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The Working Group on the Western Balkans: Setting an Agenda for Transatlantic Cooperation

The EU and the US agree that the long-term goal for the Western Balkans is European integration. For a variety of reasons, however, progress on this goal has stalled. This series aims at launching a discussion on the hurdles to enlargement in the Western Balkans, the tools available to various international actors in the region, and how these resources might best be applied to reach the goal of integration most efficiently. These meetings, therefore, address issues that are at the core of the making the Transatlantic relationship work.

Date & Time

Nov. 29, 2011
10:00am – 3:00pm

Location

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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The Working Group on the Western Balkans: Setting an Agenda for Transatlantic Cooperation

The EU and the US agree that the long-term goal for the Western Balkans is European integration. For a variety of reasons, however, progress on this goal has stalled. This series aims at launching a discussion on the hurdles to enlargement in the Western Balkans, the tools available to various international actors in the region, and how these resources might best be applied to reach the goal of integration most efficiently. These meetings, therefore, address issues that are at the core of the making the Transatlantic relationship work.

                The special focus of this meeting will be on agenda setting. With the current crisis in the Eurozone, it is understandable that Western Balkan accession will not be a top priority. Nevertheless, the Enlargement DG, the US Department of State as well as the foreign ministries of EU member states, along with other international actors will obviously continue to work on the region. In this environment, when leadership will be distracted by other concerns, it is more important than ever that policy on the region be coordinated, and a joint agenda may help keep this process on track.

                During the discussion, we hope to identify policy elements that might be integrated into a joint EU-US agenda for the region. Working group policy briefs have suggested various policy changes and innovations. It remains unclear, however, how these ideas might be incorporated into the international policy agenda, how the labor will be divided among different actors, or if other issues have since become priorities.

9:45 Coffee

10:00am Meeting begins; Welcome and Introduction by Nida Gelazis, Senior Associate, European Studies

What is on the policy agenda in the EU and US for the Western Balkans? How might EU and US coordination be improved?

Brief presentations:

Ambassador Philip Reeker, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Rory Domm, EU Delegation

Ambassador Kurt Volker, Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins SAIS

12:00 Lunch

1:00 What are the elements of a successful transatlantic agenda? How have issues such as civil society engagement been brought into the agenda, and have these efforts been successful? What issues are not currently addressed by the EU-US agenda? How can we work to keep local politicians from coopting the international agenda in ways that delay or distract from the goal of EU accession?

Introduction to the topic:

Ivana Howard, National Endowment for Democracy

Dimitar Bechev, European Council on Foreign Relations

Ivan Vejvoda, German Marshall Fund

3:00 Meeting ends

Participants:

David Armitage

National Intelligence Council

Dimitar Bechev

European Council on Foreign Relations

Robert Benjamin
National Democratic Institute

Ina Breuer

Project on Justice in Times of Transition

David Bosco

American University

Ambassador Srdjan Darmanovic

Embassy of Montenegro

Rory Domm

EU Delegation

Ambassador Cynthia Efird

Helsinki Commission

Kellee Farmer

Department of State

Nida Gelazis
Wilson Center

Gisella Gori
EU Delegation

Michael Haltzel

Johns Hopkins SAIS

Robert Hand

Helsinki Commission

Michael Henning

USAID

Bruce Hitchner

Tufts University

Ivana Howard

National Endowment for Democracy

Lise Morje Howard

United States Institute of Peace

Harris Mylonas

Harvard University

James O’Brien
Albright Stonebridge Group

Jonas Rolett

Soros Foundation

Ambassador Philip Reeker

Department of State

Cynthia Romero

Atlantic Council

Clelia Rontoyanni

World Bank

Christian Sadat

German Embassy

Daniel Serwer

Johns Hopkins, SAIS

Jason Steinbaum

House Committee on Foreign Relations

Ivan Vejvoda

German Marshall Fund

Ambassador Kurt Volker

Johns Hopkins SAIS

Peter Zernite

Department of State

Speakers

David Armitage

National Intelligence Council

Dimitar Bechev

European Council on Foreign Relations

Robert Benjamin

Ina Breuer

Project on Justice in Times of Transition

David Bosco

American University

Srdjan Darmanovic

Rory Domm

EU Delegation

Cynthia Efird

Helsinki Commission

Kellee Farmer

Department of State
Nida Gelazis

Nida Gelazis

Former Senior Associate

Gisella Gori

Senior Political Advisor, Delegation of the European Union to the United States, Washington, D.C.

Michael Haltzel

School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Robert A. Hand

Michael Henning

Center for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance, US Agency for International Development

R. Bruce Hitchner

Ivana Howard

National Endowment for Democracy

Lise Morje Howard

United States Institute of Peace

Harris Mylonas

Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University

James C. O'Brien

Principal, Albright Stonebridge Group

Jonas Rolett

Regional Director, Southern Central and Eastern Europe, Open Society Foundations

Phillip Reeker

Department of State

Cynthia Romero

Atlantic Council

Clelia Rontoyanni

World Bank

Christian Sadat

German Embassy

Daniel Serwer

Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations; Professor, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Jason Steinbaum

House Committee on Foreign Relations

Ivan Vejvoda

Vice President of Programs at the German Marshall Fund

Kurt Volker

Senior Fellow and Managing Director of the Center on Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies

Peter Zernite

Department of State

Hosted By

Global Europe Program

The Global Europe Program addresses vital issues affecting Europe’s relations with the rest of the world through scholars-in-residence, seminars, international conferences and publications. These programmatic activities cover wide-ranging topics include: European energy security, the role of the European Union and NATO, democratic transitions, and counter-terrorism, among others. The program also investigates comparatively European approaches to policy issues of importance to the United States, including migration, global governance, and relations with Russia, China and the Middle East.  Read more

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