The war in Ukraine has renewed interest in EU enlargement in Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans. The Berlin Process, which has been working to revitalize ties between Western Balkan candidate countries and the EU for the last 10 years, is now seeing its efforts pay off.

The 2023 Tirana Civil Society and Think Tank Forum is playing a key role in the conversation on EU Enlargement into the Balkans. The forum, organized by the Open Society Foundation Western Balkans (OSF-WB), the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), and the Cooperation & Development Institute (CDI) as part of the Berlin Summit, will be held in Albania on October 14th–15th. Regional experts will gather to develop strategies for cooperation, accelerated EU reforms, and accession processes.

In this episode of BalkansDebrief, Nonresident Senior Fellow Ilva Tare and Western Balkans Executive Director of the Open Society Foundation Andi Dobrushi discuss the importance of holding Western Balkan governments and EU member states accountable for their commitments to candidate countries’ EU reforms as well as the role of civil society in the Western Balkans enlargement process.

What role can civil society organizations play in promoting democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in the region? How can civil society and think tank experts hold decision-makers accountable and influence the direction of Western Balkans accession processes?



#BalkansDebrief is an online interview series presented by the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center and hosted by journalist Ilva Tare. The program offers a fresh look at the Western Balkans and examines the region’s people, culture, challenges, and opportunities.

Watch #BalkansDebrief on YouTube and listen to it as a Podcast.


The Europe Center promotes leadership, strategies and analysis to ensure a strong, ambitious and forward-looking transatlantic relationship.

Related Experts: Ilva Tare