19th DRC Summer School on Regional Cooperation

Juli 16, 2024 - Juli 22, 2024
10:00 - 18:00 MESZ/MEZ

Losing the momentum? 

The Western Balkans and the complexity of today’s world 

An intensive one-week programme for students and researchers 

We are looking for BA, MA and PhD level scientists, who are interested in the developments of the countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, have scientific record and/or intend to have deeper knowledge about the Danube Region. The participants will have the chance to share their specific scientific results related to the topics of the Danube Region and European integration. After the end of the Summer School, the contributions will be included as an article in the scientific journal “Der Donauraum” (“Danube Region”) published regularly by the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM).

Experience an unforgettable week in the beautiful city of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and make lasting cooperation and friendships during lectures, workshops and social activities. Acquire a memorable international experience while networking with like-minded people. Join our DRC Summer School and receive up-to-date knowledge about the political, economic and social challenges of the Danube Region!


  • Date: 16–22 July 2024
  • Application deadline: 31 May 2024
  • Target group: BA, MA, PhD level students and scientists
  • Publication: possibility of publishing of contribution
  • Registration fee: none
  • Accommodation: provided and covered by the organisers
  • Board: provided and covered by the organisers
  • Travel: covered by the organisers up to 200 €
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Course location: Sarajevo
  • Organisers: Danube Rectors’ Conference (DRC), Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM), University of Sarajevo – School of Economics and Business


  1. The Western Balkans and European integration – an unfulfilled promise
    Both the European Union and the Southeastern European countries have long aspired to accelerate European integration, viewing it as a pathway to stability, prosperity, and democratic consolidation of the Western Balkan region. However, even twenty-one years after the promise was made in Thessaloniki, the Western Balkan countries are still caught between European aspirations and the realities of a complex transition process hindered by issues like the need for structural reforms, corruption or ethnic tensions. This state of limbo causes disillusionment among citizens and leaders alike, particularly in the view of shifted integration focus on Ukraine and Moldova in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion. While the EU has reiterated its commitment to the Western Balkans, tangible steps towards integration are imperative to realize the region’s full potential and uphold the promise of a united Europe.
  2. Labour, mobility, manpower – is the Western Balkans turning into a human desert?
    Demographic changes and migration from the Western Balkans are reshaping the region’s population dynamics and socio-economic landscape. Aging populations, coupled with low birth rates, contribute to demographic challenges, while emigration further compounds these issues. Economic disparities, political instability, and limited job opportunities drive many individuals, particularly the younger generation, to seek better prospects abroad. This outflow of skilled workers and professionals leads to brain drain and labour force shortages within the region. Balancing the benefits of emigration with strategies for retaining talent and fostering local opportunities is, however, crucial for sustainable socio-economic development of the Western Balkan countries, particularly given the increased importance of profound transdisciplinary research and the rise of digitalisation and artificial intelligence.
  3. Reconciliation, Resilience, Revenue – role of higher education in South-East Europe
    Through curriculum reforms, inclusive educational practices, academic exchange programmes and joint research initiatives universities and higher education institutions can contribute to the reconciliation process by promoting respect for diversity and critical thinking skills among students. Building on the academic experience, university students coming from the region can strive to confront past atrocities and promote healing among communities affected by war memories, ethnic tensions, and intersocietal conflicts. In that sense, universities not only educate skilled young researchers who are equipped to address historical grievances and foster understanding but also cultivate a generation of individuals committed to dialogue and cooperation. By doing so, higher education institutions create societal revenue representing a cornerstone for more resilient and cohesive societies in South-East Europe.
  4. Glocalization in Europe – has the EU lost the momentum?
    Amid rising nationalism, protectionism, and identity politics, growing efforts to promote and prioritise local and national interests and sovereignty attitudes at the expense of regional and pan-European cooperation and integration have become more present not only in South-East Europe. In addition to losing traction of European integration, the European Union’s momentum in the Western Balkan region is facing significant challenges amidst a backdrop of nationalistic politics, ethnic tensions, geopolitical power struggles, and hybrid warfare tactics. Consequently, the EU’s ability to promote peace, democracy, and prosperity in the Western Balkans is increasingly called into question. Despite being one of the world’s largest economies and a key diplomatic player, the geopolitical capacity of the EU in the Western Balkans remains unutilized.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The research topics of the summer school participants should overlap the above-mentioned topics that represent general content areas of the summer school. However, this does not necessarily imply that other topics outside these areas are excluded, on the contrary, the diversity of topics discussed is welcome. Candidates are, therefore, encouraged to submit their research proposals elaborating also other issues relevant to the region of Western Balkans.


Participants of the Summer School have the possibility to publish their scientific results in „Der Donauraum“, the scientific journal of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM). Please indicate in the application form if you are interested in publishing of your research. Guidelines for authors can be found on the webpage of IDM. Applicants interested in publishing will be prioritized during the selection.


  1. Fill out the application form and send the required documents by 31 May 2024, at the latest
  2. Wait for the decision of the board
  3. Selected participants will be informed on 15 June 2024, at the latest

To complete your application, please fill out the registration form below and send to info@drc-danube.org the following documents:

  1. Your CV (maximum 4 pages)
  2. Your research result (paper, article, thesis)
  3. Abstract of your research (maximum 1.200 characters including spacing) – if applicable

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please send all above-mentioned documents as one file, the only accepted format is PDF with a maximum file size of 3 MB for all documents.