About the project

About the project

The Jean Monnet project “Learning by Doing: EU Standards in the Balkans” (EUlead) coordinated by IRMO’s Department for International Economic and Political Relations aims to raise a level of awareness in Croatia of the EU, strengthen EU agenda in Croatia and align Croatian approach towards the Western Balkans (WBs) with that of the EU. A positive impact of this project will be measurable through a more constructive approach to countries in the WB region, in particular to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where Croatia resolves open bilateral issues in a fair and democratic manner.

The project activities include two roundtable discussions with academics, key experts and policy makers in the fields of security, politics and economy on most relevant topics related to EU matters in the WB region, and two closed discussions with speakers from the roundtables and parliamentarians, advisors in the prime minister’s office and advisors in the cabinet of the Croatian president to speak openly, without media and public, about EU challenges.

Two lectures by four prominent experts on EU and WB affairs will be organized at the University of Zagreb. The goal of these lectures is to raise awareness of college students on EU issues in Croatia and their understanding of EU interests for the stable WBs.

In order to bring European core values like the Rule of Law and EU economic and fiscal rules closer to students, we will also implement scenario planning exercises with 1st year students in two semesters at the University of Zagreb and the University College Dag Hammarskjöld in Zagreb.

Research-wise, thematic sections in two issues of the peer-reviewed journal Croatian International Relations Review (CIRR) will be published focusing on the challenges highlighted by the project. In addition, articles, blogs and media appearance of team members will add to the project’s visibility.

Key points:

  • EU is safer and more prosperous if Western Balkan (WB) countries carry out reforms and uphold European values.
  • Croatia is in a position to positively contribute to EU interests in the region of the WBs if it converges its interests with EU interests.
  • Preparing for the EU Presidency in 2020 should help Croatia facilitate this convergence and further develop its conscious commitment to EU stability and prosperity.
  • This project raises key questions related to EU interests in the WBs with key political actors in the country: parliamentarians, decision makers in the Government and the Office of the President, experts, analysts, students, journalists and civil society activists.
  • The EU agenda in the WBs and Croatia will be further underlined at public lectures at the University of Zagreb.
  • Croatian internalization of EU values and policies will be stimulated and explained at scenario planning sessions with students at the University of Zagreb and Dag Hammarskjöld University College of International Relations and Diplomacy.
  • Research results will be published in the form of articles and blogs, and communicated via media appearance in European and Croatian media.


The beneficiaries of the project, both as contributors and target groups, include policy makers, scholars, students, analysts, politicians, diplomats, civil society activists, journalists, and civil servants.

Duration of the project:

1 September 2018 – 31 August 2019