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Uniting Europe: Continue the EU enlargement
While European integration is ongoing, our continent still remains politically divided, with many countries remaining outside of the EU. There hasn’t been an EU enlargement since Croatia joined the Union in 2013, despite the progress made by several candidate and potential candidate countries to meet the membership criteria. This creates a divide between those who can enjoy the freedoms and opportunities the Union provides and those who are dependent on only limited forms of integration. While some countries put great effort into meeting the accession criteria, their EU integration has been arbitrarily blocked by individual member states, often based on narrowly-defined national interests or domestic pressure from nationalistic groups.
The EU must remain an open project, commiting to a continuous enlargement process based on transparent accession criteria, including the respect for the Union’s fundamental values. Following the evaluation of these criteria made by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council should be able to co-decide on the accession of new member states based on qualified majority voting. No single member state should be able to block the accession of a candidate country.
The integration of the Western Balkan countries should be prioritised to ensure peace and stability in the region. Subsequently, other European countries meeting the accession criteria should be invited to join the Union in order to unite the continent.
04 October 2021
09:00 - 17:00
The European project is work in progress. It has been since the onset of the integration process. What makes it stand out is the fact it keeps reinventing itself in the face of new challenges. In that regard, 2021 is a case in point that Europe is at another crossroad, particularly as the global order is becoming more dynamic and complex, all while the citizens of Europe are faced with dilemmas how to address the issues such as the pandemic, hybrid threats, migration, and the phenomenon of fake news. Times of change may understandably generate some level of uneasiness, and even fear among some; yet, they also create opportunities not only to explore ways of deepening the cooperation in the existing fields but also to explore new heights. Considering such a context, the Conference on the Future of Europe (CotFoE) provides the citizens of Europe with a good opportunity to voice their concerns and to take proactive approach in shaping the decision-making process. The title of the initiative, EUROPE COMPLETE, was deliberately chosen to showcase that only united Europe, a continent comprised of countries sharing the common values, can properly address the ever-growing number of cross-border challenges. The EUROPE COMPLETE idea therefore goes beyond the European Union as it also envisions the Western Balkans as an essential piece of the European puzzle. Considering the interconnectedness between the EU and the Western Balkans, in terms of unprecedented levels of political, economic, and societal cooperation, it would not be an exaggeration to argue that they are even sharing the same destiny. Nevertheless, room for future joint endeavours is still to be filled in with concrete proposals on how to deepen and extend this cooperation. Considering that the discussions in the framework of the CotFoE are well under way, with prospects to end by summer of the next year, time is ripe for an open and critical deliberation, not on whether the Western Balkans can provide their contribution to the development of the European project, but how and to what extent. This conference is organised with a purpose to collect relevant and constructive input from the experts, mainly from the region’s civil society, on how best to engage the Western Balkans as part of the solution to the issues the entire European continent is faced with. With the idea to provide original contribution, the vision of the event is to shape the wider discussions at the CotFoE and thus set the stage for reforms of the European Union. By indicating that the Western Balkans can be a credible partner on whom the EU can rely both at the times of peace and crisis, this also has the potential to usher the path to discussions on how best to accelerate intra-European integration. The fact the event will be registered at the Portal of the CotFoE, the online and multilingual hub of the CotFoE, marks a step forward in erasing the divisions and distance between the EU and the Western Balkans.
Trendslab21 Future Mindsets
18 October 2021
17:00 - 09:00
let us analyse the trends and changes that have been transforming the ways of thinking to act and relate in recent years and the transformations that can happen in the future in our ways of thinking and living in society.
