• European Talks

    If you get tired of reading, then have a listen to our podcast. European Talks podcast is a short form conversation that aims to untangle difficult questions on various topics related to Serbia’s relations with the EU and its member states, by talking to experts, diplomats, and other relevant actors. Whether you are a researcher, a politician, or just genuinely curious about the topic, European Talks podcast will provide you with valuable ideas, answers as well as new questions.

    Many societies, one virtual space

    The European Union and national governments should provide citizens with a safe and democratic digital space in collaboration with civil society actors. The rationale behind the digital spaces should not only be profit-making, but also a public service that strengthens democracy by enabling safe communication and participation as well as protection of people’s privacy. In building digital infrastructure, safety, resilience and societal impact on communities should be prioritised. European youth plays an important role in promoting such values. We are proud to present you the last episode of the new mini-series of five podcast episodes within our MladiRini Talks, achieved in cooperation with the EU Balkans Forum. We wanted to give you an opportunity to hear what their experiences were, what they learned, and what are the common problems that young people from the EU and the Western Balkans share. In the last episode, our guests were the Italian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Carlo Lo Cascio, and Đorđe Manov, a student of the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade. He was included in Working group 5: Many societies, one virtual space. How do the youth see the issue of creating one virtual space as integral to the process of EU enlargement and European integration? Being the most media literate generation, should the youth be completely in charge of this process? Subscribe to European Talks and do not miss our next episodes! More information: www.mladirini.org / www.eubalkanforum.org

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    Enlargement stuck in a rut? Staged accession model as a solution

    Today’s episode of European Talks discusses the issue of the EU enlargement impasse and how it is being dealt with. With the rising skepticism regarding enlargement and slow reforms in candidate countries, Srđan Majstorović, Chairman of CEP Governing Board, Steven Blockmans, Director of Research at CEPS, and Milena Lazarević, CEP Programme Director, talk about “thinking out of the conventional enlargement toolbox” when it comes to this process. Blockmans and Lazarević present their ideas on how to overcome this impasse with a staged accession model. Find the paper here: https://cep.org.rs/en/publications/a-template-for-staged-accession-to-the-eu/ 

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    Kako izgleda borba za zdravu životnu sredinu u zarobljenoj državi

    Zašto je u Srbiji prvenstveno problem vladavina prava, a potom životna sredina, i u kakvoj su vezi ova dva problema? Da li je pitanje zaštite životne sredine u Srbiji u našim rukama? "Životna sredina u Srbiji je talac korupcije," kaže gost prve epizode naše nove podkast kategorije "MladiRini podkast". To je Mirko Popović, programski direktor Regulatornog instituta za obnovljivu energiju i životnu sredinu (RERI), koji pruža podršku i obezbeđuje pravnu zaštitu pojedincima, grupama i pravnim licima čije je pravo na zdravu i očuvanu životnu sredinu neposredno ugroženo. Više o njihovom radu pronađite ovde: www.reri.org.rs MladiRini je nova regionalna platforma za komunikaciju, angažovanje i rad sa mladima. Glavni cilj platforme je razumevanje, uključivanje i zagovaranje za ideje i mišljenja mladih na velikoj sceni. Svakog četvrtka, razgovaraćemo sa stručnjacima u oblasti informacionih tehnologija, zaštite životne sredine, demokratije i vladavine prava, o tome kako uključiti mlade u ova pitanja. Za više informacija o našem radu, posetite: www.mladirini.org

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    Corrosive Capital, Environment & External Actors: Assessing the Western Balkans

    The issues of corruption, the rise of external actors, and environmental neglect are becoming increasingly present in the Western Balkans. We are joined by Tena Prelec, a research fellow at Oxford University, a research associate at the LSE, and a member of BiEPAG, with whom we talk about whether and how all of these issues are interconnected.

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    Imperatives for the Biden Administration: What can the US, the World, and Serbia Expect?

    Our guest was Mr John Allen, a retired four-star general and the President of the Brookings Institution, one of the most influential think tanks in the world. Although the outgoing President Trump continues to claim that the US elections were rigged, President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take his position in the White House, with the aim to diminish divisions in the US. As the world and Europe have high hopes for the Biden administration, we discussed what can be expected in the next four years.

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    Work-life balance in the EU – Benefits of becoming a member state

    Following the European Commission’s 2017 Proposal for a Directive on work-life balance for parents and carers, the new EU Work-life Balance Directive was passed by the European Parliament in April 2019. The aim of this Directive is to “improve families’” access to family leave and flexible work arrangements’, and ultimately “contribute to an increase in women’s employment and families’ economic stability.” Moreover, it introduces a set of legislative and non-legislative measures, i.e. policy measures, designed to modernise the existing EU frameworks in the work-life balance area. How much more funds will the countries of the Western Balkans receive, once they become members, having in mind that our closest neighbour, Croatia, receives 10 times more from the EU for this area? We talked with Ms Katarina Ivanković Knežević, Director in the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the European Commission, former State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Pensions of Croatia.

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    Armenia and Azerbaijan at the same table: an attempt to approach opposing positions

    A conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno Karabakh, a territory which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but de facto ruled by the Armenian majority living there, re-erupted a couple of days ago. In order to get the full picture of what is happening on the ground, and to see what can Europe to prevent the conflict from escalating, we have invited two prominent experts, one from Armenia and the other from Azerbaijan. Discussants: Benyamin Poghosyan - Chairman of the Centre for Political and Economic Strategic Studies in Yerevan - Former director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the Armenian Ministry of Defence - Graduated at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy Anar Jahangirli - Consultant in public affairs and communication - Former diplomat from Azerbaijan, with the focus on NK - Graduated at Harvard

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    Winds of change in Montenegro: What to expect in the next period?

    The recent elections in Montenegro suggest that major changes could soon take place in the country in the Western Balkans. Montenegro has opened all chapters in the process of negotiations with the EU, but how far has the enlargement process really progressed and what can be expected in the coming period when it comes to the EU accession process, but also with the political climate in the country? We spoke with Stevo Muk, President of the Managing Board of the Institute Alternative, Podgorica-based think tank.

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    En route to a better public administration: Why bottom-up pressure is necessary

    Welcome to the first episode of the WeBER podcast series of European Talks podcast, a new communication tool in the regional WeBER initiative context. Each podcast episode will be devised around a relevant public administration reform and civil society related topic in the region. With this series, we mainly target civil society, experts, government officials and external interested audience (rather than public). Highly conversational in nature, it is available in video format on WeBER portal - www.par-monitor.org. In the first episode, our guest is Gregor Virant, Head of SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management, a joint initiative of the OECD and the EU, principally financed by the EU), and former Minister of Public Administration of Slovenia. Milena Lazarević, an expert on this topic, of the European Policy Centre - CEP Programme Director and WeBER initiative Team Leader, talked with him about the SIGMA principles of public administration, the WeBER initiative and why civil society must monitor and involve in the public administration reform process. Useful links: www.sigmaweb.org www.par-monitor.org www.europeanpolicy.org

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    Advancing Albania’s road to EU: Side with agendas and ambitions

    In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the Council of the EU gave the green light to the opening of accession talks with Albania. What are the expectations regarding the next steps, given the current pandemic restrictions? Can the revised enlargement methodology lead to a more effective accession process? What is the current political climate in this country? In this episode, we talked to Gjergji Vurmo, programme director of Institute for Democracy and Mediation - IDM, Tirana-based think tank.

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