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Security Forum
October 2021
Hybrid event
80+ Speakers



2020 should have been a wake-up call.

Instead, we see a world in which there is more competition, and less solidarity and social justice. We “raced” for the vaccine and engaged in “mask” and “vaccine diplomacy”. Social anxiety and public health concerns caused by the pandemic have thinned the fabric of our societies. Countries now find themselves in limbo, unsure of how the long “return to normal” will unfold. Meanwhile, countless businesses, jobs, and livelihoods are on the line. All the discussions on how this one sea-change event will help us “change the paradigm” (of how we approach complex problems, do business, engage with others), is still just – talk. People, states, and nations are unwilling, or simply unable to change; and would like to see things returning to how they were before.

Politicians called for more expertise only to get mad at experts for telling them the “ugly truth”. In opposing or misusing restrictive measures, populists and nationalists have found another space for polarization. Yet in the penultimate of all elections held in 2020, one prominent populist lost his ground. A giant sigh of relief was heard across capitals, of Europe in particular. Cautious optimism returns while Biden’s Administration takes steps to restore trust across the Atlantic. Meanwhile, a host of problems awaits.

The jury is out whether the pandemic allowed for more authoritarian regimes. It is however true that time and again “the West” looked confused, where “the East” embraced the chance to increase its influence. The experience gained with previous pandemics proved valuable. In the global race reminiscent of the Cold War, Russia and China showed ability and challenged other world powers by exporting vaccines even before vaccinating their own populations. There is an uneasiness in the expert community over what the countries in question, including those in Western Balkans, have promised in return.

With tools at their disposal, nation-states played a key role in responding to crisis, while multilateral formats came under increased scrutiny and criticism. In the words of a renowned journalist from Serbia, “countries behaved like the virus was exclusively theirs”, creating stocks of protective equipment and controlling exports. One dream Europe thrived on – freedom of movement across borders – seemed shattered. There is, however, still hope that with accelerated immunization programs border closures will once again be a thing of the past.

2020 was meant to be the year of consolidation for the European project, with a more ambitious green agenda, strengthened European Parliament, and Brexit complete. The EU has had shortcomings in crisis management and the effectiveness of decision-making mechanisms. On the other hand, its trade deal with China speaks of an approach that is different from the US, heralding perhaps a more autonomous foreign policy.

COVID-19 has the potential to reshape the world. Interconnectedness and interdependence are still there, but they are different. Some demands have not changed though. Use of resources that is sustainable; a development that is humane; institutions and democracies that are resilient.

From 26 to 28 October, we will meet in Belgrade once again asking the question: will humanity pass this test? The BSF will traditionally begin with the academic event titled “Resilience to Violent Extremism”.

Day 1
26 Oct 2021
Day 2
27 Oct 2021
Day 3
28 Oct 2021
08:00 - 09:00

Registration of Participants

Academic Welcoming Speech

Sarah Groen
Nemanja Džuverović

Academic Panel 1: Factors of Resilience to Violent Extremism

The paper deals with resilience of police forces and law enforcement agencies to violent extremists in their internal structures in Europe. The author analyzes several cases of radicalization of police...
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Miroslav Mares
Véronique Dudouet
Katarina Ristić
Emilija Davidović
Moderator: Predrag Petrović
11:15 - 11:45

Coffee and Networking Break

Academic Panel 2: Resilience to Violent Extremism in Southeast Europe

The challenge of violent Islamist extremism in Serbia has culminated with the war in Syria, which attracted Serbian nationals who fled the country to join the battleground. Since the outflow...
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Marija Ignjatijević
Evlogi Stanchev
Charles O. Warner III
Florian Bieber
Moderator: Kari Osland
13:00 - 13:30

Coffee and Networking Break

Academic Panel 3: Resilience and Radicalization in a Comparative Perspective

In its 2016 Global Strategy, the EU vows to fight terrorism with roots in the Middle East, seen as threatening European security. One approach devised to do so is to...
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Ann-Kristin Jonasson
Morten Bøås
Umut Korkut
Kamaran Palani
Moderator: Věra Stojarová
14:45 - 16:00

Networking Lunch

BSF Keynote Address

Emanuele Giaufret
Gabriel Escobar

BSF Panel 1: Dismantling Covidocracy – Protecting Democracy (BCSP in partnership with Open Society Foundations – Serbia)

What are the most glaring examples of violations of the rule of law during the pandemic world-wide, and which one can be identified in the Western Balkans region? How have...
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Daniela Schwarzer
Peter Balazs
Katarina Golubović
Jean Lachapelle
Moderator: Vukosava Crnjanski
18:15 - 18:45

Coffee and Networking Break

BSF Panel 2: Supporting Western Balkans – Overcoming Obstacles to European integration (BFPE in partnership with the balkan trust for democracy)

Discussion points: How do you answer/comment on the view that the EU’s integration of Western Balkans is in danger? Can you imagine long standing bilateral disputes being resolved outside of...
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Christiane Hullmann
Sylvain Guiaugué
Clive Rumbold
Moderator: Majlinda Bregu

BSF Address: An EU Resilient to Crises

Europe has experienced a ‘polycrisis’ that placed further integration under serious strain. Economic and ecological crises have been compounded by migration waves, terrorist attacks, the return of great power competition,...
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Antonio López-Istúriz

