The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the European Commission’s Directorate-General responsible for enlargement hosted a half-day high level panel discussion:‘Making a Difference: European Union and the Rule of Law in the Western Balkans’ in the context of EU Enlargement, with Mr. Robert de Groot, Director General for European Cooperation at the Dutch MFA, Mr. Lawrence Meredith, Head of Strategy and Policy at the EC DG Enlargement, Mr. Serge Brammertz, Chief Prosecutor, ICTY, and Mr. Gerald Knaus, President and Co-founder, European Stability Initiative.
Strengthening the rule of law is a key challenge for most of the countries in the enlargement process, in particular in terms of improving the functioning and independence of the judiciary and fighting corruption and organised crime. The panel explored the current efforts in the region aimed at establishing an effective judicial system, within the overall enlargement strategy in general, and the European Commission’s Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance which provides financial and technical support to the candidate countries and potential candidates in the Western Balkans, in particular. Speakers presented and discussed lessons learned through projects already implemented, and what can be done to make a bigger impact in this field.
- Robert de Groot, Dutch Foreign Ministry Director-General for European Cooperation
- Serge Brammertz, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
- Lawrence Meredith, Head of Strategy and Policy at the EC DG Enlargement
- Gerald Knaus, President and Co-founder, European Stability Initiative
- Moderator: Amb. Nikola Dimitrov, Distinguished Fellow, The Hague Institute for Global Justice