Balkan Think Tanks Convention is a gathering of think tanks focusing on political research. The convention aims to enhance dialogue and cooperation among think tanks in the Balkans and Türkiye, develop a regional perspective in understanding and tackling common challenges, and discuss innovative ideas for region-wide policy outcomes. The event is led by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), a leading think tank in Türkiye, and supported by the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB).
The first edition of the Balkan Think Tanks Convention took place in Ankara on 10-12 June 2015, with 30 think tanks and research institutions from twelve countries participating. The second edition was organized on 3-4 November 2016 in Pristina, in partnership with the Democracy for Development Institute (D4D), a Pristina-based think tank. Attended by 27 institutions from twelve countries, the general theme of the second edition was “The Renewed Strategic Importance of the Balkans”.
The third edition of the Balkan Think Tanks Convention was held in Ankara on 7-9 September 2022. The event, organized under the title “Furthering Cooperation under Geopolitical Challenges”, brought together around 40 experts affiliated with 32 institutions from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Türkiye. The Convention included a two-day-long workshop on the common political agenda of the region. The current trends and challenges facing the Balkans, the strategies and orientations of the Balkan countries, and external factors and developments influencing the region were discussed in six roundtable sessions. The sessions on the first day focused on ongoing and potential challenges to order, security, and peace in the Balkans, while the discussions on the second day focused on how to cope with challenges and develop further cooperation in the region. Each session included four interventions followed by an open roundtable discussion. The roundtable sessions covered the following themes:
- Transformation of global geopolitics: How to understand its impacts on the region
- Major political problems in the Balkans: How to evaluate the risks
- EU integration as a never-ending story: How to make sense of deadlocks
- Enhancing the security of the Balkans and Türkiye: How to increase resilience together
- Regional cooperation initiatives and mechanisms: How to increase their effectiveness
- Tackling common socio-economic challenges amongst global crises: How to think outside the box
This report provides a general summary of the roundtable sessions, including the main points of discussion and policy recommendations. Since the Convention was held under the Chatham House rule, the names and affiliations of the speakers are not specified in the report.