When it ended with Donald Trump’s victory, 2016 presented less than a clean break with the past, but rather a venture into the unknown. As the old order has been weakened, one thing became certain: no more “business as usual”.
Leaders and movements that have capitalized on popular discontent are intent on offering a new worldview, which may appeal to many. A lot seems to be going their way: inequality has increased since 2008; democracy remains in retreat; many crises unsolved.
The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU, and the much-speculated “hard Brexit” has and will have a profound effect, leaving difficult questions on how to proceed. What will be the raison d’etre of this post-Brexit EU? Who will help Germany steer the European “ship” across rough waters lying ahead? With more integration seen as too optimistic, many advocate fallback to the less ambitious goal of Europe of nations. Nevertheless, resurgence of geopolitics has led to renewed interest for Western Balkans. What might happen if it becomes unchecked, and left to its own dangerous dynamics of conflict and cooperation?
The rise of populism, coupled with a sharp rise in in-state inequality and the establishment of the “post-truth” worldview brings us to the question – is democracy ready for this tumultuous future? Do we have the tools to overcome?
What is to be our response?
How can we build a common future in an age characterized by uncertainty?
Join us in searching for answers at the 7th Belgrade Security Forum, taking place on October 11-13 2017.
The BSF Academic Event continued the Forum’s tradition of enabling interaction between the academic and policy communities. This event is a unique feature of the BSF, giving a voice to academics and highlighting the necessity of taking academic research into account in the processes of policy making.
This year, the Academic Event titled “The European Union as a Global Crisis Manager“ gathers leading researchers taking a fresh look at the civilian power of Europe in light of recent developments in the world affairs. It will explore the role and capabilities of EU in crisis management from its emergence as an actor in the Balkans, to most recently its engagement on the Horn of Africa – including the effectiveness with which those capabilities have been coordinated for coherent impact through the comprehensive approach.
The conference is taking place in the heart of a region that has been, for better or worse, a laboratory for the EU foreign and security policy for almost three decades. This should provide an additional inspiration for stimulating discussions.