MFA deputy head attends conference in North Macedonia
Prospects for EU enlargement to bring in Western Balkan countries, regional cooperation, security, and building democratic institutions in the region are the major topics of a meeting of think-tanks in Skopje.
The conference was jointly opened by Andrej Zhernovski, Deputy Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, and Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk, deputy head of the Polish MFA, who is the Polish government’s plenipotentiary for the organisation of the Western Balkans Summit.
“You are here to talk and discuss how to build a common message for the region as a whole. You must get this message across to us, the representatives of governments, politicians, so that we not only hear you but also allow for your views in the decisions,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk calling on the conference participants.
Organised by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centre for Eastern Studies, the two-day event in North Macedonia’s capital takes place in preparation for the Western Balkans Summit to be held in Poznan on 5 July. The conference will summarise the national expert tables organised this spring by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in all Western Balkan capitals.
“We have chosen civil society as one of the four priorities of our Berlin Process presidency and, as part of this priority, we consider as the most important to strengthen the position of experts working in think-tanks,” stressed the deputy head of the Polish MFA.
The aim of the conference is to take stock of the consultations held by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in each of the capitals of the Western Balkans region and to prepare a common position for the Berlin Process Leaders Summit. “We want to summarise our previous consultations in all of the region’s capitals to prepare meetings between representatives of the governments and representatives of NGOs during the Western Balkans Summit, which will take place in Poznan,” said Deputy Minister Szynkowski vel Sęk.
Representatives of think-tanks from the Western Balkans, Visegrad Group countries, and some EU member states participating in the Berlin Process have been invited to take part in the conference.
Launched at the Berlin summit on 28 August 2014, the Process is a German initiative which supports regional cooperation in the Western Balkans and complements the EU’s enlargement policy. The Berlin Process involves six Western Balkan countries who are candidates (Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania) and potential candidates (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo) for EU membership and who are covered by enlargement policy. Poland joined in the initiative in 2018 at the invitation from Chancellor Angela Merkel.
MFA Press Office