Representatives of civil society from Western Balkans speak in Warsaw on tackling corruption
On 6 March, the seminar "From London to Poznan: Anti-Corruption Pledges, Countering Organised Crime and the Role of Civil Society in the Berlin Process" brought together representatives of NGOs from the Western Balkans at the MFA Warsaw headquarters.
The event is part of the programme of Poland's presidency of the Berlin Process and was organised in collaboration between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the British Embassy in Warsaw, and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, an organisation which fights organised crime and corruption worldwide.
Representatives of such non-governmental organisations as Transparency International and the Helsinki Committee as well as universities and research centres from all of the Balkan six countries discussed how civil society could best join in the fight against corruption and organised crime and monitor the implementation of anti-corruption commitments made at the Western Balkans summit in London.
The MFA and the Ministry of the Interior and Administration outlined the programme of Poland's presidency and the Western Balkans summit in Poznan, particularly with respect to security. "Engaging civil society organisations and think tanks in Berlin Process measures is a priority for the Polish presidency," emphasised Wiesław Tarka, the MFA's coordinator of the Western Balkans summit.
The seminar reflects the close cooperation between the British and Polish presidencies of the Berlin Process. The conference was also attended by staff of the UK's Foreign Office and Home Office, Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the European Commission.
The Berlin Process is a German initiative which supports regional cooperation of the Western Balkans and complements the EU's enlargement policy. It was launched at the summit of 28 August 2014 in Berlin. Next summits were held in 2015 in Vienna, 2016 in Paris, 2017 in Trieste, and in 2018 in London. This year, a Western Balkans summit will take place in Poznan on 4-5 July.
The Berlin Process involves six Western Balkan candidate countries (Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania) and potential candidates (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo) to EU membership, which are covered by enlargement policy. Also some EU member states take part in the Process — Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom. Poland joined the Berlin Process in 2018 at the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel and has already participated in the London Western Balkans summit.
The Berlin Process is primarily concerned with the economy. The Process is designed particularly to facilitate the implementation of infrastructure projects (in energy and transport) included in the Connectivity Agenda. The topic of the fight against corruption was added to the Berlin Process agenda by the Italian presidency (anti-corruption workshops were held at the Trieste summit) and continued by the British presidency.
MFA Press Office
Fot. Małgorzata Polańska / MFA