EASPD Regional Provider Forum: Promoting community-based services for PwD

On 17th September the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) and the Republic Center for Support of persons with Intellectual Disability (PORAKA) hosted the first ever EASPD Regional Provider Forum.

EASPD Regional Provider Forum: The EU, Western Balkan and Eastern Partnership Regions must work together to promote community-based services for persons with disabilities

On 17th September the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) and the Republic Center for Support of persons with Intellectual Disability (PORAKA) hosted the first ever EASPD Regional Provider Forum. Bringing together over 90 participants online, the forum addressed the key challenges and trends of service provision in non-EU countries from the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership regions. Speakers came together to explore how the EU could work with these regions to strengthen their cooperation, while promoting the provision of sustainable, community-based support services for persons with disabilities. Read more

Closed: 17 September 2020, 10h00-12h30 Cest: Online EASPD Regional Forum: Toward community-based living in Western Balkan & Eastern Balkan partnership countries

Together with EASPD members from these regions EASPD and PORAKA will:
  • Provide an overview of the key challenges and trends in the provision of services related to early childhood intervention and support to children, education, employment and independent living.
  • Discuss the key recommendations for how authorities can build sustainable community-based services in non-EU countries.
  • Launch the EASPD report on the needs and trends in social service provision in Armenia, Albania, Moldova, North Macedonia and Turkey.
  • Debate how the European Union can play an active role in supporting the development of CSOs, including through funding opportunities, and their dialogue with public authorities.
  • Establish agreements for future cooperation among service providers in the regions.

Read more & register

Closed: Western Balkans Fellowship Programme at the Austrian Parliament, Deadline: 10/9/20

We are looking for the 6 best applicants from the WB6 National Parliaments, who want to shape the regional and European collaboration by using their knowledge and enthusiasm in applying the best practices in the process of administrative reform

Western Balkans Fellowship Programme at the Austrian Parliament, Deadline: 10 September 2020

The European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) announces the call for applications for the Western Balkans Fellowship Programme at the Austrian Parliament. The fellowships funded by the Austrian Parliament are designed for civil servants working in the administrations of the National Parliaments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. It is a unique opportunity to gain knowledge about the operations and practices of the Austrian Parliament as well as to observe and to learn from the administrative staff and professionals about the different aspects of their work.

The programme description and the full guidelines for the applicants are available at this page.

The deadline for submission of applications is 10 September 2020.

Technical report: EU Candidate Countries’ & Potential Candidates’ Economic Quarterly (CCEQ) by the European Commission

Technical report: EU Candidate Countries’ & Potential Candidates’ Economic Quarterly (CCEQ) by the European Commission

An overview of economic developments in candidate and pre-candidate countries.

The disruptive effects of the COVID-19crisisontheWestern Balkaneconomies became visible already in the first quarter of 2020, with annual GDP growth decelerating notably to 2.5%from 4.3%in the preceding quarter. The slowdownwas largely driven bya deepening recession in Albania anda decelerationin Serbiaand in North Macedonia. Private consumption remained the key growth driverbutinvestment showed a mixed performance, with year-on-year declines registered in some of the countries. The region’scurrent account deficit stood at6%of GDP, the highest level in the last 5 years, suggesting that external positions in many economies remain vulnerable. Read more

Book: The European Union and the Paradox of Enlargement. The Complex Accession of the Western Balkans by Sekulic

Book: The European Union and the Paradox of Enlargement. The Complex Accession of the Western Balkans by T. Sekulic, University of Milano-Bicocca Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology, Palgrave Macmillan 2020

This book sheds light on the contradictions underlying the European Union enlargement process, specifically to the Western Balkans, challenging the common assumption that the integration of an extended European space might be possible without mutual transformation of the institutions and agencies involved. Sekulic maps the institutional dimension of the accession process, and analyses how the conditionality principle shapes and constrains the space for negotiation within the EU. Combining ethnographic research with the discourse analysis of the European Commission’s reports and documents from 2008 to 2019 concerning the Western Balkan countries, the book also explores the perceptions and agency of the individuals involved in this process. The European Union and the Paradox of Enlargement will be of interest to students and scholars of European integration, the sociology of Europe and the EU, and Eastern European and Western Balkan studies. Read more

Balkan Barometer 2020: Covid-19 impact assessment by RCC

Balkan Barometer 2020: Covid-19 impact assessment by RCC

Following the annual issue of the Balkan Barometer survey, the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) initiated additional analysis to observe more closely sentiments and perceptions of the general public and the business community in the context of recent developments deriving from COVID-19. In this respect, RCC engaged in data collection and data processing as a basis for snap-shot analysis of the attitudes, experiences and perceptions on the recent developments in six economies. Read more

Policy Brief: The Western Balkans in Times of the Global Pandemic by Bieber et al.

