On February 17, 2023, an Info-session on the Agenda for the Western Balkans for innovation, research, education, culture, youth and sport was held at the Hilton Hotel in Skopje. The information session was attended by a total of 20 representatives from 9 public institutions that contribute to the achievement of the goals of this Agenda. Representatives from the European Commission had their presentation in the session: Bernhard Fabianek and Nikelina Naska – DG Research, and Innovation, Jelena Vidovic – DG Joint Research Center, Wojtek Kowalski – DG Neighborhood & Enlargement Negotiations.
The info session on the Western Balkans Agenda for Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sports is part of a wider capacity building program consisting of three modules. Module 1 is planned to be implemented in the first half of 2023 and consists of four activities:
• Info session on the agenda for the Western Balkans
• Training: Design and coordination of policies
• Training: Formulation of specific indicators for research and development, education and culture. Establishing processes for monitoring, evaluation and learning. Green indicators and budgeting.
• Study visit: EU institutional practices
The event was organized by the Foundation for Management and Industrial Research and the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development as part of the “POLICY ANSWERS” project funded under the Horizon Europe program of the European Commission. Through the implementation of the activities of this project, MIR Foundation and FITR are taking a leading role in the promotion of the national and regional innovation ecosystem, with the aim of including national stakeholders in the common European market.
The project supports political dialogue, including formal meetings, monitoring and agenda setting, capacity building and implementation of the EU agenda for the Western Balkans, as well as alignment of thematic priorities. It will implement regional pilot activities and upgrade the information center based on the www.westernbalkans-infohub.eu platform. 14 partner organisations, representing network nodes in the region and EU expert organisations, support policy dialogue through ministerial meetings, Steering Platform meetings and ad hoc policy meetings. They provide analytical evidence through monitoring and mapping activities (of the stakeholder ecosystem, implementation of the Western Balkans agenda and integration into the European Research Area).