Regional consultations on sustainability of the WBESS network and possible next steps in the future

On Friday, February 26, the Western Balkans European Social Survey Regional Network (WBESS) and SCiDEV jointly organized a one-day in-person and online event on WBESS sustainability.

The regional consultative meeting was opened by Dr. Goran Basic, director of the Institute of Social Sciences and Member of ESS ERIC General Assembly, followed by a welcome speech given by Nenad Celarevic, Project Coordinator SUSTAIN 2. Abi Dodbiba (National Focal Point Albania) moderated the first session. During this session, contact persons from the six countries of the Western Balkans presented the current progress, activities so far, potential problems as well as further plans for the project implementation. In the second session, Dr. Klaus Schuch, Scientific Director of the Center for Social Innovation, dedicated his presentation to the Strategic Foresight for the Western Balkans for 2035 as well as the potential benefits of such an approach. The focus was also on how EDI-based research can contribute to strategic foresight. The Conference continued in two parallel sessions with appropriate group discussions in each. Simon Schmitz, who was the moderator of one of the discussions (Senior Scientific Officer at the German Aerospace Center) additionally emphasized the importance of strategic foresight. The first group’s topic of discussion was a scenario: “Looking beyond EU borders”, and the second one: “Joining the common market”.

The in-person meeting was held in compliance with all measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Serbia.