Roundtable "The European Union’s next enlargement: prospects and pitfalls”
19 November 2021
09:30 - 12:30
The Roundtable titled: "The European Union’s next enlargement: prospects and pitfalls” was organised by Elcano Royal Institute, Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), Embassy of Slovenia in Spain and Fundación Carlos de Amberes on the 19 November, 2021. The event was a Hybrid one, on-site participants were invited while for the live stream on YouTube, on-line attendance registration was not required. The event was held in English without simultaneous translation. In the context of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the purpose of this event is to discuss the prospect of the Balkan countries to join the EU. This event includes the participation of government officials who are responsible for the European integration policy of Spain, Slovenia and several candidate countries, as well as academic experts in the field. Agenda of the Roundtable: 9:30 Greetings and introductory remarks: Miguel Ángel Aguilar, President, Fundación Carlos de Amberes Charles Powell, Director, Elcano Royal Institute | @CharlesTPowell Robert Krmelj, Ambassador of Slovenia to Spain Maciej Popowski, Acting Director-General at the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission 9:45 to 10:45: First Session - Presidency European Union enlargement under the Slovenian presidency and beyond Juan González-Barba, State Secretary for the European Union, Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation of Spain | @JuanGBarba Gašper Dovžan, State Secretary, Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia Nikola Dimitrov, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia | @NDimitrovMK Jadranka Joksimović, Minister of European Integration of the Republic of Serbia Megi Fino, Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs at Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania | @MegiFi Ljubomir Mišurović, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro Moderator: Charles Powell, Director, Elcano Royal Institute | @CharlesTPowell 10:45 to 11:45: Second Session - The EU’s daunting enlargement dilemmas Florian Bieber, Coordinator, Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group | @fbieber Ivan Vejvoda, Acting Rector, Institute for Human Sciences | @IVejvoda Vesko Garcevic, Professor, Boston University; former ambassador of Montenegro to NATO | @VeskoGarcevic Peter Grk, Secretary General of Bled Strategic Forum Ruth Ferrero, professor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid | @RFT2 Moderator: María Solanas, Director of Programmes, Elcano Royal Institute | María_SolanasC 11:50 Closing remarks by Charles Powell, Director, Elcano Royal Institute
EU enlargement: How should the EU respond to aspiring new members - the case of Georgia and the “Associated Trio” countries
17 September 2021
14:00 - 17:00
There are many points that can provide a good start for a conversation on the future of Europe in the world. European Union enlargement is an obvious one since it encapsulates more than any other topic the interaction between the processes going on inside the European Union, with those outside of it. It is discussed often in response to questions that go to the heart of the European project: Should the EU be considering new members, or should it consolidate first? What makes a country European? The question, ‘where does Europe end?’, has been asked repeatedly over the last three decades but never properly answered. Is it possible to understand and define the place of Europe in the world without answering first this question?
The Future of Europe – a perspective from an EU candidate country
02 December 2021
11:00 - 13:00
The enlargement process of the EU has seemed to slowed down since the accession of Croatia, nevertheless the countries of the Western Balkans region have a clear membership perspective. Since these countries will join the European Union, it is essential to also hear from their citizens what they think about the future of Europe and what they expect from the European institutions. Ambassadors of the Visegrad Group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) as well as the ambassador of the current presidency, Slovenia, accredited to Skopje will present their positions, followed by interventions of students from the University American College Skopje (UACS), presenting their ideas. The program is organized together by the Hungarian presidency of the Visegrad Group and UACS with the aim to highlight the importance of the enlargement process and the inclusion of citizens – especially youth – from the Western Balkans in the process on the future of Europe. It will be held at the University American College Skopje (UACS), Treta Makedonska Brigada nr. 60, Skopje 1000.
The Western Balkans' Strategic Importance and Role in the Future of Europe
06 December 2021
09:30 - 11:00
The seminar will sum up the most important events and results of the "Conference on the Future of Europe" and will present the views of Hungary, the V4 countries and the European Citizens' Panel of the Conference on the strategic importance and role of the Western Balkans region in the future of Europe. The participants of the event will include the staff of the Albanian Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs' EU Department and the students of the Albanian Diplomatic Academy. It will take place at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Tirana.
Western Balkans engage in the debate on the Future of Europe
15 September 2021
16:00 - 18:30
On Wednesday 15 September 2021, at 16.00, a special event will take place in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe entitled “The Western Balkans join the dialogue on the future of Europe” by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of European Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis. The event will take place in the “Olympias” room (room 6) of the Velidio Conference Centre and will take the form of a closed meeting.
EU – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement: What are the benefits for the Visegrad Countries?
07 May 2021
10:00 - 12:00
Online roundtable discussion on the EU – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, Polish and Hungarian markets, products and export
Study Launch: Minilateral Cooperation in the EU – Internal Cohesion, Group Dynamics, and Voting Behaviour of Selected State Blocks
21 October 2021
17:00 - 18:30
A thorough discussion of European minilateral cooperations based on the newly published quantitative research of KKI. The recounted case studies included Benelux cooperation, the E3 group, consisting of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the Mediterranean Seven group, the Visegrad Group, and the Weimar Triangle. The discussion involved the policy preferences and voting behaviour of those mililateral cooperations, based on the qualitiatve study that had been published earlier that month.
How to assist Bosnia and Hercegovina in the EU integration process? - Practice of the European Union Policy Coordination in Hungary
17 November 2021
10:00 - 12:25
An expert video conference was held on 17 November in Sarajevo with the participation of the Directorate for European Integration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary. The aim of the event was to assist the EU integration process of Bosnia and Herzegovina by sharing the Hungarian practice of the European Union policy coordination with the Bosnian side in the frame of a high-level forum.
