Round Tables: “Europeanization of Western Balkans”
3 and 15 November 2016, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
On 3 and 15 November 2016, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana hosted two Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) sponsored events on Europeanization of Western Balkans (WB). Nearly 30 participants, predominantly MA and BA students of European Studies and International Relations, but also interested policy makers, representatives of the national Chamber of Commerce and civil society representatives working in the field of innovation and industrial policy, cooperated in two separate 3,5-hour round tables with dynamic Q&A sessions.
The first round table entitled ‘Advantages and Challenges in the Two-Way Europeanization Path in the Western Balkans’ was focused on the EU enlargement and two paths of Europeanization of WB states, namely downloading as adaptation and policy convergence and uploading as national projection to the EU level.
Speakers at the roundtable included:
- Prof Dr Allan Francis Tatham, lecturer in EU law (Faculty of Law, San Pablo University);
- Dragan Barbutovski, director of a newly formed think tank Think Europe – European Ideas Hub based in Ljubljana and
- Prof Dr Marko Lovec, Centre of International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana.
The discussion was moderated by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ana Bojinović Fenko from the Centre of International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana.
The second roundtable concerning the ‘Advantages and Challenges for the National Innovation System in Building a Competitive Industrial Strategy’ took place approximately 2 weeks later. The speakers at this discussion were:
- Efka Heder, MA, director, South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, who gave the opening presentation and highlighted the potential and existing good practices in promoting entrepreneurial learning in the region of Western Balkans;
- Dr Peter Wostner, Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy, who revealed recent development in industrial policy and implementation of smart specialisation in Slovenia; and
- Dr Maja Bučar, Professor and Head of the Centre of International Relations, University of Ljubljana, who illustrated the importance of the National Innovation System, reviewed recent developments in Europe and Slovenia, and analysed the Slovenian experience in comparison with the Western Balkans’ experience.
The debate at the round table was moderated by Professor Dr Andreja Jaklič from the Centre of International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana.
Roundtable: “Addressing the Refugee Question in Slovenia and Central Europe”
9 November 2016, Faculty of Social Sciences, Ljubljana
Participants to the round table, that was chaired by prof. dr. Maja Bučar, head of the Centre for International Relations (CIR) of the Faculty of Social Sciences, included: mag. Paul Schmidt, Secretary General of the Austrian Association for European Politics (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Europapolitik – ÖGfE), dr. Neža Kogovšek Šalamon, director of the Peace Institute, Helena Milinković, journalist at RTV Slovenia and dr. Milan Brglez, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia and Assistant Professor in International Relations. The roundtable was organised as part of the international project ‘Cooperation or Confrontation between Central European Countries in the Current Refugee Crisis’, coordinated by ÖGfE, in which, apart from Slovenia and CIR, partners from Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary are also participating. So far, within the project national workshops, followed by a joint workshop and presentation of results in Vienna, took place. Currently, results are being presented and discussed in each of the participating countries.
The joint policy recommendations and response by European media are available here.