The Balkan Dialogue 2018 – Sarajevo

The Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund starts accepting applications for participation in the International Conference “The Balkan Dialogue – 2018”, which will take place on April 25-28 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Minolta DSC

The goal of the event is to establish a dialogue of experts and young professionals in the field of foreign affairs, economics, issues of security, international journalism and representatives of the academic community on the Balkan Peninsula on the most urgent topics of the region. Read more

Choose dialogue over empty monologues

My name is Ana Mullanji, a youth worker from Tirana, Albania, founder and director of Beyond Barriers Association working with youngsters since 2014. I remember my first visit to a Balkan country, in Serbia, when I was selected to attend a training course for trainers organized by European Youth Foundation. It was the first steps of my career so I felt lucky and privileged to be selected to attend such activity. Different to nowadays, during that period the possibilities for participating in such activities were limited and the visa regime travel in the Balkan countries was making the process even more complicated for Albanian citizens.  The idea to participate in that activity flattered me and without thinking twice I started the procedures for my visa. I was so happy for this opportunity that I wanted to share the news with all my friends. Read more

Peace as antidote for bad governance

Conflict is the business of Balkans leaders – and business is good!
Anonymous internet comment.

One brief look at the situation in most countries of south-eastern Europe is enough to notice the painful similarities. Corruption, poor regard for rule of law, media serving interest of politics and shady economies. As if this weren’t enough, people continue to live with a feeling of imminent conflict despite over 15 years passed since last bullets were fired.  Take any of the countries; Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro or Serbia, and you won’t find any real democracy there. Even if they come to power through an (often debatable) election, the ruling elites then engage in any sort of activity, legal or illegal, just to maintain power. And if the everyday speculations, manipulations and various trickeries don’t do the job, they can and they will resort to the good old fashioned warmongering and blaming ‘bad neighbors’ any time they face a bit more serious threat. Read more