation in the region from the perspective of their respective divisions and presented the goals and challenges for the next months. The discussion focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for the region, the upcoming elections, and the EU enlargement process. The representatives reflected on the past year, in particular on the past German EU Council Presidency. Another topic was the Berlin Process Summit this year in Berlin, especially with regard to the plans of the German Government. The event is part of a series of regular background discussions to enable regular exchanges on current priorities and challenges in the Western Balkans.