European Western Balkans

[BSF] Belgrade Security Forum 2018 starts today

BSF logo; Photo: BCBP

BELGRADE – The eighth edition of the Belgrade Security Forum, organised by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, European Movement in Serbia and Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, starts today, and will last until Friday, 19 October.

The event will kick off with academic panels, which will be followed by the first Plenary Panel titled “Balkans 2025” on Wednesday evening. The panel will be followed by two sessions, dealing with the future of Bosnia and the sources of regional instability.

On Thursday morning, the event will be officialy opened with a speech delivered by Sonja Licht, President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence. A discussion on relations between Western Balkans and European Union, with President of Austria Alexander van der Bellen and President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, will follow immediately after.

Over the three-day period, various topics, concerning both the region of Western Balkans, as well as global and European issues, will be covered by eleven sessions and four plenary panels.

The Forum will be closed on Friday with a discussion on a better-connected region by the Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev and Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić.

Some of the topics include recent developments between Belgrade and Pristina, German and US activity in the region, prospects for justice and reconciliation in the Western Balkans, but also situation in the Middle East, West-Russia relations, propaganda and disinformation and fourth industrial revolution.

“Continuing uncertainty and unpredictability is no longer a form of crisis; unpredictability has become “new normal” in international relations. Actors no longer feel committed to the rules ​​and institutions of the post-Cold War period. This new balance can be observed in the phenomena and effects of first artificial intelligences as well as acceleration and greater automation of labor and the global economy overall”, reads the announcement.

A numer of distinguished experts, officials and policy-makers from both the region and beyond will be taking part in the Forum. Some of them include Matthew Palmer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of US State Department, H. E. Kyle Scott, US Ambassador to Serbia, H. E. Thomas Schieb, German Ambassador to Serbia, Hedvig Morvai, Executive Director of the European Fund for the Balkans, Florian Bieber, Professor of Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz, James Gow, Professor and Co-Director of the War Crimes Research Group at the King’s College in London, Mark Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of International Institute for Strategic Studies and Nikos Tzifakis, Research Associate at the Wilfried Martens Centre.

European Western Balkans will be a strategic media partner of this year’s Belgrade Security Forum.

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