"Europe's Balkan Partners" - Europabüro Brüssel
"Europe's Balkan Partners"
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08.30 - 09.15 Registration of participants & Welcome Coffee
09.15 Welcome by Dr. Peter R. Weilemann, Director of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, European Office
09.30 - 11.00 h
Session I: ARE THE BALKANS BECOMING A REGION OF STABILITY?
The sense of political maturity that accompanied Montenegro’s narrow referendum vote to sever the link with Serbia has helped to reassure EU public opinion that the Balkans region is becoming much more stable. But the unresolved Kosovo issue remains a worrying spark point. To what extent are peace reconciliation and reconstruction efforts in the region paying off? Is it justifiable to speak of a new sense of political stability?
Opening address by Janez Potocnik, EU Commissioner for Research & Member of
the International Committee on the Balkans
Alexandr Vondra, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic
Doris Pack MEP, Chairwoman, Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South-East Europe, European Parliament
Peter Bas-Backer, Senior Deputy High Representative of the International Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Gregor Kössler, Head of Cabinet, Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe
Robert Manchin, Chairman & Managing Director, Gallup Europe
Gerald Knaus, Head of Office, European Stability Initiative
Moderated by Harry Papasotiriou, Member of the Advisory Board of the Constantinos
Karamanlis Institute for Democracy
11.00 - 11.30 Coffee
11.30 - 13.00 h
Session II: IS EU-MEMBERSHIP A COLLECTIVE AMBITION OR A BALKAN RIVALRY?
So far the Balkan states appear to have viewed membership of the European Union as a ‘beauty contest’ in which they vied for Brussels’ approval. With the EU now suffering from enlargement indigestion, do the Balkan countries now see their own economic and political cooperation in the region as an increasingly important key to their accession hopes?
Keynote address by Stjepan Mesic, President of Croatia
Adnan Terzic, Prime Minister, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Milan Rocen Minister of Foreign Affairs, Montenegro
Ardian Gjini, Minister & Member of the Political Group for Future Status Negotiations, Kosovo
Ilmer Selmani Deputy Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Gunther Krichbaum, Member of the German Bundestag, Committee on European Affairs
Pantelis Sklias, Head of the International Cooperation Office, Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy
Moderated by Heather Grabbe, Member of Cabinet of EU Commissioner for Enlargement
Olli Rehn, in charge of Pre-Accession Strategy for the Balkans
14.30 - 16.00 h
Session III: HOW MUCH INTER-BALKAN REGIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION IS THERE?
It was the EU rather than the Balkan states themselves that pushed for the expansion of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) to replace the patchwork of over 30 bi-lateral trade pacts between them and to homogenize their business rules and standards. What is the CEFTA deal’s likely impact when it comes into force in 2007, and how far are the Balkan states from together being a regional economy? Is intra-Balkan economic cooperation high on their priorities, or do they fear it is a waiting room designed to delay their EU membership?
Keynote address by Giuliano Amato, Italian Minister of Interior and Friends of Europe
Vuk Draskovic Foreign Minister of Serbia
Genc Pollo Minister of Education and Science, Albania
Dimitris Kourkoulas Head of the Delegation to Bosnia-Herzegovina, European Commission
Sandra Bloemenkamp Senior Adviser, Office for South East Europe, The World Bank
Sandro Baricevic Public Affairs and Communications Manager, the Coca-Cola Company, Croatia
Moderated by Giles Merritt, Secretary General of Friends of Europe
End of Conference