4 December 2015
Vienna EU foreign policy and the Western Balkans - Reengagement as a strategic choice
Sebastian Kurz (Austrian Foreign Minister)  Antonio Missiroli (Director, EUISS)  Hedvig Morvai (Executive Director, European Fund  for the Balkans)  Gerald Knaus (ESI). Photo: Austrian Foreign Ministry
Sebastian Kurz (Austrian Foreign Minister) – Antonio Missiroli (Director, EUISS) – Hedvig Morvai (Executive Director, European Fund for the Balkans) – Gerald Knaus (ESI). Photo: Austrian Foreign Ministry

ESI's Gerald Knaus and Kristof Bender participated in a workshop organised by the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), and ESI, and with the support of the European Fund for the Balkans on "EU foreign policy and the Western Balkans – Reengagement as a strategic choice". Gerald gave the keynote speech at the first panel on "EU accession: drivers, hurdles and prospects" where he presented a concept paper ("Accession and Reform") prepared by ESI for the conference.

This event was part of a series of outreach and consultation events that are being organised as part of the strategic review with a view to feeding into the new EU Global Strategy. This series began with the EUISS' Annual Conference (early October 2015) and will end with the next EUISS Annual Conference (April 2016). It was attended by around 160 senior Austrian civil servants and diplomats, think tankers and other experts. Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz opened the conference. Other participants included:

  • Florian Bieber, Professor & Director, Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz, Graz
  • Srdjan Cvijic, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society European Policy Institute, Brussels
  • Milica Delevic, Deputy Secretary General, European Bank for REconstruction and Development, London
  • Michael Doczy, Deputy Director, CFSP coordination, Austrian MFA, Vienna
  • Vedran Dzihic, Senior Researcher, OIIP, Vienna
  • Katharina Kastner, Diplomat, Austrian Foreign Ministry, Vienna
  • Helmut Kramer, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Institute of Political Science, University of Vienna, Vienna
  • Stefan Lehne, Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Europe, Brussels
  • Alexander Marschik, Political Director, BMEIA, Vienna
  • Hedvig Morvai, Executive Director, European Fund for the Balkans, Belgrade
  • Urszula Pallasz, Senior Advisor, EEAS, Brussels
  • Wolfgang Petritsch, President, Austrian Marshallplan Fundation, Wien
  • Albert Rohan, Ambassador (ret.), Austrian Foreign Ministry, Vienna
  • Jacques Rupnik, Professor, Sciences Po (CERI), Paris
  • Sonja Stojanovic Gajic, Director, Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, Belgrade
  • Florian Trauner, Professor, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussel
  • Gazmend Turdiu, Deputy Secretary General, Regional Cooperation Council, Sarajevo
  • Alida Vracic, Mercator-IPC Fellow, SWP Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin

ESI concept paper: Accession and Reform (30 November 2015)

Conference agenda

Panel discussion. Photo: Austrian Foreign Ministry
Panel discussion. Photo: Austrian Foreign Ministry
Introduction by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz. Photo: Austrian Foreign Ministry
Introduction by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz. Photo: Austrian Foreign Ministry
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