Regional cooperation in Southeast Europe (SEE) has undergone a fundamental shift over the past decades. If in the late 1990s, when the process took off in earnest, it was mostly about strengthening security in the wake of violent conflict, nowadays the principal goal is to kick start economic growth and development in times of prolonged crisis. However, if in the 1990s, conflict was the alternative to regional cooperation, then now the alternative is to have frequent meetings between government officials, which do not necessarily impact or improve the every day life of people. Governments in the region are the main consumers of regional cooperation, while at the individual level, consumption of benefits deriving from regional cooperation is still lacking. On the other hand, citizens are highly supportive of regional cooperation. According to the Regional Cooperation Council’s Balkan Barometer 2015, 60% of citizens in the region want to see more regional cooperation and 76% believe that improved regional cooperation can positively affect the economy.

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