Self-Organizing for Regional Impact: A Meeting of a the Civil Society Platform For Democracy and Human Rights

The Berlin Process was created with the intention of supporting Western Balkan countries on their path to EU integration, and with the stated mission of empowering civil society to hold governments accountable for agreements they make at the yearly summits.  But the Berlin Process has no built-in steering and monitoring mechanism, and hosting member states, ad hoc, have no authority to act in an oversight capacity.  Six years into the process, the region is in the grips of a rising “stabilitocracy” through which authoritarian governments have consolidated “their patronage networks, ensuring near invincibility at elections in years to come.”  It is time that we – the people of the Western Balkans, who share a common history – assume our leadership position in which we work together to deal with problems of the past and create a peaceful future.   For this reason, a self-organizing group of civil society organizations from around the region have come together to ask :

  • What happens after the 2019 Berlin Process Summit in Poznan? 
  • How can we work together, and contribute to the reform and development of the Western Balkans?
  • How can we effectively hold our governments to account for implementing recommendations from the Berlin Process and EU integration criteria?

At the 2018 London Summit, all countries of the Western Balkans pledged to:

Overcome the legacy of the past, through promoting reconciliation and good neighbourly relations, and for the leaders of the region to take full ownership and lead by example, solving outstanding bilateral issues as a matter of urgency.

The times are urgent, and we must assume our responsibility.  Over the next two days, we will be analyzing the results of the London Summit, devising a common plan to make our vision and voices shaping forces for the Poznan Summit, and deciding priorities for 2019 – 2020.