The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held the 6th Western Balkans Civil Society Forum in Sarajevo on 10-11 July. Participants adopted a Final Declaration calling for increased media freedom, opening the doors of the Western Balkans to EU enlargement, the implementation of migration policies and increased employment opportunities, and working on women’s rights. Participants expressed hope that, despite the multitude of challenges EU is facing, the EU’s enlargement policy will remain one of EU’s priorities and will become more progressive and ambitious. They stressed that, in order to foster reconciliation and promote overall democratisation of the countries of the Western Balkans, it is essential that EU institutions and the governments of these countries increase their efforts in expanding the space for civil society. BCSDN Executive Director, Ilina Nesik, spoke on the panel related to freedom of expression and presented the shrinking of civic space occurring in the region in the last years, while BCSDN members MCIC, Civic Initiative and CPCD were panelists on the conference addressing different issues of concern for the Western Balkan countries. More information is available here.