On Thursday 19 October we presented our publication “Mapping The Western Balkans And The State Of Democracies In Transition: A Social Democratic Perspective”, in the European Parliament. This publication was made possible with support of Party of European Socialist (PES) and strong commitment from S&D Group in the EP. About 40 people attended the meeting, including S&D MEPs Tanja Fajon, Knut Fleckenstein and Jens Nilsson.
The publication aims to analyse the transformation of Western Balkans in recent years, the state of social democracy and social democratic parties, and the role of external actors in the region.
Jan Marinus Wiersma, Vice-President of the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity and editor of the publication, was positive about sister parties in the Western Balkans, but also critical. ‘Our parties are frontrunners of diversity and democracy,’ he said. All of them show urgency regarding the region. At the same time, some parties are too liberal on socio-economic issues. Moreover, corruption within the parties and internal party democracy remains a big challenge. Wiersma presented the first book to Vice-President of the S&D Group Tanja Fajon who emphasised that the region is increasingly an important playground for geopolitics. Therefore, the EU should strengthen her commitment to the region and think of creative ways to make the EU accession process more tangible for Western Balkans’ citizens. Yes, stability is crucial, but the EU should not forget about strengthening the rule of law and democracy.
See for the whole publication: mappingbalkans_def.pdf