RCC to Present Balkan Barometer 2021 - Public and Business Viewpoints on Situation in our Region
- 22 Jun 2021
Western Balkan citizens’ support for regional cooperation and EU integration is growing; employment still causes the biggest concern
Tirana – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is to present the 2021 edition of Balkan Barometer on Thursday, 24 June 2021, starting at 10:00, in Tirana. This is the 7th edition of annual public and business opinion survey commissioned by the RCC which examines Western Balkan citizens and businesses perceptions and expectations towards a variety of thematic areas, such as the EU integration and regional cooperation, digitalisation, green recovery, employment, and for the second year in a row it includes topics concerning a challenging regional COVID-19 induced landscape.
Western Balkan citizens support regional cooperation, 77% of them agree it can contribute to better political, economic or security situation in their economy and 62% consider EU membership a good thing for their economy. Still 49% think unemployment is the biggest problem facing their economy, which is higher than last year’s 45%. Young people also agree with this, 63% of them consider inadequate employment opportunities is the biggest problem. When it comes to businesses, 72% perceive the EU as the most preferred block to trade with, and 48% said new roaming agreement helped them save money.
The introductory remarks will be delivered by RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu and Alessandra Viezzer, Deputy Head of Unit Western Balkans Regional Cooperation and Programmes at European Commission (DG NEAR).
Introductory remarks will be followed by a panel discussion focused on the key priorities for a thriving Western Balkans.
• Majlinda Bregu, RCC Secretary General
• Jim O’Brien, Senior Advisor at Future Europe Initiative Atlantic Council
• Vessela Tcherneva, Deputy Director / Head of Sofia office at European Council on Foreign Relations
• Corina Stratulat, Head of Programme/Senior Policy Analyst at European Policy Centre
• Branimir Jovanovic, Economist at Vienna Institute of International Relations
• Gentian Elezi, RCC Consultant on Balkan Barometer 2021 edition from the Albanian Centre for Competitiveness and International Trade (ACIT).
Panel will be moderated by Tim Judah, journalist and author/ Balkans correspondent for the Economist.
Last years’ Balkan Barometer data could be found here.
Balkan Barometer is commissioned by the RCC and financed by the European Union. It is conducted each year since 2014 by an independent agency among more than 6,000 citizens and 1,200 companies throughout the region. The Balkan Barometer is firmly established as a reliable source of regional data widely employed and referenced by media, business, civil society and decision-makers alike.