ESI's Gerald Knaus participated in a study trip to Serbia and Albania organised by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). In Belgrade, the group met with politicians, ambassadors, experts and civil society activists, including Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. In Albania, the group met with President Ilir Meta, the mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, and ECFR council member Ditmir Bushati.
Erion Veliaj is a long time civil society activist who started his political career in the MJAFT! movement. He and other leading politicians of today's Albania were portrayed in the 2008 ESI documentary "Albanian Renaissance".
The ECFR delegation included Vesna Pusic, former Croatian foreign minister, Robert Cooper, a British diplomat and adviser, and Vessela Tcherneva, the Deputy Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations and Head of the Sofia office, among others.