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European Alternatives for the Western Balkan Youth 2030

  • Haus der Europäischen Union 35 Wipplingerstraße Wien, Wien, 1010 Austria (map)

In cooperation with the Karl Renner Institut, the Austrian Institute for International Affairs and the Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement, the International Institute for Peace gladly announces this upcoming Panel discussion on:

European Alternatives for the Western Balkan Youth 2030:
Education, Reconciliation and Social Equality

Caught in a vicious circle between old-fashioned backwards oriented politics and nationalisms on one hand side and the lack of economic, educational and social perspectives on the other, young generations in the Balkans seem to be losing patience and when possible emigrating to the West in a search for a better life. UN agencies and experts speak about a massive demographic revolution going on in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, changing societies more than many other developments in their younger history. In parallel, democracies in the region are vulnerable, EU integration process is not delivering fast results, and alternative horizons are not easy to find. Our initiative on turning the flashlights on youth, their progressive stances and hopes for the future wants to ask tough questions about the region, about educational opportunities and limits, about reconciliation, EU hopes and possible illusions. Based on sound and sober assessments of the situation, we want to look forward, sketch alternative horizons, and look for alternatives for South-eastern Europe’s way beyond emigration. 
This conference is the second part of the initiative/series “Young Generations for the New Balkans 2030: Towards Alternative Horizons”. As a next step, the discussions and results of the Viennese 2018 conference will be taken further to European capitals and the region. Visits and events in other European Cities – among others also in the context of EU presidencies – will prominently feature young participants from the region as ambassadors representing the fresh and alternative view on and of the Western Balkans. By the means of continuous engagement throughout 2019 and beyond, we will keep working on promoting alternatives to the status quo and also embarking upon the real and tough work and action to make alternative horizons possible.


18:00 Welcome 
JÖRG WOJAHN, Head of the European Commission Representation in Austria
HANNES SWOBODA, President of the International Institute for Peace (IIP), MEP ret.
GERHARD MARCHL, Karl-Renner-Institut, Department for European Politics

18:15 Keynote
CHRISTINA KOULOURI, University of Political and Social Sciences, Athens; History Education Committee of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe (CDRSEE), Thessaloniki

18:30 Inputs
ADI CERIMAGIC, European Stability Initiative
TANJA FAJON, MEP, S&D Group, Slovenia
JOHANNES HAHN, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
DONA KOSTURANOVA, Youth Educational Form, Skopje 
DAFINA PECI, Albanian Youth Forum, Tirana
TARA TEPAVAC, European Movement in Serbia (EMinS)

VEDRAN DZIHIC, Senior Researcher at the oiip and Lecturer at the University of Vienna

The event will be held in English.
Refreshments will be served after the event.