Amidst unprecedented security challenges, the imperative of EU integration for the Western Balkans to ensure a secure and prosperous European future has become increasingly apparent. Addressing critical areas such as infrastructure, technology, and digitalization is viewed as essential to fostering stable connectivity among Western Balkan countries, enabling them to effectively handle emergencies and build resilience against emerging risks and threats.
In response to these imperatives, the European Liberal Forum, with support from the ALDE Party and the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, organized “The EU Meets the Balkans” forum in Sofia. High-level speakers, including Jens Stoltenberg and Roberta Metsola, deliberated on regional cooperation, EU integration, and the situation in Ukraine across four panels. Keynote addresses and conversations explored the costs of non-integration and the contrasting benefits, featuring prominent figures such as Federica Mogherini and Olivér Várhelyi.
The forum’s first panel delved into the advantages of integration, featuring Foreign Ministers from Turkey, North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Subsequent discussions examined NATO and EU cooperation in scenarios of prosperity and war, with insights from Sir Stuart Peach and other distinguished guests. The final panel focused on disinformation during crises.