An inspiring program to which activists, scientists and political representatives, such as Andreas Schieder, member of the European Parliament and Juan González-Barba, Spanish ambassador to Croatia contributed. These contributions gave participants important impulses which integrated into a jointly written “Op-Ed”. The scenic atmosphere of the Island Cres especially helped promoting the exchange between participants and creating a new, trans-national understanding of the European integration process. With the background of the conflict-ridden history of the western Balkan states, the summer school focused on European cooperation.
How a better future can look like for all of Europe was a vision that united all participants and served as the main theme of the joint Op-Ed. Our colleague Wiebke Stimming, together with the other young professionals, paid special attention to the aspects of democracy and equality.
The Russian attack on Ukraine and the newly created accession perspective for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia will also pose new challenges for the countries of the Western Balkans. The participants agreed that reforms of the EU should be in the focus of the political debate. In particular, the question of how further states can be integrated into the EU so that it could grow to more than 30 members. At the same time, the accession countries themselves must push for substantial reforms in order to implement central EU standards and values such as the rule of law and equality.