Social, Political and Security Challenges in the Western Balkans

On 17 May 2006, the Hungarian Europe Society organised an international workshop concerning the political and security challenges of the Western Balkans. At this event, together with the Hungarian participants, experts, politicians, journalists and senior officers of NGOs arriving from Croatia, Serbia and Montengro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and also representatives of European institutions were expected to discuss the most fundamental issues of the future of this region with special emphasis on the perspectives of EU-accession and the question related to the peaceful coexistence of different national and ethnic groups.

Social, Political and Security Challenges in the Western Balkans

Common Search for Solutions - International Workshop


  • Venue: Central European University, Popper Room, Budapest, 1051 Nádor utca 9.
  • Wednesday, 17 May, 2006

8.45 Registration

9.15 Opening: István Hegedűs (Chairman, Hungarian Europe Society)

  • József Tóth (Head of Department, Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

9.30 Key-note address: Dr. Erhard Busek (Special Co-ordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe): The Tasks of the International Democratic Community in the Western Balkans

10.00 Session 1: Facing the Past: the Role of the Civil Society and the Media

  • Moderator: Endre B. Bojtár (Editor-in-Chief, Magyar Narancs)
  • Sonja Biserko (Director, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia): Policy of Memory
  • Nerma Jelačić (Country Director, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), Sarajevo): Justice in the Media: Bosnian Journalism as a Tool in War and Peace
  • Orlanda Obad (Journalist, Jutarnji List; Lecturer, University of Zagreb): Croatia’s Joining the EU in the Public Discourse: How To Go forwards without Facing the Past?
  • James Lyon (Special Balkans Advisor, International Crisis Group, Belgrade Office): Is EU Policy towards the Western Balkans Realistic?

11.30 Coffee Break

11.45 Session 2: European Political Actors in the Western Balkans

  • Moderator: István Gyarmati (Director of the International Centre for Democratic Transition, Budapest)
  • Reinhard Priebe (European Commission, Enlargement Directorate General, Director Other Western Balkans, Brussels): European Perspectives of the Western Balkans
  • Sanja Bujas Juraga (Head of Department for International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zagreb): Croatia’s Responses to Today’s Security Challenges In the Context of EU and NATO Integration
  • Fernando Gentilini (Council of the European Union, Head of Task Force, Policy Unit for the Western Balkans, Brussels): Contribution of the European Union to the Stability in the Western Balkans
  • Matthew Rycroft (Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo): Conditionality: How to Use EU and NATO Soft Power

13.30 Break

15.00 Session 3: Means to Prosperity: Institutions and Markets, Tackling Corruption

  • Moderator: Attila Bartha (Vice-chairman, Hungarian Europe Society; Senior Researcher, Kopint-Datorg, Budapest)
  • Zsuzsa Hargitai (Head of the Budapest Office, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development): The Bigger the Market, the Better for Employment - a New Integration?
  • Mihail Arandarenko (Professor, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Economic and Social Policy Institute, University of Belgrade): Labour Market Institutions in South Eastern European Countries
  • Nela Lazarević (Journalist, Transitions Online, Podgorica): Towards Independence? Mistrust in the Montenegrin Institutions
  • Slaviša Šućur (Chairman of the Constitutional and Legal Commission of the Parliament of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina; Senior Policy and Association Advisor for Government Accountability Project): The Role of Local Self-governments in Answering to the Social, Political and Security Challenges in the Western Balkans

16.30 Coffee Break

16.45 Session 4: Regions, Autonomies, Minority Rights

  • Moderator: Tibor Várady (Central European University, Department of Legal Studies, Chair of the International Business Law Program)
  • Goran Svilanović (Chairman, Working Table I, Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe; Member, National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia): Education for Democratic Citizenship and Regionalization Open to Globalization - A New Toolkit for the Protection of Minority Rights in the 21st Century
  • Aleksandar Popov (Director, Center for Regionalism, Novi Sad): Regionalism in Vojvodina
  • János Orosz (General Director, Provincial Secretary of Regulation, Administration and National Minorities, Vojvodina): Rights of Minorities
  • Ahmet Jasharevski (President of the Roma Community Center (DROM) Kumanovo, Macedonia): The Roma Decade in South Eastern Europe

18.15 Closing Remarks: Michael Ward (Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the United Kingdom to Hungary)

Organisers: Attila Bartha, Zsuzsa Ferenczy, István Hegedűs, Beáta Huszka, Adrienn Krassó, Borbála Kriza, Erzsébet Strausz.

Participants of the conference