Civil Society, Political Contention and European Enlargement
The University of Belgrade, together with OBC Transeuropa, TraPoCo Jean Monnet Network and Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale, is organizing a policy event and a round table debate on European integration process of Serbia and the Western Balkan region, with the focus on the role of civil society actors (NGOs, grassroot organizations, social movements, etc.) and their claims in the various policy areas
The discussion will examine the opportunities for civil society to create strategic alliances with organizations and institutions from the EU, to exert pressure on the decision-makers at the national level. It will consider the challenges that local organizations face in building advocacy networks to expand their scope of action at regional and transnational level. A policy papers, created within TraPoCo project, will be presented as well.
A special focus of the event will be on environmental civil sector organisations and grassroot inititiatives. Environmental challenges are a field in which grassroots initiatives have been protagonist in recent year and they have been often successful in mobilizing broad sections of the population that normally do not participate in political processes. But much of the environmental challenges that candidate countries are facing emerged in the processes of European integration due to the need to harmonise the environmental legislation and policies with the EU standards, but also considering that grassroots organizations addressed EU institutions asking for support to solve environmental problems. This event will examine the role of the EU integration process in the process of empowering local organizations in their struggles and in raising public awareness on environmental issues.