Western Balkans in Focus

Workshop Understanding the role of third actors & looking for solutions to tackle the brain drain


Understanding the role of third actors & looking for solutions to tackle the brain drain

ECFR Berlin Office
Entrance: Rosmarinstraße 1, 10117 Berlin



Asli Aydintasbas, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Sabine Stöhr, Head of Western Balkans Division, MFA Germany

Maxim Samoroukov, Deputy Editor, Carnegie Moscow Centre

Tena Prelec, Research Associate, London School of Economics 

Alida Vracic, Visiting Fellow, ECFR

Vedran Dzihic, Senior Researcher, oiip – Austrian Institute for International Affairs; Senior Lecturer, University of Vienna

Maja Spanu, Junior Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

Chaired by

Vessela Tcherneva, Deputy Director, ECFR

Joanna Hosa, Wider Europe Programme Manager, ECFR


RSVP until Monday, 04 March to [email protected].

The workshop will be divided into two parts, both focussing on one major issue concerning the Western Balkans respectively.

In our first session we will discuss the influence of third party actors in the region which has been widely discussed in the recent years. Much attention has been given to Russia, with Turkey and the Arab states receiving less consideration. At the event we will launch a new ECFR policy brief on the myth and reality of Turkish power in the Western Balkans, authored by Senior Policy Fellow Asli Aydintasbas. We will put Turkey’s role into perspective, comparing it to the role of Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

In the second session we take a look at the challenge of brain drain in the Western Balkans and how the Irish model of circular migration can be applied in the region. Western Balkan governments have failed to tap into the potential of their vast diaspora – six million strong – around the world and yet they very much need their skills to develop and prosper. In her recent policy brief Alida Vracic proposes concrete solutions that will be discussed at the event.

Click here for the full agenda

This event is open to the public, but places are limited and will be allocated at the discretion of ECFR.