The Berlin Process, led by EU member states under German leadership, was revitalized last year to promote economic regional cooperation among the Western Balkans’ six countries. Albania currently holds the chairmanship of the Berlin Summit, which is scheduled for October 16 in Tirana, with the participation of EU leaders.

Ahead of the summit, Nonresident Senior Fellow Ilva Tare interviews Dr. Odeta Barbullushi, advisor to Albania’s Prime Minister on European issues and regional cooperation.

Central to the Berlin Process is the ambitious “Common Regional Market,” which aims to enhance economic convergence and potentially achieve a growth rate of 6-7% of the region’s GDP. While the EU remains the primary trading partner for the Western Balkans countries, the region’s economic potential remains untapped.

The expectations of the Western Balkans countries for the Berlin Summit are high. Will the Western Balkan countries receive substantial EU funding to support regional connectivity in key sectors such as infrastructure, energy, digital, and cyber security? What is the US stance in supporting and promoting security and economic cooperation in the region?



#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