MANIFESTO FOR THE POZNAN SUMMIT
Ahead of the Poznan Summit scheduled to take place 3 - 5 July 2019, the Western Balkans Civil Society Platform for Democracy and Human Rights, shared with the organizers of the Summit, and key actors in our region, the following Manifesto. The organisation and functioning of the CSP, and the common position built on important issues since the London Summit, including on the Berlin Process and Annual Summits, serve as a model - and a clear demonstration of our commitment - to advancing dialogue, reconciliation and accountability in our region.
Poznan Summit is the sixth since the yearly Summits held in Berlin (2014), Vienna (2015), Paris (2016), Trieste (2017), and London (2018).
The Berlin Process, created to support Western Balkan countries on their path to EU integration, includes the provision to empower civil society to hold our governments accountable for agreements they make at the yearly summits.
Despite these good intentions, our governments have shown little progress towards implementing their Berlin Process commitments. Each year, our governments’ pledge to end corruption and establish the rule of law. But, according to the Chairs’ Conclusions of the Heads Meeting at the London Summit, serious and organized crime, corruption, money laundering, and financial crime remain among our most significant security threats. Clearly, then, all stakeholders involved in the Berlin Process need to develop new strategies to make our governments responsible for actually doing what, at each summit, they promise to do. Civil society must play a primary role as the citizens of the Western Balkans are the ones that most benefit from becoming part of the European Union family and the ones that directly suffer from our governments’ failures.
The Western Balkans Civil Society Platform for Democracy and Human Rights is an independently organized regional consortium that is working across borders to tackle the serious problems we are facing. Our network is united, not by projects or funding, but by the shared desire for peace and stability in our region and a common interest in taking our place in the EU family. As a citizens’ movement, we have already extended our networks beyond simply NGOs to include individuals with important skills, expertise, and knowledge necessary to our mission. With members from every country in the Western Balkans, we are proof that the citizens of the Western Balkans have already reconciled from past conflicts. Unfortunately, this is not reflected in the increasingly nationalistic rhetoric of our governments.
When our governments have failed to realize the dream of democracy, it falls to us, the people of the Western Balkans, to lead the way helping our governments develop functional, stable states where accountability and rule of law prevail. Despite our many differences and past conflicts, we all share a common history that has as much potential to unite us as it does to divide us.
To realize our dream of democracy, we request that the 2019 Poznan Summit Agenda include:
- A Presentation on Dialogue and Reconciliation as a starting point for defining our common interests and developing regional relationships that allow us to coordinate our joint initiatives;
- The commitment to define new and creative structures and mechanisms that can more effectively support cross-sector collaborations that promote democracy, rule of law, transparent and accountable governments, and human rights;
- The commitment to support a civil society progress report on governments’ compliance with Berlin Process Summit Recommendations.
The European Union Project needs the Western Balkans, and we want to enter the EU family. At a critical geopolitical moment, thinking beyond the Berlin Process, we need to collaboratively evolve our concrete actions and joint commitment that can unite Europe into an extended family that brings stability and security for all of us. We are here to take up this work: to turn words into action and to help our governments fulfill their commitments, not just to the Berlin Process Pledges, but to evolving a shared world of peace and prosperity for all.
Find below the downloadable/printable pdf file