9.9.2012. Jelena Milić, CEAS Director, attended a presentation of the Policy Brief: The Višegrad Group: Exploring New Agenda for the Western Balkans

Belgrade, September 9, 2012

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Jelena Milić, Director of the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS) attended a presentation of the policy brief entitled “The Višegrad Group: Exploring New Agenda for the Western Balkans”, held on the margin of the Belgrade Security Forum, on September 21st. The policy brief is a part of the series published in the framework of the Višegrad Policy Briefs: Converging Regional Positions project, organised jointly by the Central European Policy Institute, the Slovak Atlantic Commission and the CD International, in cooperation with the International Višegrad Fund.

The authors of the policy brief are István Gyarmati, President of the Centre for Democracy Public Foundation from Hungary, Milan Nič, Senior Fellow at the Central European Policy Institute from Slovakia, Jan Vlkovský, a Western Balkans expert at the Jagello 2000 Association from the Czech Republik, and Tomasz Żornaczuk, Analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs. The project envisages elaboration of four expert policy briefs on selected security-related topics from the Višegrad point of view, containing well-reasoned policy recommendations that should be used as an expert input of the regional non-governmental community for debate on issues relevant to the V4 countries. Some of the recommendations include:

- encouraging Serbian leaders to make more progress in the political dialogue with Kosovo, working within the European People’s Party;
- supporting Montenegro’s steady progress, especially its bid for NATO membership through the North Atlantic Council;
- helping the revival of Macedonia’s EU and NATO integration bid by pushing for a new approach;
- keeping Bosnia and Herzegovina focused on tangible results by unblocking Bosnia’s participation in NATO’s MAP programme and supporting a stronger and leading role for the EU in the context of preparing the reconfiguration of their international presence there;
- engaging Kosovo in regional cooperation and promoting progress towards a solution, by supporting regional cooperation among the countries of the region, including between Serbia and Kosovo;
- and shifting from development to technical assistance by providing first-rate expertise and best practices in the integration and transformation agenda, prioritising state administration, transferring of knowledge on economic and social transformation, reinforcing the rule of law and supporting efforts to create a functional and stable civil society. Another form of support sees the already endorsed initiative of establishing a Western Balkan Fund modelled on the International Višegrad Fund.