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BSF 2017

BSF 2017: Building a Common Future in the Age of Uncertainty

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.

Academic Event

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.


Day 1
11 Oct 2017
Day 2
12 Oct 2017
Day 3
13 Oct 2017

Academic Event Welcoming Speech: The EU as a Global Crisis Manager

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...
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Academic Event Keynote Speech

European Security and Crisis Management Since 2003: Is the CSDP Fit For Purpose?
Michael E. Smith

Academic Panel 1: The EU as a Civil-Military Crisis Manager

The Academic Panel 1 will focus on civil-military synergies in the EU conflict prevention and peace-building. It will seek to discuss how to improve the effectiveness of EU crisis management,...
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Katarina Đokić
Benjamin Zyla
Gabriëlla Vogelaar
Cristian Barbieri
Discussant: Pieter Feith
Moderator: Marina Kostić

Coffee and Networking Break

Academic Panel 2: The EU as a Comprehensive Crisis Manager

This Academic Panel will discuss the EU’s comprehensive approach to security, mainly through comparative assessments and examinations of the EU engagements in the Western Balkans, the Horn of Africa, North...
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Peter Horne Zartsdahl
Neil Winn
Nikola Tomić
Erik Plänitz
Discussant: Tobias Pietz
Moderator: Maja Ružić


Academic Panel 3: The EU as a Crisis Management Actor: CSDP in the Neighbourhood

The Academic Panel 3 will analyse the EU missions in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Somalia, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in order to discuss the issues of local ownership in...
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Filip Ejdus
Ivana Boštjančič Pulko
Annemarie Peen Rodt
Alaa Tartir
Discussant: Vladimir Ateljević
Moderator: Marko Kovačević

Award Ceremony: ”SALUS” Award

The “SALUS” award was founded in 2015 as a prize to be awarded to the best policy papers dealing with security policies, written by the students of the University of...
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Plenary Panel 1: Quo Vadis, EUrope? New Paradigm after Rome

Discussion Points:  In what does the 60th anniversary of the Rome treaty present a changing paradigm for the European project and its perspective? What are the challenges facing the EU...
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Jitka Znamenackova
Michael Schaefer
Florian Bieber
Amb. Ian Bond
Dušan Šiđanski
Steven Blockmans
Chair: Tom Nuttall

Evening Sessions (Simultaneously Organized Smaller Sessions)

Session 1: A Crisis of Values or Management: Migration in 2017

Discussion Points: Can Europe remain true to its values in this crisis? What are the lessons learned for Europe and the member states in managing the migration crisis? What is...
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Argentina Szabados
Kilian Kleinschmidt
Ahmet O. Evin
Rosa Balfour
Moderator: Toby Vogel

Session 2: Effects of Foreign Economic Influence on Sovereign Nations (in partnership with the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE))

Description: Investment from authoritarian states is entering the Balkan region in a variety of often-opaque forms and methods. To ensure state resources are used transparently, effectively, and efficiently, and public policy...
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Pierre Mirel
Martin Heinemeyer
Ruslan Stefanov
Milena Lazarević
Moderator: Andrew Wilson

Special Event: The German Marshall Fund Young Transatlantic Network (organised by Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States)

Post-Election Germany – Same Chancellor, Different Challenges?   On September 24, Angela Merkel was given a mandate to embark on her fourth term as Germany’s chancellor. The process of forming...
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Ali Aslan

Keynote: Berlin Process in Belgrade (in partnership with the European Fund for Balkans)

Discussion Points: Has the Process helped in resolving still open bilateral issues and political dialogue between the “Western Balkans’s six”? How would you comment overtures in terms of building customs...
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Ivica Dačić
Igor Crnadak
Christian Hellbach
Christian Danielsson
Hedvig Morvai
Chair: Tim Judah

Logistical Break

Special Event: NATO-Serbia Partnership Contributing to Western Balkans Security (in partnership with the NATO)

Discussion Points:  What is the status of Serbia-NATO relations and what is the perspective for the future? What are the objectives and mechanisms of Serbia-NATO cooperation? How is this cooperation...
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H.E. Ana Brnabić
Hon. Rose A. Gottemoeller
Chair: Maja Piščević

Coffee and Networking Break

Plenary Panel 2: Challenging Inequality: Ways Forward

  Discussion Points: (De)constructing trust: inequality as a key factor driving popular unrest? Capital ownership: is there a way of making market income more equal? The “digital revolution” and the...
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George A. Papandreou
Hakan Altinay
Manuel Muñiz
Jack A. Goldstone
Jonathan Mijs
Chair: Dave Keating

Coffee and Networking Break


Break-out Sessions (Simultaneously Organized Smaller Sessions)

Session 4: Women of the Balkans for New Politics (in partnership with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Mission to Serbia)

