Within the framework of Polish Presidency, on July 5 2019, in Poznan, the sixth Western Balkans Summit of Berlin Process a European initiative for the integration of Western Balkans states, took place. The Western Balkans Fund was present at events prearranged in this framework, concretely at the Western Balkans (WB) Civil Society and Think-Tanks Forums, as integral part of Berlin Process agenda.
WBF’s presence for the first time in the Berlin Process activities, was a special opportunity to present activities of the Fund, to get first-hand information about the WB Civil Society achievements, their specific needs and requirements, for better supporting regional activities aiming enhancing Regional Cooperation and people-to people contacts.
In this context and to better present our Fund, WBF had its own exhibition boot in the fair that presented all grant organizations, chambers of commerce etc. Participants had a chance to learn from close about our mission, results and impact that we achieved through our work in the region. We were particularly honored to have the visit of H. E. Minister Behgjet Pacolli, the Chair in office of WBF, Mr. Colin Wolfe, Head of Regional Cooperation and Programs Unit at DG NEAR, European Commission.
WBF contributed to the panel “Our Region – Our Culture”, a panel that was introduced for the first time in the Berlin Process. WBF confirmed the continuation of the support for regional initiatives and together with other panelists agreed to enhance the support toward cultural initiatives in Western Balkans, Ms. Beqiri, WBF Programe Manager, stated that: “regional bodies and institutions in Western Balkans should unify their approach toward regional cultural cooperation, in order to support our communities in their transformation eﬀorts in areas of mutual interest, such as culture and to make the best use of intercultural dialogue as an important tool for reconciliation processes”.
Civil Society Forum represents one of four priorities of the Polish Presidency in the Berlin Process, alongside security, connectivity and economy, and it was focused on “interactions”. Therefore, within the Western Balkans Summit Poznan 2019, numerous experts and activists were gathered to discuss, from a wider perspective, the current situation of the region, giving also their recommendations for the future.