Policy Brief: The Western Balkans in Times of the Global Pandemic by Bieber et al.

The global COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken by governments around the world constitute a major rupture to the “business as usual”, and this includes the Western Balkans, too. The pandemic has been overshadowing other developments while also accelerating existing trends, and it will continue to do so. This analysis establishes the COVID-19 pandemic as a critical juncture, a crisis that can permanently shake up institutions and societies. There are considerable dangers beyond the impact of the pandemic on human lives, ranging from an economic crisis which could turn out to be worse than the one in 2008/9, to a heightened crisis of democracy and a geopolitical shift. None of these developments are inevitable and some of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for the Western Balkans can be mitigated. By exploring nine critical fields, this analysis will highlight ways in which the pandemic and government responses pose particular challenges: 1. The Role of the State, 2. Democracy and State Capture, 3. Geopolitical Shifts,4. New Nationalisms, 5. Social Resilience, 6. Environmental Impact, 7. Migration and Health Care, 8. Health Care and Social Security and 9. Economic Implications. With regard to all of the critical fields, the study examines the impact and outlines possible risks and opportunities before identifying specific interventions that could prevent the worst consequences for the region. Read more

EASPD Webinar: Covid-19 EU funding opportunities for non-EU Member States: 17 June, 14h00-15h00 CEST

This webinar aims to gather EU officials and EASPD members from the Western Balkans regions and the Eastern Partnership countries to present the main challenges faced by service providers, and the funding opportunities offered by the EU to address those needs.

The Coronavirus outbreak presents a major challenge to national, regional and local communities which are on the frontline in countering the disease. In the face of the COVID-19 virus, support service providers are taking their own actions to be able to continue to provide essential care & support services to those who need it most.

The COVID-19 crisis has a huge impact worldwide. While the EU has launched its own programmes for EU Member States, its solidarity also reaches the Western Balkans regions and the Eastern Partnership countries via the following measures:

This webinar aims to gather EU officials and EASPD members from the Western Balkans regions and the Eastern Partnership countries to present the main challenges faced by service providers, and the funding opportunities offered by the EU to address those needs.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday 17 June 14h00-15h00 CEST. See Agenda here

Report: Western Balkans Regular Economic Report, No. 17, Spring 2020: The Economic and Social Impact of COVID-19 by the World Bank

Report: Western Balkans Regular Economic Report, No. 17, Spring 2020: The Economic and Social Impact of COVID-19 by the World Bank

In Spring 2020, Western Balkan countries – like most others in the world—have been forced to impose tight restrictions on economic life to contain the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. In the first half of 2020, the world has seen explosive growth of infections with the deadly novel virus. As country after country has been forced to shut down large areas of social and economic life to slow contagion, the Western Balkans have not been spared. Read more

Report: OECD Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19) COVID-19 crisis response in South East European economies by the OECD

More than 16,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the South East Europe1 (SEE) region as of 14 April. As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow rapidly in SEE, governments have been gradually announcing states of emergency, lockdowns and partial shutdowns to contain the spread of the virus.

Report: OECD Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19) COVID-19 crisis response in South East European economies by the OECD

More than 16,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the South East Europe1 (SEE) region as of 14 April. As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow rapidly in SEE, governments have been gradually announcing states of emergency, lockdowns and partial shutdowns to contain the spread of the virus. Coronavirus measures resulted in suspended flights, partial border closures, domestic travel restrictions and school shutdowns across the region. Government authorities banned large gatherings and imposed travel restrictions. Serbia and North Macedonia have cancelled their respective general elections scheduled for April. Read more