2023 Tirana Civil Society and Think Tank Forum of Berlin Process

SCIDEV will host the panel “The Prospects of Mobility-Driven Research and Innovation: How to Strengthen Western Balkans Integration into the European Research Area?” as part of the 2023 Civil Society and Think Tank Forum of the Berlin Process

Research and innovation (R&I) and knowledge transfer in the Western Balkans (WB) have the transformative potential of accelerating sustainable growth and convergence of the WB economies with the EU. This potential can be attained only if the pressing challenges of R&I and mobility-driven innovation in the Western Balkans are addressed timely to catalyze regional cooperation and facilitate integration into the EU, including the European Research Area. Even though the Western Balkans have made significant strides in aligning their R&I ecosystems with EU standards, steadfast support and investment in mobility-driven R&I – intra-regionally and with the EU – are still needed. Enhanced cooperation and sustained support in mobility-driven R&I are pivotal for equipping the WB6 with the requisite tools and knowledge to address shared challenges, such as climate change and digital transformation while curbing brain drain and fostering a generation of innovators who can reshape the region’s future.

This panel discussion will draw from findings of the thematic working group on mobility and reflect on how to strengthen the region’s integration into the European Research Area, ensuring the WB6 not only aligns with but also actively collaborates with their European peers in pioneering progressive initiatives. Consequently, the commitment from the WB6 Government and the EU to finance and bolster the R&I ecosystem is decisive for sustained economic growth, societal resilience, and accelerating the integration into European frameworks.

The Open Society Foundations – Western Balkans (OSFWB), mandated by the Government of Albania as the current holder of the Presidency of the Berlin Process, and in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and with the Cooperation and Development Institute (CDI), will organize this year’s Civil Society & Think Tank Forum (CSF).

SCiDEV has led the Mobility Thematic Working Group, which explores the potential of inclusive regional mobility, innovation through knowledge exchange, and research and development collaborations in the Western Balkans and with the EU. The working group members bring diverse expertise and perspectives, contributing to comprehensive research, meaningful discussions, and developing impactful policy recommendations. Their insights will form the basis of a civil society shared advocacy agenda for the Leaders’ Summit.

Panel Agenda

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Learn more about the 2023 Civil Society and Think Tank Forum here.

2023 Civil Society and Think Tank Forum Complete Agenda here.