As part of the MAXCAP project in which BCSDN is partner in, a Young researchers’ and Midterm conference was held from 20th to 24th of April in Istanbul. The conference, hosted by Sabanci University, was aimed for presenting the activities and research conducted so far by the nine-partner consortium of academic and policy excellence, and it also served as an opportunity for peer review and training of the staff of the project teams. The Young researchers’ conference consisted of 3 special training sessions and 5 sessions for presentation, where BCSDN’s Policy and advocacy officer – Ms. Biljana Stojanoska presented the findings from the field research BCSDN conducted in Macedonia and Serbia on the discourses on social acceptance of the EU enlargement using the Q-methodology.
The two day Midterm conference consisted of 7 panels for presentation of the working papers and deliverables, one final wrap up session and one open round table, each of them followed by active discussions. BCSDN’s Executive Director – Ms. Tanja Hafner Ademi, took part at the round table session of the conference intended for streamlining the research findings for addressing policy challenges and recommendations. Ms. Hafner Ademi spoke about the value and the role of civil society in the democratization and accession processes of EU candidate and potential candidate countries, and the importance of EU’s support and regard for the development of the civil society in these countries. Previously, the issue of the importance of the civil society involvement in the EU accession process was raised by Mr. Pierre Mirel, Honorary Director General in the European Commission who referred to it as “the missing 4th pillar” in EU’s enlargement policy.
The other discussants on the round table were Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel from Freie Universität Berlin, Dr. Antoaneta Dimitrova from Leiden University, Prof. Milada Vachudova from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Mr. Zoltan Krasznai representative of DG Research of the European Commission and Mr. Pierre Mirel, Honorary Director General, European Commission.
Further information on the conference can be found here.