Serbia and the Western Balkans back in focus – working lunch at the Belgrade Security Forum

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GlobalFocus Center and the Romanian Embassy in Belgrade hosted a working lunch on the margins of the Belgrade Security Forum 2017, on October 12, to present the Romanian Expertise Database/ R.E.D. and discuss Romanian-Serbian and more widely Romanian – Western Balkans potential for increased cooperation.

Among participants were Ms. Oana Cristina Popa, the Romanian Ambassador to Belgrade, Ms. Mihaela Osorio, Deputy Chief of Mission, Ms. Oana Popescu, Director of GlobalFocus Center, Mr. Rufin Zamfir, Programmes Director of GlobalFocus Center, Ms. Simona Miculescu, Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the Balkans and former head of Romania’s UN Mission in New York, Mr. Srdjan Majstorovic, deputy chief negotiator for Serbia’s EU accession, Mr. Aleksandar Nikolic, East-West Bridge, former deputy minister in the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mr. Darko Trifunovic, Faculty of Security Studies of the University of Belgrade, an expert in international  security and terrorism and former advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Tim Judah, The Economist correspondent for the Western Balkans, Mr. Borja Lasheras, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations office in Madrid and Balkans expert, members of the OSCE mission in Belgrade.

GlobalFocus Center has developed a publicly accessible online instrument to map out Romanian reform expertise (of both individuals and institutions) and make it easily available to those countries which are going through similar transformation: Romanian Expertise Database/ R.E.D at www.romanianexpertise.eu (supported from Romania’s development assistance funds by RoAid – Agenția României de cooperare pentru dezvoltare and in cooperation with the Regional UNDP Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia).

Serbia and the Western Balkans are a priority for Romania and Ministerul Afacerilor Externe/ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Romania and have been introduced on the list of beneficiaries of Romanian Official Development Assistance.  Participants have agreed that cooperation is more needed than ever, under current circumstances of changes and challenges to the EU integration process. Project drafting and management, agriculture, environment, education, freedom of media, rule of law and anticorruption have been mentioned as some of the fields where Romania’s expertise could be relevant to Serbia and Western Balkans countries.

The Western Balkans and Romania’s neighbourhood have been at the top of GlobalFocus Center priorities from the founding of the think-tank. We have developed solid in-house expertise on the region and have built programmes, projects, maintained government and civil society contacts and have carried out consultancy activities for Romanian investors in Balkan countries.