Late afternoon sessions: „Regional Reconnection – the New Paradigm”

Foreign Policy Initiative BH and Friedrich Ebert Foundation are continuing with the series of late afternoon sessions. The goal of these late afternoon sessions is to open discussions on various aspects of BiH foreign policy and to gather BiH and foreign diplomats, representatives of state institutions, businessmen, journalists as well as representatives of academy and civil society in order to create an all encompassing platform for a quality discourse.

On November 7th, 2013, Foreign Policy Initiative BH has held a session entitled „Regional Reconnection – the New Paradigm“. Members of BiH Parliamentary Assembly, BiH Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of the diplomatic core of Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Croatia, representative of RCC and Academia participated in the session.

In a pleasant atmosphere, Mr. Amer Kapetanović, Assistant Minister and Head of the Bilateral Relations Division of the BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented the analysis and provided his insight into key processes of the large numbers of regional initiatives and the very concept of European regionalism. He further elaborated the meaning of regionalism as a new doctrine for the Balkans and what are the driving factors behind the new paradigm.
Mr. Davor Vuletić, Foreign policy adviser in the BiH Presidency, elaborated on the necessary changes that need to happen in the region. He also indicated the poor progress of BiH in that process.

Mr. Amer Kapetanović, stressed the importance of eliminating the influence of the rhetoric of the past from BiH politics. He pointed out that further encouragement of regional cooperation is possible, useful and desirable for all of the Western Balkan countries.

Mr. Ivan Orlić from the BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who presided over the panel, stated that present and future connections in the region are and will be based on economic interests.

The most prominent conclusion of this discussion is that the western Balkan countries keep finding connections that bind them together. This fact cannot be disputed given the sheer amount of the existing regional initiatives. A common EU perspective has helped to encourage positive changes. Creation of strong regional economic interdependence, common cultural identity and uniform social fabric have turned out to be stronger than the numerous disaster scenarios which have long been subscribed to the Balkans and will continue to create stronger links of te region in the future as well.