Open Balkan and the Future of Regional Cooperation

This publication comes as the result of the research work conducted in 2022 in the framework of the project “Open Balkans- beyond the noise of controversy: Regional cooperation analysis and the way forward” a joint project by Hans Seidel Stiftung and the Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS).The publication contains the 6 country reports, one from each WB6 state that present the way the Open Balkans (OB) initiative is perceived, discussed and reflects in the political and social landscape of their countries. Each of them has chosen to analyze various aspects including economic achievements, media narratives and political choices related to the Open Balkans initiative. Additionally, the publication features a regional analysis that draws conclusions and comparisons based on the papers and on further research. The guiding research questions that were presented to all the authors to examine the OB initiative were:
- What is the support in your country for the OB initiative: support from experts and the public?
- In its duration so far what has the initiative accomplished, and how have these achievements been made public in your country? In terms of 4 freedoms
what are the positive results?
- How is the OB affecting your country’s bilateral relations with others in the region: both on the political level and on the economic one? Is trade volume increasing?
- How does this initiative OB stand in relation to the other regional cooperation initiatives and platforms that your country is part of especially vis a vis the Berlin process?
- Is OB considered or presented as an alternative to European integration?
- Can OB contribute to the process of reconciliation and normalization of relations in the region?
The key findings and interpretations were discussed in a regional conference held in Tirana on November 23, 2022. All the authors come from the academic and think tank community and their work represents their independent expertise.

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