2 June 2005
Catching Up - The future of South Eastern Europe in the European Union

ESI President Gerald Knaus was invited to hold the introductory speech at a lecture by Mr. Božidar Djelic (former Minister of Finance and Economy of Serbia) who spoke at an event in Vienna jointly organised by the Bank Austria Creditanstalt and the Europäische Liga für Wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit. The event was attended by national and international representatives.

Gerald Knaus

Drawing on ESI's recently released report; Mr. Knaus elaborated on the argument that the potential candidates in the Western Balkans should be given the chance to progress towards EU membership on an equal footing with previous candidates. He stressed that a credible strategy for integrating the region into the EU, and preventing the emergence of a Balkan ghetto, is critical not just for the region, but also for the EU itself.

Božidar Djelic

In a similar vein, Mr. Djelic argued for the full and prompt Europeanisation of the Balkans countries. Using the example of Serbia, he noted a variety of favourable conditions in the region, however stressed that if the chance of integrating the countries of the Western Balkans is not taken soon, the emergence of a new European ghetto and the creation of an even increased development gap between the region and it's neighbouring countries would be the consequence. As Mr. Knaus did before, he urged to make all five components of EU assistance in 2007-2013 (including regional, human resources and rural development) available to both potential candidates and candidate countries.

About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com