Enlargement and engagement? Making the Western Balkans fit for EU membership

26. March 2018

by Tuure-Eerik Niemi

The Western Balkans have long played a special role in the European Union’s foreign policy. During the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s, the EU member states failed to act decisively and provide security and stability in the region. Since then, the EU has struggled to come up with a strategic direction for its relations with Western Balkan countries. The prolonged conflicts, economic stagnation, governance issues and Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia have presented a set of significant foreign policy challenges.


Concerned about the pervasiveness of negative stereotypes of Central and Eastern Europe, the team behind EU2YOU aims to address such negative preconceptions by producing informative, yet entertaining, videos, which will be published on YouTube. The project aims to raise cultural awareness about the countries that have joined the EU during the last two decades – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania – producing one video per country.

Crossed Paths of Europe

Crossed Paths of Europe is a project aimed at exploring the concept of European identity by inviting refugees and long-term members of the local community to take photos focusing on two main themes: how they see Europe and the things that are important to them. What does Europe mean for locals? What does it mean for refugees? How far apart are these two visions? The photos will be curated to form a public exhibition in both Stockholm (Sweden) and in Edinburgh (United Kingdom), and will be used as a basis of discussion for two workshops on European identity, to be held in high schools in both Stockholm and Edinburgh.

Hometelling – Testimonials from Europe

In a Europe threatened by the rise of nationalism, Hometelling – Testimonials from Europe aims to explore the question of belonging and identity in Europe. The team will interview people with a migration background residing across Europe, including in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Russia, Latvia, Belgium, UK, Sweden, Spain, and Iceland, (covering Southern, Northern, Central and Eastern Europe). By asking Europeans where and what is home for them, the team aims to draw attention to the diversity of living experiences and what makes them ‘feel home’ in Europe.

A video on the 2018 Annual Forum – the participants’ perspective

FutureLab Europe’s participants Alin Gabriel Gramescu and David Timis tell in this video their journey from Romania to Brussels to attend the 2018 Annual Forum. The event was held from the 23rd to the 26th January: during this four days the new members of the 7th generation met for the first time, attended workshops, debates … Continue reading A video on the 2018 Annual Forum – the participants’ perspective