Naim Rashiti

Executive Director of the Balkans Policy Research Group



Naim Rashiti has 20 years of experience in public policy, research, advocacy and EU& International affairs. He is Executive Director of the Balkans Policy Research Group. Before that, Mr. Rashiti served as Balkans Analyst for the International Crisis Group for many years. Naim monitors and reports on the Kosovo Serbia dialogue, regional policy and security development and cooperation, and the EU approximation for the Western Balkans. He wrote more than 50 policy reports on domestic and broader regional issues, covering Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia. He also served as a Research Fellow with the Brussels-based CEPS with focus on Rule of Law within the EU and Southeast Europe. As an expert on conflict resolution and mediation, Naim has provided a series of training in Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine etc. His work, in recent years, focuses on reforms, public and foreign policies, good governance, and resolution of bilateral disputes in Western Balkans.

For many years, Balkans Group has implemented synchronized activities, and projects which include policy expertise and support, policy dialogue, mediation, and outreach. His NGO leadership role indispensably include Policy and Advocacy expertise, with activities that he and his organization implement domestically, regionally, and internationally. The think-tank he leads also provides policy support (including consultants)on key policy areas of foreign policy, security, dialogue, regional cooperation, and EU approximation. He actively participates and speaks in advocacy forums and provides briefings for governmental organization in Europe, UK and the US.

He holds a BA degree in Engineering and IT, BA in Political science, Postgraduate diploma on EU & Diplomacy, and an MA in International Relations from Fletcher School, Tufts University.

Title of Presentation

Western Balkans: The conglomerate of small states that needs a joint ambition to prevail
For more than two decades, small countries of the Western Balkans (WB) have achieved to consolidate their individual statehood, identity and foreign policy. Driven by security agendas, most Western Balkans states have successfully joined NATO. Those who have joined the NATO security umbrella enjoy security. Yet this has proven to be non - sufficient, and challenges within the Western Balkans states remained. Each state has failed to establish a proactive foreign policy and pursue more ambitious goals. WB states have remained ineffective in pursuing policies in the European Union and simultaneously ineffective in developing their own. They are heavily dependent on and driven by the international agendas of alliances. Small states become busy responding and scheduling to the calendar of events set by third parties, larger states or supranational institutions and fail to pursue important agendas for a common good. My presentation and the conclusions will draw from numerous lessons from practice, the behaviour of the small states and surrounding supranational institutions and introduce the idea of a new mantra, namely that to prevail, small states will need to act together for a common goal.