Overture to the Future; Act I: Young Voices on the Future of Europe
18 March 2021
17:30 - 18:45
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗘𝘂𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺? These two questions will guide the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Conference, starting on May 9, will be a discussion forum where the citizens of Europe will have a chance to have their say on how the European Union should look in the future. The scope of the answers is up to the Conference's participants - European citizens. They will address the issues that matter to them - whether that is building resilience in the health sector, climate change, economy, social fairness, equality and solidarity, digital transformation, European rights and values, migration challenges, security, EU's role in the world or functioning of the EU and its institutions. Prior to the launch of the long-awaited Conference on the Future of Europe 🇪🇺, Bled Strategic Forum is organizing a series of roundtable discussions under the title: 𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲. Since young Europeans will be at the centre of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the BSF series will open with discussion: 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗴 𝗩𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗘𝘂𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲: Conversation with Mr Gašper Dovžan State Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and Mr Clément Beaune, Minister of State for European Affairs of the French Republic At the event, young participants will have the opportunity to present their views on the future of Europe as well as question speakers about their stances.
The Future of Europe. The Challenges of Growing Anti-Europeanism and Authoritarianism in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Views from the region
16 December 2021
13:30 - 15:00
On Thursday, December 16th, at 1.30 PM EEST, the team of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe Fanel Network (ESEE-Fanel) organizes the online event `The Future of Europe. The Challenges of Growing Anti-Europeanism and Authoritarianism in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Views from the region`. The webinar aims at discussing different perspectives on the future of the European Union, taking into consideration the illiberal tendencies, the growing authoritarianism and anti-EU feelings within some Member States and European neighbors, while exploring the impact of these phenomena on EU’s external credibility and influence in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. The keynote speaker is H.E. Oana-Cristina POPA, Ambassador of the European Union in Montenegro. The discussants are Mrs. Milena Lazarevic, Programme Director, European Policy Center, Republic of Serbia, and Mrs. Ludmila Nofit, ESEE Fanel Network member, Deputy Director, Foreign Policy Association, Republic of Moldova. The event will be moderated by Prof. Liliana POPESCU, Vice-Rector for International Relations, SNSPA, Romania. In order to participate, please send an email to email@example.com to receive the Webex link.
On the way to Europe? Serbia, the Western Balkans and the EU
10 December 2021
17:00 - 19:00
How can Serbia and other Western Balkan countries find their way to the EU? What makes sense, where are there hurdles? What role does the story play? What ideas are there? The discussion with Serbian and local youth in Baracke 35 in Osnabrück Atter on Friday, 10. December 2021 at 10 a.m. (Baracke35 | Barrack of Peace in Osnabrück, http://baracke35.org)
Presentation on Europe by Secretary of State Clément Beaune
12 October 2021
11:00 - 12:00
On 12th of October 2021, the French Secretary of State for Europe made a visit in Budapest. During the visit, he met with university students and gave a lecture at the National University of Public Administration. The event was partly organized by Gergely Fejérdy, senior research fellow at IFAT. He was also the moderator of this meeting. The Secretary of State was greeted by András Koltay, Rector of the University and Gergely Prőhle, Director of the University’s Institute of Strategy. The French guest presented the main guidelines and plans of the presidency of the Council of the European Union from January 2022. The speech given by the French Secretary of State was organized around three words: “restart, power, and belonging”. He emphasized, among other things, the need for a new European model based on cooperation. He said the European Continent is going through several crises, such as health and the economy, but the 27’s response has been better in 2020 than before. Vaccination has been Europe’s response to the health crisis, making us the most protected continent. The secretary of state said that the economic crisis has given rise to a “recovery plan” and an EU budget that puts solidarity at the forefront. He underlined that a new chapter in the construction of Europe was beginning, with many challenges for young people starting their careers in public administration. The Secretary of State stated: Europe is not a federation, not a super state, but a “political plan” based on common values, in this respect there is no Western and Central or Eastern Europe, because “together we are Europeans”, national differences to common values they are in relation to. Clément Beaune emphasized that the French presidency also plans to take another step towards belonging. In connection with the presentation, János Martonyi, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Honorary President of the Institute for Strategic Studies, gave some reflexions on the renewal of the European integration process. The event also provided an opportunity to ask questions that many students have used.
Oxford debate on the policies of the European Union and its impact on internal policies and the well-being of the people of the Member States
25 April 2022
10:00 - 12:20
The Oxford debate on the thesis — the policies of the European Union are good for internal policy and the well-being of the inhabitants of the Member States. The aim is to present a broader point of view to the students of the 1st High School in Mikołów.
Discussion on the benefits of EU membership, the impact on our society and the strengths and weaknesses of strengthening European integration
06 May 2022
17:00 - 18:30
Event in the framework of the European Congress of Youth Councils entitled “The discussion on the benefits of EU membership, the impact on our society and the strengths and weaknesses of strengthening European integration” aims to bring closer the opportunities offered by the European Union and the importance of the integration of the European Union and the importance of joining the EU.
Discussion workshop on the future of EU enlargement policy
31 March 2022
16:00 - 18:00
Enlargement policy is one of the key dimensions of European integration. In times of external threats and the internal difficulties of the European Union, the future education of a united Europe will shape future actions and policies. Therefore, the discussion on enlargement policy translates not only into reflection on relations with the EU, but above all on awareness of participation in the community.
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