The 6th Western Balkans Summit in the western Polish city of Poznań kicked off a day earlier with the Think Tank Forum, an event during which experts discussed issues including the European aspirations of Western Balkan nations.
On Thursday, government ministers from various European countries, notably those in charge of foreign, economic and internal affairs, were expected to meet for plenary sessions.
A Civil Society Forum intended for NGOs was also due to be held on Thursday, alongside a Business Forum to enable entrepreneurs to network and establish contacts.
A debate entitled “Navigating the Future: How to Prepare for the Revolution in Trade, Services and Industry” was among the highlights of the day.
Those expected to attend the debate included Poland’s Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz and Entreprise and Technology Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz as well as the Secretary-General of the OECD, José Ángela Gurria, and the EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy, Johannes Hahn, according to the foreign ministry in Warsaw.
Poland’s Czaputowicz and Emilewicz were expected to open a conference featuring a special OECD publication co-sponsored by Poland on the economic performance of the Western Balkans region.
The 6th Western Balkans Summit in Poland’s Poznań runs until Friday, when heads of government from more than a dozen European nations are slated to discuss a range of issues that are key for the Western Balkans region.
The summit is being held as part of the Berlin Process, an initiative launched by Germany and aiming to promote regional cooperation among Western Balkan countries aspiring to join the European Union.
The Berlin Process brings together EU membership candidates Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania, and potential candidates Bosnia-and-Herzegovina and Kosovo, as well as eight EU member states.
Poland this year holds the rotating presidency of the Berlin Process.
Previous Western Balkans Summits were held in Vienna in 2015; Paris in 2016; Trieste, Italy, in 2017; and London last year.
Poland’s top diplomat said after last July’s Western Balkans Summit in the British capital that his country supported the efforts of Western Balkan nations to join the European Union.
He also said at the time that Poland was ready to help Western Balkan countries on their way to EU membership.