On 18th and 19th June 2010 in Novi Sad, Serbia a regional conference on “Civil Bridge Building – The Hungarian 2011 EU-Presidency and the Western Balkans” was held. The conference was attended by representatives of 63 CSOs from Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Montenegro, among them also several BCSDN members.
Miljenko Dereta, the Executive Director of Civic Initiatives, Serbia and Chair of the BCSDN Board gave introductory remarks on the state of the civil society in the Balkans and its needs.
The aim of the conference was to enable both partnership between CSOs from Hungary and the Western Balkans in anticipation of the Hungarian presidency of the EU between January and June 2011. The opening speeches of the conference gave overview of the progress of each of the Western Balkan country on the road to the EU, as well as existing initiatives for regional cooperation. The last panel presented the priorities of the Hungarian EU presidency, especially in terms of enlargement and the Western Balkans, after which participants adopted a declaration. The conference was organized jointly by the European Fund for the Balkans, the Association of Local Development Agencies from Subotica and the European House from Hungary.