In June 2003 the EU declared that “the future of the Balkans is within the European Union” and initially adopted a generous strategy that linked the timetable for accession to the pace of reforms in the Western Balkans. Yet, the 15 years since the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Thessaloniki have only accumulated enlargement fatigue and the expected goal has remained short of the initial expectations.

Nevertheless, Bulgaria strongly initiated on the eve of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union (Jan 1st – June 30th, 2018) through the Trio Program  and then continuously implemented the key priority of its own Presidency Program , i.e. European perspective and connectivity of the Western Balkans.

Instrumental for the Bulgarian efforts is (a) the adoption by the EU Commission of the long-awaited Western Balkans strategy on Feb 6, 2018 in which it is clearly stated that the countries in the region could join EU as early as 2025 and (b) the scheduled EU-Western Balkans Summit on May 17, 2018 in Sofia.

Thus, the Bulgarian government made sure that this key priority of its Presidency be effectively pursued by the next member states taking over the Council of EU, i.e. Austria and Romania.

In this context our mission is to provide the necessary concerted internal momentum through our intense networking in BHUB for enhancing the exerted coordinated EU institutional effort for the Euroatlantic integration of the Western Balkans by pooling individual and organizational nongovernmental expertise and resources from Bulgaria and the Western Balkans countries.