Members in News

27.05.2021.

“Integration of the Western Balkans in NATO - Guarantee for Regional Stability”

Ms. Silvia Maretti, of NATO Public Diplomacy Division, opening the Conference:

“Integration of the Western Balkans in NATO as a Guarantee for Regional Stability”

A recent NATO Regional Conference for the Western Balkans noted that the Alliance is so much more than just a military, but also a comprehensive political organization that protects territorial integrity, democratic values, promotes economic development, provides foreign investment stability.

The on-line Conference was held on May 18-19, 2021, sponsored by the NATO Scientific Committee and organized by regional NGOs EuroBalkan, Belgrade, Bulgarian Hub for United Balkans, Sofia, Center for International and Development Studies, Skopje and CIBAL, Sofia.

University professors and distinguished experts in the field of international relations from Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bulgaria discussed challenges on the road to NATO, regional implications of North Macedonia’s membership in NATO, the role of NATO in improving the individual/human security: challenges and perspectives and integration of the Western Balkans in NATO as a guarantee for regional stability. Invitees from Albania failed to show up.

Opening the Conference, Ms. Silvia Maretti, of NATO Public Diplomacy Division, said the Alliance is facing rapidly changing challenges in the form of new disruptive technologies, climate changes, cybersecurity, pandemics, and terrorism. “There is the need for strengthening of more political alliance – the reaffirmation of the trans-Atlantic bond and the strengthening of US-European relations. Also, it is important to strengthen the resilience of civil society.”

NATO is committed to the integration of the Western Balkans region, for which political dialogue and cooperation is the key. The focus must be on the younger generations, she said.

Speakers stressed the enormous importance of Euro-Atlantic integration for the overall development and stabilization of the region. “The fact is that NATO is an organization that brings together all the richest, most highly developed and democratic countries in the world, whose experience and support are of key importance for the future of the region”, said Prof. Dr. Slavenko Grgurevic, President of EuroBalkan, member of the East-West Bridge International Advisory Board and the organizer and moderator of the Conference.

“NATO is not only a military, but also increasingly a comprehensive political organization that protects territorial integrity, democratic values, promotes economic development, provides foreign investment stability,” he noted.

Grgurevic spoke about the economic, educational and cultural values of the Euro-Atlantic integration and the important role of young people and their mutual and global ties in improving business, educational and cultural opportunities in the region through cooperation with NATO member states.

The proposal to hold the next NATO Regional Conference in Serbia in 2022 to discuss problems and solutions in accordance with the improvement of the social position of all citizens and especially young people in all countries of the region was unanimously endorsed by Conference participants.