Sixth Joint Scientific Conference of the Western Balkans Process


Participants in the 6th Joint Scientific Conference of the Western Balkans Process drew up a “10-point plan” to control the coronavirus pandemic in the Western Balkans. Participants in the two-day virtual meeting also discussed priorities for the post-pandemic period in the Western Balkans and South-Eastern Europe. These include a decent health system, climate neutrality, reduction of air and water pollution and the digitization of education, public administration, industry and healthcare. health. The conference was jointly organized by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Polish Academy of Sciences as part of the Western Balkans process.

“We need to identify the lessons learned from this pandemic. The first logical consequence is to strengthen pandemic preparedness and crisis resilience, ”Professor (ETHZ) Dr Gerald Haug, President of Leopoldina, told the virtual meeting.

In their “10-point plan”, the participants recommend short, medium and long-term measures for the next two years to control and contain the pandemic in South-Eastern Europe and on the European continent: Increase in the number of vaccines for Western countries Balkan countries and accelerated vaccination, pan-European travel and mobility standards in testing and tamper-proof use of the EU’s digital COVID certificate, and more humanitarian aid from the European Union (EU) as a sign of solidarity European.

EU funds mobilized for the recovery and resilience of the Western Balkans should be mainly used to create an effective health system, to achieve the goal of climate neutrality with a focus on reducing pollution from the world. air and water, and to digitize education, public administration, industry and healthcare. To achieve lasting success, however, investments in education and science (research and innovation) in the Balkans are needed, in particular to stop the “brain drain” from South East Europe. Therefore, the conference participants called for the “Western Balkans Research Fund” to be included as a new funding instrument in the EU’s Horizon Europe framework program.

The Western Balkans process? also known as the Berlin process? is a joint initiative of 16 European countries and the European Commission. It supports efforts to integrate the region into the European Union and to promote regional cooperation. The process covers areas such as bilateral dispute resolution, rule of law approval, connectivity and economic development, as well as strengthening cooperation in education, science (research and innovation) and inter-societal dialogue. Seventeen parties are currently involved in the Process: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia and United Kingdom, as well than the European Commission.


The “10 Point Plan to Control COVID-19 in the Western Balkans” is available at: http: // /Fr/jsc6

General information on the Berlin process and its joint scientific conference: https: /// /Fr/international/science-diplomacy /western-balkan-process /

Information on the Berlin process and its current German presidency: http: // process.of

Details on the Western Balkans Research Fund (on the Western Balkans Science Initiative): http: // /file administrator /writing/International /preview_wbrf.pdf

La Leopoldina on Twitter: http: // /leopoldine

About the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

As the German National Academy of Sciences, the Leopoldina provides independent, science-based policy advice on issues of relevance to society. To this end, the Academy develops interdisciplinary statements based on scientific findings. In these publications, options for action are described; making decisions, however, is the responsibility of democratically legitimized politicians. The experts who prepare the returns work in a voluntary and impartial manner. Leopoldina represents the German scientific community in international academic dialogue. This includes advising the annual summits of heads of state and government of the G7 and G20 countries. With 1600 members from over 30 countries, the Leopoldina combines expertise from almost all fields of research. Founded in 1652, it was named National Academy of Sciences of Germany in 2008. The Leopoldina is committed to the common good.


Lucien Brujan

Senior Officer, Department of International Relations and Lecturer at the Berlin Process Joint Scientific Conference

Email: [email protected]

Media contact:

Caroline Wichmann

Head of the Press and Public Relations Department

Phone. : +49 (0) 345 472 39 800

Email: [email protected]

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