Discussions Points: What novelties can women as leaders and active participants offer to areas of policy-making and opinion making processes by focusing on common issues? What challenges women political leaders...
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Alenka Bratušek
Nada Drobnjak
Sanda Rašković Ivić
Edith Harxhi
Ljiljana Raičević
Vildana Džekman
Discussant: Elisabeth Nauclér
Moderator: Sonja Licht

Session 5: What if the Western Balkans Never Becomes Part of the EU

Discussion Points: How to stop democratic backsliding in the Balkan states? How the rising inequalities affect the dynamics between the Balkan states and the EU, as well as the regional...
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Denisa Sarajlić
Aleksandar Jovanoski
Jovana Marović
Miloš Đinđić
Discussant: Nikolaos Tzifakis
Moderator: Dušan Gajić

Session 3: Patterns of Perception and (Mis)understanding: Religion and Security

Discussion Points: What role for organized religion in modern society, from the standpoint of building cohesion and resilience? How can it be of value in “stemming the tide” of radicalization?...
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Adnan Kifayat
Elizabeth Prodromou
Hyun Jin Choi
Remzi Lani
Fr Robin Fox
Moderator: Pavol Demeš
15:00 - 16:00

Networking Lunch

Plenary Panel 3: Democracy in Retreat: More Populism as the New Norm? (in partnership with the Open Society Foundations)

Discussion Points: Rethinking populism – what do we mean when we say populism? Can it be utilized differently? Can technocracy be defended? Brussels in the eyes of populists EU-Balkans: how...
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Sławomir Sierakowski
Péter Krekó
Catherine Fieschi
Edith Harxhi 
Chair: Goran Buldioski

Method, Career, and Networking Cafe

This year’s academic event will be complemented with an additional program for PhD students and other interested researchers entitled the Method, Career, and Networking Café. Method Café is a new...
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Michael E. Smith
Ana E. Juncos

Coffee and Networking break


Break-out Sessions (Simultaneously Organized Smaller Sessions)

Session 6: A Changing Paradigm? Contemporary Interventionism and Proxy Wars

Discussion Points: What characterizes contemporary interventionism? Which actors do you see today as the ones driving the process further? How will proxy warfare evolve? What is our responsibility – as...
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Olena Snigyr
Philip Cunliffe
Moderator: Nemanja Džuverović

Session 7: Soft Power Revisited: Alternative Facts for a Post-Truth Reality

Discussion Points: What are the fields in which the post-truth era is visible the most? What is and what might be the effect of using so-called alternative facts in political...
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Amb. Cameron Munter
Valbona Zeneli
Amb. Gérard Stoudmann
Dejan Jović
Balázs Jarábik
Moderator: Věra Stojarová

Side Event: The Western Balkans in a Brexiting EU (Organised by International Centre for European Studies (CIFE), The Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe (CFA) and Institute for International Affairs (IAI))

The Berlin process was launched in 2014 to maintain the impetus of European integration in the Western Balkans in the face key challenges posed to EU’s external policies. In the...
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Adam Fagan
Ardian Hackaj
Florent Marciacq
Milan Nič
Eleonora Poli
Moderator: Tobias Flessenkemper

Session 8: Increasing the Resilience of E-government Services in Southeastern Europe (in Partnership with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF))

Discussion Points:  What is the importance of safe governmental networks and citizens’ trust in them for successful implementation of national e-governance services? The ICT infrastructure of the ministries of interior:...
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Nebojša Stefanović
H.E. Denis Keefe
Marina Kaljurand
Moderator: Darko Stančić

Session 9: Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue: From Normalization Toward Normality (in partnership with the Council for Inclusive Governance-CIG)

Discussion Points: How to break the deadlock in the normalization process between Belgrade and Pristina and speed up the implementation of the agreements? How should the process be reformed? How...
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Marko Đurić
Dalibor Jevtić
Gordana Čomić
Arben Gashi
Naim Rashiti
Moderator: Alex Roinishvili Grigorev

Morning Sessions (Simultaneously Organized Smaller Sessions)

Session 10: Voices of the Millennials: The Agents of Change (in partnership with the Regional Youth Leadership Forum)

Dona Kosturanova
Mario Mažić
Aulonë Memeti
Adi Bikić
Discussant: Hannes Swoboda
Moderator: Selmo Cikotić
Moderator: Aleksandar Simurdić

Coffee and Networking Break

Plenary Panel 4: EU-Balkans: What is Our Common Future?

Discussion Points: Rethinking Europe: What role for the Western Balkans? Stock-taking of the Berlin process: (How) Can the WB countries ensure substantial and sustainable benefits for their citizens? United in...
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Andrej Logar
Thomas Countryman
Goran Svilanović
Franco Frattini
Othon Anastasakis
Srđan Cvijić
Chair: Milan Nič

Closing Ceremony: Keynote Address

H.E. Aleksandar Vučić

Closing Ceremony

Mihailo Crnobrnja

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