EastWest Institute Launches Balkans Dialogue

News | March 26, 2019

Promoting Long-Term Prospects for Stability and Security in the Western Balkan Region

The EastWest Institute (EWI) together with its partner, the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE), convened its Balkans Dialogue initiative on March 29, in Belgrade. Comprised of decision makers and experts from the six countries of the Western Balkans (WB6), including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, along with the European Union, United States, Russia and China—the dialogues are designed to help increase and deepen understanding, while building trust between representatives of varying geopolitical interests present in the region today. The launch event in Belgrade will be the first of four planned dialogues with subsequent summits to be held in coming months.

“Instability, economic weakness and fragile security in the Western Balkans continue to significantly impact the region’s internal dynamics, as well as its relations with neighbors,” stated Cameron Munter, former U.S. Ambassador to Serbia and current CEO and President of EWI. “We are developing a forum to discuss these issues where competing interests or strategies could collide, and create an opportunity to mitigate and defuse tensions before they arise.”

Participants include Frank Wisner, former U.S. diplomat and international affairs advisor; Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference; Ivan Krastev and Ivan Vejvoda of Vienna’s Institute for Human Sciences; and Sonia Licht of the BFPE; along with a host of senior representatives from the public and private sectors. Aleksandar Vučić, President of the Republic of Serbia, opened the proceedings with a keynote presentation

The Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund and Open Society Foundation-Serbia also supported this event.

For additional information, please contact Maja Piscevic at mpiscevic@eastwest.ngo.