The French president recently vetoed the start of negotiations for EU membership of North Macedonia and Albania. In the past, the EU had agreed to start these negotiations as soon as both countries fulfil certain criteria. One major obstacle had been the name conflict with Greece about the term “Macedonia”, which has been overcome by changing the name of the country. Now the EU has to define a new strategy towards the Balkans which does not completely discourage the countries their and helps to keep influence in the region.
Students of the management programme of ProCredit Academy were confronted with this very realistic scenario. Their task was to take over the role of representatives of the EU commission, and of government representatives from the Balkans and from EU states and to negotiate a joint action plan agreeable by all EU member states and perceived as positive as possible in the Balkans.
Before negotiation training, they received a quick course on the historic EU’s development as well as its key characteristics. Afterwards, we had an intense debate on strengths and weaknesses of the Union, the prospect of further enlargement and the potential with regard to stabilisation efforts in the neighbourhood. The complete four day element has been one of their last activities before closing their three years’ studies.
polyspectiv has been contributing political negotiation exercises to the academies curriculum annually since 2008.