Bruxelles (Belgique)

The EU and the Balkans : In pursuit of economic convergence

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Policy dialogue with :

Andreas Papadopoulos
Special Advisor
DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission

Birgitte Bjørnbak
Vice-President of the Economic Policy Committee,
Chief Advisor, International Economics Department, Ministry of Finance, Denmark
(to be confirmed)

Milovan Filimonovic
State Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Serbia

Uwe Stamm
Head of Unit for the enlargement countries
DG Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission

Dušan Reljić
Head of SWP Office, Brussels

Corina Stratulat
Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (Moderator)

EPC Auditorium (3rd floor), 14-16 Rue du Trône, 1000 Brussels
15.00-17.00 (registration from 14.40)

Since 2009, the financial and economic crises in the EU have taken a heavy toll on the fragile Balkan economies, severely undermining the promise of convergence between the countries of the region and the member states. In response, the European Commission began in 2013 to consider economic governance as one of the fundamental pillars of the enlargement strategy. This approach reflects the efforts to strengthen economic policy monitoring and multilateral surveillance under the European Semester within the EU, and seeks to provide targeted policy guidance for the Balkan countries’ own national Economic Reform Programmes, which have to outline their macroeconomic and fiscal policy framework, as well as structural reform plans to boost competitiveness and long-term growth.

Now that the Commission’s assessment of the Balkan countries’ Economic Reform Programmes for 2016-2018 is out, what is the state of economic affairs in the region and the main priorities on the to-do list ? Will the new approach improve economic governance in the region ? What do the Balkan aspirants make of the Commission’s initiative ? Does the new approach draw on or add to the EU acquis and the already enhanced conditionality for membership ? How does it fit with other endeavours, including the Connectivity Agenda of the Berlin Process or the South East Europe 2020 Strategy of the Regional Cooperation Council ? These and other questions will be debated by the panel.

Please send your participation request to :

European Policy Centre
Tel : 02 231 03 40