Past eventInvitation OnlyResearch Event

Perspectives on the Future of the Western Balkans

8 March 2018 - 10:00 to 14:45

Chatham House, London


Boris Grigić, Assistant Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Republic of Croatia
Allan Jones, Head of Unit, Strategy and Policy, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission
Dr Denisa Kostovicova, Associate Professor of Global Politics, London School of Economics and Politics
Maximilien Lambertson, Analyst, Eastern Europe, Economist Intelligence Unit
Dr Dimitar Bechev, Research Fellow, Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies, University of North Carolina; Author, Rival Power: Russia in Southeast Europe
Dr Othon Anastasakis, Senior Research Fellow in South European Studies; Director, St Antony’s South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX)
Angus Lapsley, Director, Defence, International Security and Southeast Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Professor James Ker-Lindsay, Senior Visiting Fellow, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science
Thomas Raines, Research Fellow and Europe Programme Manager, Chatham House
Tim Judah, Balkans Correspondent, The Economist
Dr Cvete Koneska, Senior Analyst, Control Risks



On 6 February 2018, the European Commission launched its new 'Strategy for the Western Balkans'. The document, aimed at creating renewed momentum around the need for further reforms in the region, also clearly signals the EU’s continued commitment to European integration of those southeast European countries that remain outside of the EU.

Can the new strategy address growing disillusionment with the enlargement process in the region and does the EU still have appeal in the Balkans? More broadly, has the recent standstill in the enlargement process created a power vacuum in the region and what are the competing influences at play?

At the same time, the UK, a longtime supporter and champion of EU enlargement, is leaving the Union. Can it maintain its engagement in the region and how will its role change as it leaves EU structures?

This event will comprise three separate sessions and look at the dynamics of domestic reforms in the region, the possible future role of Britain in the region post-Brexit and Russian influence in the Western Balkans.

Attendance at this event is by invitation only.

Event documents