European Union-Western Balkans Cooperation in Focus This Week

European Union-Western Balkans Cooperation in Focus This Week

European Union-Western Balkans Cooperation in Focus This Week

12 December, Sofia 
RCC to present winners of the Regional Butterfly Innovation Award 2023 in Sofia 
The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is to present the winners of the second edition of Regional Butterfly Innovation Award at a ceremony co-organised with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, on 12 December 2023 in Sofia. The Awards will be presented by the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu ,the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Mariya Gabriel, and Minister of Innovation and Growth of Bulgaria, Milena Stoycheva.  

The Butterfly Innovation Award is part of the Regional Innovation Area of the Common Regional Market Action Plan (2021-2024).  The initiative was established in 2021 to encourage and promote innovative, scalable, and market-based solutions from the Western Balkans. The purpose of the Butterfly Innovation Award is to promote innovation culture in the Western Balkans through showcasing successful innovative achievements and empowering sensitive groups such as youth and women. Ultimately, it aims to support the Western Balkans’ economic development by embracing digital transformation and fostering environmental sustainability. 

More info https://www.rcc.int/pages/172/regional-butterfly-innovation-award-2023 

13 December, Brussels 
RCC Secretary General to take part at the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Brussels 
On the invitation of European Council President Charles Michel, the Secretary General of Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Majlinda Bregu, is set to take part at the European Union-Western Balkans Summit which will take place on 13 December at the premises of the European Council in Brussels. 

The Summit, which will gather EU and WB leaders, will focus on the follow-up to the last Summit in Tirana as well as on discussing the most pertinent challenges of increasingly complex geostrategic context, with an aim to address the challenges together and further strengthen the partnership and cooperation. Special emphasis will be given to accelerating the adoption and implementation of EU-related reforms in the WB region, and exploring ways to advance gradual integration with the aim of bringing the Western Balkans closer to the EU so that the citizens feel the benefits of EU integration more quickly. Strengthening regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations remains essential. This will also speed up economic integration within the region and support convergence with the EU. 

13-15 December, Novi Sad 
RCC to host the Second EU-Western Balkan Youth Forum 
The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is to organise the second edition of EU-Balkan Youth Forum (EUBYF), funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on 13-15 December 2023 in Novi Sad. The first edition of the Forum was held in Rome in November 2021. 

The Forum, which will gather young people from EU and WB, is titled Western Balkans Future: How Can You(th) Shape Europe? capturing the essence of the Forum as a basis to discuss the pressing issues and potential paths for the region's future development in the context of European integration. 
EUBYF 2023 aims to invest in young activists, providing them with insights into regional cooperation and EU integration. 

The three-day Forum will empower participants to understand the dynamics of the Common Regional Market (CRM), environmental protection, and human skills promotion. Through workshops and discussions, attendees will gain the tools and knowledge to impact their communities and raise awareness about opportunities in an enlarged Europe. The conference will conclude with EU-Western Balkans young delegates drafting conclusions, serving as a foundation for further cooperation within and beyond the EUBYF network. Prioritising youth with proven commitment to local communities ensures the Forum facilitates meaningful partnerships between the EU and the Western Balkans to address identified needs and priorities.

More info https://www.rcc.int/events/1552/western-balkans-future-how-can-youth-shape-europe--second-edition-of-the-eubyf