Day 2 Summary
- Opening DAY 2
09:15 – 10:30
EU’s New Political Landscape
More fragmented political landscape in more uncertain world situates the EU in front of various challenges. Its internal division undermines in credibility outside, especially in the context of Enlargement and Neighbourhood policy. On the other hand, this division resulted in increased interest of the European citizens in European issues and attractiveness of European topics including climate change or digital revolution. That, however, should not prevent the EU to strengthen the role of communitarian institutions as well as the member states. It is important to stick with the principle of subsidiarity and our fundamental values and needs. At the same time, Europe needs to avoid nationalistic interpretations of the current issues, and rather connect the discussion of leadership to the one of political and strategic agenda setting.
“Don’t stigmatise people who are anti-mainstream as anti-European. If more and more represent anti-mainstream, it might become the new mainstream.”– H. E. Peter Szijjártó.
“One of the most important challenges for the EU is how to be a credible partner player.” – H.E. Tomas Petricek
“If we do not have a soft power in the region, how can we be a global power?” – H.E. George Ciamba
“Europe does need migration, we have declining demographic trend but we need to manage this properly according to our means and traditions. We need an EU border, we need to work with the origin countries and we need to digest some migration according to our values.” – Maria João Rodriguez
“Having strong member states, it does not mean we have weak communitarian institutions. We need to promote changes in this time. (…) It means to focus on crystallisation of competences executed at the national and communitarian level.” – Mikulas Dzurinda
“We should not overestimate each individual member’s competence to change things on their own.” – Daniela Schwarzer
13:30 – 14:00
Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue: Getting to the Core
Kosovo – Serbia dialogue is one the crucial points in the Euro-Atlantic integration process for both parties. The dialogue goes through a huge crisis, some would say it is a dead end, due the rejection of Serbia to allow Kosovo to become a member of Interpol and UNESCO and the subsequent reaction of Kosovo to increase the tariffs for Serbian goods. Both parties are, however, ready to resume the dialogue if it will be based on compromise and not tendential conditions. The core problems rests with the different position on Kosovo’s independence, while Kosovo and countries that recognized it consider Kosovo a sovereign territory, Serbia and countries not recognizing Kosovo consider it still part of Serbia. However, this issue does not have only a bilateral dimension, but also regional and European one and the EU has to take more responsibility for the future of the region and not to allow third parties to take the lead.
“There can be no dialogue if we condition the process, like Serbia is doing.” – H. E. Milo Dukanovic
“I think it is important that Europe recognize its huge responsibility in this.” – H. E. Milo Dukanovic
“I believe that the agreement between Kosovo and Serbia can be reached this year.” – Thaci
“To reach this agreement we need coordination between EU institutions and United States of America.” – Thaci
“The world is split, half the world recognized Kosovo’s independence, and the other half have not.” – H.E. Aleksandar Vucic
“It is very crucial for us reaching an agreement. I don’t want to represent this country that is suspect to the international community. Everyone is else is angels and saints and Serbs are devils.” – H.E. Aleksandar Vucic
“We are a mediator not facilitator, this is between the two parties they need to decide where their landing filed will be.” – Angelina Eichhorst
14:00 – 15:00
Western Balkans: Drifting away from Europe?
It is being said that the regional cooperation in the Western Balkan is decreasing, however, there is not plan B for Western Balkan countries in terms of their geopolitical direction. However, that does not mean that the EU should be not focused more on the region and provide better conditions for the countries than China or Russia. Bulgarian examples shows that even though the reforms hurt they were worth it and the results can be seen today. Enlargement is a win-win process and countries need to be convinced about that. Because without the Western Balkan membership, the EU will be not considered full.
“I would have to invite the EU and NATO to do their job in our region.” – H. E. Milo Dukanovic
“China is taking the space, the room, that Europe leaves empty.” – H. E. Milo Dukanovic
“We are an unstable region and the instability is due to the intolerance in our region.” – H. E. Milo Dukanovic
“We don’t have an alternative, but I think we need to stick to each other much stronger than it used to be.” – H.E. Aleksandar Vucic
“We [Balkans] can stay on our EU path, if you want us – take us, and if you don’t want us, we can take care of ourselves.” – H.E. Aleksandar Vucic
“EU should not organize once every 15 years and meet all the leaders of the Balkans but should continue to support the integration of western Balkans.” – H.E. Ekaterina Zaharieva
“We need to improve our institutions to develop sustainably to be in line with the EU path.” – Majlinda Bregu
16:30 – 17:15
Brexit and European Security
Brexit and the negotiating process still pose a lot of questions. With the PM May stepping down, the whole EU is waiting for a new leader. But there is almost no chance that the withdrawal agreement will be renegotiated. What can be renegotiated though, is the agreement on future relationship between the EU and UK, where there several frameworks for cooperation, especially in the area of security, defence and multilateral cooperation. The main problem persists and so the “backstop”. From the EU’s perspective, it firstly needs to protect the people, peace and stability and secondly the single market. The “backstop” is an insurance for that, but it is not planned to be used. Brexit as such is deeply regretted in the EU, but the EU will respect the wish of the British people.
“Brexit has been a great demonstration of the European unity. If we can manage Brexit together, we can manage other issues as well.” – H.E. Miroslav Lajcak
“We regret the Brexit for many reasons, we will deliver the Brexit if the UK still wants to leave in an orderly manner.” – Michel Barnier
“If we don’t go back to why people want Brexit in the first place, we need to make sure that any deal actually solves the issues of why people wanted Brexit.” – Rt. Hon. Seema Malhotra
- End of DAY 2