Event Reports

Budapest looks to the South

International Conference about Western Balkans as a part of a Summer School organized by the AJCK

It was an honor for us to participate as a contributor on the panel discussion about the Western Balkans hosted by the Antall József Center for Knowledge, together with other outstanding experts. As the talks started, the hall was already packed with young people who were interested to know more about EU Integration and accession progress of Serbia and Macedonia as well as the problems those two countries are currently facing.
Teilnehmer und Vortragende vor dem ungarischen Parlament Courtesy of the AJCK
Teilnehmer und Vortragende vor dem ungarischen Parlament

Selected students from 16 countries had the possibility not only to listen but also to ask questions and to discuss with Christina Griessler, Phd - academic chair for comparative political science with focus on Eastern Europe at the Andrassy University Budapest, Antoaneta Ivanova – Western Balkan Fonds, Naim Leo Beširi - head of the Institute of European Affairs Belgrade and Lucas Maximilian Schubert – project coordinator of KAS Serbia, Montenegro.

It was amazing to see that the European Integration of the Western Balkans aroused such a huge interest among these young international students, who had the possibility to get information first hand from experts on the region.

The talks mainly concerned the topics of reconciliation in the region as well as the current phenomenon of “brain drain” from the countries as well as shortcomings in the process of democratization in Serbia and Macedonia.

All participants realized that it is not possible to perceive political aspects isolated from others when it comes to the Western Balkans, only a holistic approach to the political situation could give the viewer an accurate picture of the current problems, challenges and future developments.

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation, represented by Lucas Maximilian Schubert, underlined during the discussion the enormous relevance cross border youth initiatives and projects have for the region.

He especially mentioned the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), which could be called by all means as “unique” for the region. The goal of this office is to connect the youth of the entire West Balkans through exchange programs. Only young people are able to accomplish reconciliation among the nations, and to create through cooperation and friendship the base for a better future of their people.

In this noble objective, RYCO gets the full support of KAS Serbia, Montenegro. Peace and reconciliation are core values of the foundation, just as they were as well the vision of Konrad Adenauer, first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.