Preparation of research-based proposals for policy measures aimed at the acceleration of reforms and at the democratisation of the Western Balkan countries, as well as at overcoming the enlargement hiatus inside the European Union;
The Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) is a group of policy analysts, scholars and researchers, established as a joint initiative of the European Fund for the Balkans and the Centre for Southeast European Studies of the University of Graz with the aim to promote the European integration of the Western Balkans and the consolidation of democratic, open countries in the region. BiEPAG is composed of prominent policy researchers from the Western Balkans and all of Europe who have established themselves for their knowledge and understanding of the Western Balkans and the processes that shape the region.
The Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group is a unique initiative of researchers and analysts, committed to European integration of the countries of the Western Balkans as prospering, stable democracies.
It seeks to advance this goal through research, policy advice and advocacy. BiEPAG strives to produce timely, critical, and evidence-based research and policy advice, as well as communicating these findings and recommendations to policy makers and the publics.
BiEPAG is grounded in the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. It adheres to values that are common to a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality prevail.
BiEPAG promotes a diversity of perspectives and is committed to debate, both among its members and with others, based on the fundamental goal of securing a democratic and prosperous future for the region. BiEPAG supports an inclusive and functional democracy, based on the rule of law, a vibrant and critical civil society and media, and the protection and promotion of vulnerable and marginalized groups and individuals.
European Integration is not just a goal in itself, but also one of the tools to achieve democracy, prosperity, and stability in the Western Balkans. BiEPAG thus understands its work to include not just the EU integration of the region as a project of central importance, but also the variety of processes, initiatives and actors that contribute to securing these goals within the countries of the region.
BiEPAG is a strictly non-partisan initiative, which does not support individual political parties, but instead will work with social and political actors across the spectrum as long as they substantially share the goals of the work of BiEPAG.
Four main methods are used in the BiEPAG’s work:
Dissemination of the recommendations and – with support from BiEPAG’s vast network of partners in the European Union and in the Western Balkan countries – the advocacy of the recommended measures at high-level meetings and in expert fora;
Promotion of expert debate – bringing together policy and expert communities and stimulating the exchange of divergent views;
Promotion and democratisation of public debate on topics relevant to the Europeanisation of the Western Balkans – through the BiEPAG blog, which brings together policy–makers, analysts and scholars to debate the most pressing issues in the region.
Supporting the integration of the Western Balkans in the European Union and contributing to the consolidation of democracy in the region.More about us