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Overcoming Divisions: Western Balkans and the Future of Europe

Date

05 May 2021 12:30 to 06 May 2021 13:30

Address

  ONLINE
Belgium

Section

InfoSociety

Event Description

A few short weeks ahead of the start of the Conference on the Future of Europe, controversy has emerged in Southeast Europe over an alleged non-paper coming from Slovenia which proposes the dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and redrawing of the Western Balkan borders. With the origin of the non-paper disputed, the majority of the political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic have rejected the proposal as a potential war scenario. Nonetheless, some leave the door open for possible discussion in the future.

On 10 May 2021, the Foreign Affairs Council will have a discussion on the Western Balkans. This is a good occasion to critically assess the EU’s engagement in the region, especially following the failure to start the EU accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania and the inability of the Council to adopt conclusions on the enlargement at the end of 2020. Following the publication of the European Commission’s enlargement strategy of February 2018, it is important to reflect how can peace and lasting stability in the region be secured on the basis of human and minority rights, countering revisionist attacks on European norms and values.

What is the impact on the people in the region of non-papers proposing to distort the security of Europe at large? How much is the European Council and the current EU leadership able to assume their responsibility of ending of the division of the European continent and of creating a firm basis for the construction of the Future of post-pandemic Europe, including the Western Balkans? Is the international community able to convincingly prove its commitment to the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and of the rule of law in the Western Balkans?

Opening remarks by Daniel Kaddik, Executive Director, European Liberal Forum

Keynote speech by H.E. Ambassador Valentin Inzko, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Speakers include
Ilhan Kyuchyuk, MEP Renew Europe, EP Rapporteur on North Macedonia
Viola von Cramon, MEP Greens/EFA, EP Rapporteur on Kosovo
Dr. Vesna Pusic, Former First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Croatia
Moderated by Emil Kirjas, Former State Secretary of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia

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