Advanced Research Workshop on Human Security in the Western Balkans
April 2009 - June 2009

The objective of the workshop is to examine the current perceptions on human security challenges in the region and to devise ways to overcome them. The focus will be on promoting regional civil society cooperation by examining ways to adopt successful institutional models. In addition, the workshop will study how NATO and EU engagement policies in Southeast Europe can be synchronized to catalyze the stabilization and integration of the region.

Regardless of the varying individual status of the target countries in the European Union’s Stabilization and Association Process (SAP) and their NATO membership status, there are certain common, regional problems that need more attention. Civil society development is the core of long-term reforms in the SAP countries, collectively known as the “Western Balkans.” As political initiatives are often based on a top-down approach, the public tends to be skeptical about international assistance programs that seem to produce only more bureaucracy; but human security not only protects but also empowers people and societies. Despite various obstacles and setbacks in the last decades, Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia completed an unprecedented number of MAP reform cycles. The workshop serves as forum to discuss progress, setbacks, and the way forward to implement solutions.

Project Description
The ICDT organizes an advanced research workshop in Skopje on May 26-28, which brings together experts and practitioners from the Western Balkans and V4 countries. The workshop focuses on the following issues: Human Security in a Regional Context, Analysis of Current Transformation Priorities, Mobilization of Public Opinion to Meet Transformation Priorities, Current State of Regional Cooperation, Mapping Potential Solutions, Strategies of External Actors, and European Experience on Regional Cooperations. During the three days 15 speakers and 30 participants discuss and devise innovative approaches for civil society development regarding the advancement of human security in the Western Balkans.

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