The Western Balkans: Progress, Stagnation, or Regression? | Sarajevo, June 12th – 15th 2011 | Organized by: The Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS and the America – Bosnia Foundation in cooperation with University of Sarajevo and Ministry of Education and Science of the Canton of Sarajevo


Southeast European Initative at CTR – SAIS

Following the major international conference in Sarajevo in June 2011, a range of multi-level and long-term activities will take place in Washington, D.C., Brussels, and the Western Balkans.  These activities will be coordinated by the newly established Southeast European Initiative at CTR-SAIS in Washington, D.C. in close cooperation with U.S. and EU partner organizations and foundations, as well as with relevant political, academic, and civil society actors in the Western Balkans.
The Southeast European Initiative at CTR-SAIS will map a long-term plan for activities focusing on the Western Balkans from a transatlantic perspective; coordinate and lead these activities; and offer assistance in promoting civil society in the region.

The follow-up process and post-conference added value will be achieved through a range of activities, including:


Dissemination of policy-relevant conclusions of the Sarajevo conference to governments and non-governmental institutions in the Western Balkans, the EU, and the U.S.


Publication of a book in the CTR series in cooperation with The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., based largely on, but not confined to, conference papers and proceedings.  The book will be released in Washington, Brussels, Berlin and in the Western Balkans in late 2011/early 2112.  In order to reach a wider public in the Western Balkans, translation into regional languages is also planned.


Working with civil society representatives from the region to extend the civil society network, and drafting of a “Civil Society Manifesto.”   The Sarajevo conference, especially the panels on the media, on constitutional issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on civil society perspectives (the closing session of the conference) will jump-start the process of “Bringing Civil Society In” – i.e. bringing the perspectives of civil society into the ongoing debates on, and processes of democratization in the Western Balkans.  The conference will provide representatives of  regional civil society organizations and individual activists the opportunity to create the first draft of a “Civil Society Manifesto.”  The final version of the “Civil Society Manifesto” will be completed at a Workshop in September 2011 and subsequently rolled out in regional capitals, major EU centers (Brussels, Strasbourg, Berlin, Paris, London, Vienna), as well as in Washington, D.C.


During autumn 2011 and winter 2012, holding of thematic workshops with groups of civil society activists from the region and partners from U.S. foundations in Washington, D.C. and the Western Balkans with the following goals:  1.) elaborating findings and action agenda items from the Civil Society Manifesto; 2.) producing short civil society policy briefs dealing with issues such as participation, EU integration processes, human rights, anti-corruption activities, and local development;  3.) reaching out to relevant political stakeholders in Washington, D.C./New York/Brussels/the Western Balkans through various channels such as meetings and direct communications; 4.) securing maximum possible media coverage of civil society activities in the U.S., EU, and first and foremost, in the region.


Establishment of a regular “Debating the Western Balkans” Series within the Southeast European Initiative at CTR- SAIS, bringing together leading political figures from the region, prominent academics, and key civil society actors.


Establishing a series of thematic policy briefs.  Beginning in September 2011, these policy briefs will be prepared by the Southeast European Initiative at CTR–SAIS team and collaborators with the aim of analyzing and proposing policies related to developments and ongoing issues in the Western Balkans. The policy briefs will be presented publicly in Washington, D.C., in Brussels, and in the region.  All policy briefs will be distributed to U.S., EU, and Western Balkan political and economic stakeholders, and to local and international media.


Daniel Hamilton, Director
Center for Transatlantic Relations, SAIS
Johns Hopkins University
  Michael Haltzel, Senior Fellow
Center for Transatlantic Relations, SAIS
Johns Hopkins University

Vedran Džhić, Senior Fellow
Southeast European Initiative at CTR – SAIS
Johns Hopkins University
  Sasha Toperich, Fellow
Southeast European Initiative at CTR - SAIS
Johns Hopkins University



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