BSF Partner Session: Enlargement Supporters and Opponents – What kind of EU are we Integrating Into? (In partnership with European Western Balkans)

Discussion points: Who are the main supporters of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans and what are their motives? What does the support for enlargement from illiberal EU member states’...
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Wouter Zweers
Patrik Szicherle
Tena Prelec
Strahinja Subotić
Moderator: Nikola Burazer
08:00 - 09:00

Registration of Participants


Discussion points: During your mandate, what was the biggest benefit of participating in the Partnership for Peace program? NATO’s image in Serbia. How to improve it? Can it be improved?...
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VIDEO ADDRESS: Carmen Romero
Dijana Ivančić
Dragan Šutanovac
Moderator: Marko Savković
10:15 - 10:45

Coffee and Networking Break

BSF Panel 4: Western Balkans Perspectives on the Future of Europe (BFPE in Partnership with FRIEDRICH-EBERT-STIFTUNG DIALOGUE SOUTHEAST EUROPE)

Discussion points: What should the European Union that the WB6 countries would like to join be about, what should it seek to achieve? What distinct contributions could the WB6 countries...
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Anida Šabanović
Jovana Marović
Dejan Jović
Moderator: Florent Marciacq
12:00 - 12:30

Coffee and Networking Break

BSF Panel 5: Worlds Apart – Chinese Playbook for Engaging Partner Countries (BCSP in Partnership with LSE Ideas)

How does China engage in different regions that are part of the Belt and Road Initiative? How much attention does Beijing pay in localizing its approach to the context and...
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Oscar Otele
Alvaro Mendez
Vuk Vuksanović
Luka Šterić
Moderator: Chris Alden
13:45 - 15:00

Networking Lunch

BSF Panel 6: The Berlin Process – What’s Next? (BCSP in Partnership with Open Society Foundations – Serbia)

What are the results of the Berlin Process? Are the expectations met – to what extent the goals have been achieved on the level of high politics and preparation for...
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Viola von Cramon-Taubadel
Christian Hagemann
Igor Bandović
Nikola Dimitrov
Zoran Nechev
Moderator: Max Brändle
16:15 - 16:45

Coffee and Networking Break

BSF Panel 7: Civic engagement – Change is coming. And hope too. (EMINS in Partnership with European fund for the Balkans)

Across the region, we see a widespread apathy, people are leaving, voters’ turnout are decreasing constantly, change of the current situation seems impossible. Political engagement is seen as something dirty....
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Aleksandra Tomanić
Gorjan Jovanovski
Samir Beharić
Jelena Vasiljević
Moderator: Gazela Pudar Draško
18:00 - 18:30

Coffee and Networking Break

BSF Panel 8: The role of Roma in the EU Recovery (BFPE in Partnership with Open Society Foundations – Serbia)

Discussion points: How the Roma community of Europe (its largest minority) could contribute to Europe’s recovery? How are its economic potentials contributing to their aging countries? How can Roma move...
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Željko Jovanović
Thomas Hagleitner
Petrica Dulgheru
Dragan Tevdovski
Moderator: Una Hajdari
19:45 - 20:00

Technical Break

BSF Panel 9: Remembering and Supporting Victims of Organized Crime (BCSP in Partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Serbia)

Jan Kuciak, Peter R de Vries, Daphne Caruana Galizia… these are names of the journalists who were murdered over the past few years while investigating crime and corruption across Europe....
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Ivana Stevanović
Siria Gastelum Felix
Sanja Ćopić
Alberto Pasquero
Moderator: Bojan Elek
09:00 - 10:00

Registration of the Paricipants

BSF Panel 10: Region-to-Region cooperation – Opportunities for the Central and Southeastern Europe (BFPE in partnership with Central European Initiative)

Discussion points: What is the role of the national governments in establishing regional cooperation? What are the plans for the post-COVID recovery in respective countries? What could be the role...
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Nemanja Starović
Péter Sztáray
Roberto Antonione
Gordana Đurović
Moderator: Maja Piščević
11:15 - 11:45

Coffee and Networking Break

BSF Panel 11: China and Serbia – Strategic Investment? (BFPE in Partnership with Center for International Private Enterprise)

Discussion points: Why is it important to understand what corrosive capital is? What was the influence of Chinese investments in Central and Eastern Europe? What are the prominent sectors of...
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Ivana Karásková
Igor Novaković
Bojan Stanić
Eric Hontz
Dimitar Lilkov
Moderator: Stefan Vladisavljev
13:00 - 13:30

Coffee and Networking Break

BSF Panel 12: Kosovo-Serbia Relations: The Circle of (Dis)Trust and (Un)Equality (BCSP in Partnership with ECFR)

After more than eleven years of the EU facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, this process could be described as “one step forward, two steps back”. The seriousness of challenges...
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Sylvie Kauffmann
József Pandur
Maja Bjeloš
Donika Emini
Miodrag Milićević
Moderator: Engjellushe Morina
Moderator: Vessela Tcherneva

BSF Closing Event – How the World is Changing

BSF has the pleasure of closing its program with Mr. Christoph Heusgen, who served as German Ambassador to the United Nations in New York from 2017 to 2021, was Under-Secretary...
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Christoph Heusgen
Moderator: Ivan Vejvoda



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