The Western Balkans Conference is a contribution from organised civil society to the EU-Western Balkans Heads of State Summit which will take place on 17 May 2018 in Sofia. It is jointly organized by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument of the European Commission (TAIEX), with the support of the Bulgarian Presidency to the Council of the EU and the Economic and Social Council of the Republic of Bulgaria. Representatives from employers' associations, trade unions and other civil society organisations from the EU and the Western Balkans, as well as representatives of EU institutions, Bulgarian officials and members of the Bulgarian organized civil society will gather to discuss concrete recommendations of civil society to be addressed to the national authorities and the European institutions.

Main topics to be discussed:

  • assessment and perspectives of the European integration of the Western Balkans
  • economic and social cohesion in the Western Balkans
  • rights and empowerment of vulnerable groups in the region.


Journalists are invited to take part in the press point at 10.30 a.m. with:

Ms Dragica Martinović Džamonja, President of the EESC's Western Balkans Follow-up Committee

Ms Ekaterina Zaharieva, Deputy Prime minister for Judicial reform and Minister of Foreign affairs (tbc)

Ms Dilyana Slavova, President of the EESC's External Relations Section (REX)

Mr Srđa Keković, Secretary General of Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro

   To register please send an email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



is the “bridge” between citizens and the national government. Its mission is to support such “bridging” so as to facilitate the communication between the society and the national government. It is the new and modern institution of the civil dialogue.

The ESC's mission is to promote civil society organisations access to and involvement in the process of decision-making on strategic economic and social issues.

The main goal of ESC's operation is to enable different representatives of organised civil society to feel free to state their views whereas unanimity on matters of common interest is encouraged. The Council expresses and protects civil society interests by communicating agreed statements and proposals submitted by its members to the executive and legislative authorities.

Read More