Sofia Forum for the Balkans: The European and Balkan Movers and Shakers meet to Discuss Regional Agenda

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On 8th and 9th June, Tanja Hafner Ademi, the Executive Director of BCSDN participated to the Sofia Forum for the Balkans: The Balkans in the Globalization World brought together with over 100 representatives of governments, international organization, civil society, media and business from Europe, Balkans, MENA region. The today discussion evolved around the dynamics of EU integration and the effects of the global and Euro crisis on the Balkans. As Tim Judah put it – while the Balkans has stopped being at the crossroads after almost two decades of turmoil and destabilization, everyone else is now at the crossroad. From thereon, the discussion did not provide for new strategies and ideas on how to speed-up and make us of EU integration process for quality and locally-grounded reform. There is no new EU enlargement strategy in sight on the eve of the 2014, when the Thessaloniki agenda was expected to be realized, and incentives for the governments in the region in for of foreign investments are primarily coming from the East not West. Due to the need for a new EU architecture, not just Europe multi-speed, the EU accession is becoming a moving target more than ever before. There were different arguments to the need for primarily focus on economic growth and development vs. democratic reform, while these are in reality two sides of the same coin. For more details on discussion and specific speakers’ points see Twitter #sofiaforum or Sofia Forum website.

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