Where the civil society of the Western Balkans stands and what are its perspectives?

At the ACT Community Days held in Belgrade at the beginning of June, we spoke with our guests, Marina Škrabalo, Safet Kubat and Daliborka Uljarević. Our guests participated in the panel discussion “Strengthening civic activism in the Western Balkans” moderated by Bojana Selaković, Program Director of Civic Initiatives. After the discussion, we had a short conversation with the panelists. We asked Daliborka Uljarević how she sees the possibilities and perspectives of civil society advocacy initiatives in the region in the current socio-political environment.

Environmental activist Safet Kubat spoke about the importance of regional networking and the creation of civil society alliances, with the aim of strengthening democratic processes, citizens’ participation in public policies and their supervision of the work of institutions.

We talked with Marina Škrabalo about solidarity as a valuable mechanism for initiating changes in the community, as well as the necessity of cooperation between citizens and institutions. She referred to a special phenomenon – the “Balkanization” of Europe, as a peculiar process that is a consequence of major socio-political processes in the last few years, which runs parallel to the process of “Europeanization” of the Balkans, which, in her words, intensively brings the countries of the Balkans and the European Union closer in a special way.