Conference, 22nd June 2023
"Western Balkans at the Crossroads: : Democratic Backsliding and External Actors' Influence".
Expert interview with H.E. Dr. Valentin Inzko
Expert interview with Prof. David Pettigrew
Expert interview with Dr. Adnan Huskić
About the conference
On 22nd June 2023, the Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI) organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and with the generous financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) an enlightening conference at the MFA. The conference delved into the pivotal role of external actors such as Russia, China, Turkey, and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf in the Western Balkans and Croatia and explored the ways these actors operate in the region and influence the interanal affairs of the countries. The event presented the latest findings of research carried out by the project team that concentrated on the role of select external actors in the Western Balkans and Croatia. The research also explored how the local political actors contribute to the in/stability of the countries and the region more broadly, including democratic backsliding. In addition, the researchers presented their recommendations to improve domestic situation, as well as toward the above referenced external actors.
The conference also sought to address the most pressing current issues, such as the re escalated situation between Serbia and Kosovo, domestic issues such as brain drain, economic stagnation, and corruption, or the progress made by the countries in the region with regard to their path toward the European Union membership.
The conference program also included two distinguished guests of honor: an Austrian diplomat and former High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Dr. Valentin Inzko, and Professor of Philosophy from the Southern Connecticut State University, Prof. David Pettigrew. Their presentations focused on implementing the law against genocide denial, questions of transitional justice, and other pressing issues in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event was moderated by Dr. Adnan Huskić, the scientific advisor to PSSI and te Western Balkans team and a political analyst from Sarajevo.
The event, which approximately 50 participants attended, sparked an inspiring debate and raised many important questions regarding the future of the Western Balkans and Croatia. The press release published by MFA is available here.