On 12th and 13th March, 2020, United Europe’s 18th Young Professionals Seminar will take place in Zagreb (arrival on 11th, departure on 14th March). In cooperation with EUROPAEUM, a network of leading European Universities, we are inviting young European talents from all professions to a seminar on:
The EU and the Western Balkans region – the state of play
With Croatia’s accession to the EU in July 2013, the EU signalled to the other states of the Western Balkans that accession to the EU would be possible if they reformed accordingly and converged with basic European values. Moreover, the Croatian Presidency of the EU Council has stated that a credible enlargement policy, guided by the principles of own merits and fair conditionality, effectively encourages reform processes and is a guarantee for the prosperity and stability of South East Europe.
However, some may argue that the EU and the Western Balkans are growing apart. This means that the Western Balkans region remains a major political construction site – economically, culturally, ethnically and historically highly complex, with very different expectations of the EU.
In addition, some parts of the region still face problems related to the pace of their democratic reforms. On the other hand, inner challenges in the EU itself also have to be taken into account when discussing enlargement. Other challenges which are relevant in the region include:
– Sustainability and economic growth
– Security and geopolitical challenges
– the EU Enlargement policy
– Regional demographics and brain drain
That is why we are pleased to invite 25 Young Professionals as well as students from the Europaeum Network from all over Europe to Zagreb during the time of Croatia’s EU Presidency, where we propose to discuss the following issues:
– What are Croatia’s goals of its EU Presidency?
– What about corruption, democracy and media freedom in the Western Balkans countries?
– What influence does China have in the Western Balkans with its Belt & Road initiative? What does this mean?
– What is the role of Russia in regards to the region’s stability?
– What are the causes of the divergence between Western and Eastern Europe?
– What are the solutions to overcome the division and promote the integration of the whole of the Western Balkans region into the EU?
The seminar language will be English.
As a prework, applicants are required to write a short text (1 – 2 DIN A4 pages/6.500 characters max) about “Is the EU/EU membership a solution for the Balkans? How could both benefit from this?”
Applications must include this very text, a brief cover letter indicating interest and motivation (1 page, including the question, what you expect from this seminar), together with a CV (incl. a photo and the date of birth, max. 2 pages). All documents must be submitted electronically in PDF format in English language and should not exceed 2 GB. We can only consider complete applications.
We will inform you about the decision on 7th February, 2020.