FOREIGN POLICY ALIGNMENT OF WESTERN BALKANS WITH EUROPEAN UNION
Since the Russian aggression in Ukraine on February 23, 2022, foreign policy alignment of the Western Balkans countries, all aspiring to join the Union, with EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) has become a key issue just as EU’s own internal unity vis-à-vis Russia and Ukraine. This alignment in the Western Balkans is at times difficult, challenged both externally and internally—easier to achieve for the countries already members of NATO and more difficult for those not in NATO and with closer ties to Moscow.
To address these challenges, the Council for Inclusive Governance (CIG) in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office (AA) organized on April 29, 2023, in Tirana, Albania, a roundtable for a number of senior party and government officials from the Western Balkan countries to discuss the region’s foreign policy alignment with EU’s CFSP in light of the new global geopolitical threats. The participants discussed ways of strengthening the intraregional coordination on the issue and how to contribute to the stability of both the EU and the aspiring countries themselves.
The discussion was held under the Chatham House Rule and was part of a larger CIG project supported by AA with the aim of helping consolidate the Western Balkans in the face of new geopolitical threats. This report below does not necessarily reflect the views of individual participants, CIG, or AA, but rather provides a summary of the overall discussion.