Summer Seminar 2009

Summer Seminars » Summer Seminar 2009

For tenth consecutive year the Economic Policy Institute organized its traditional Summer Seminar for young public servants from SEE. The event was realized with the kind financial support of the Balkan Trust for Democracy, Belgrade and the Hanns Seidel Foundation. From 8th to 13th of June Riviera Holiday Club, Varna hosted the forum which main purpose is to develop an international network of young experts working for the European integration of the region. In compliance with the new positions of Bulgaria and Romania as EU member states, the seminar broadened its scope and now it is conducted under the title “Efficient Membership and Preparation for EU Accession”.

This year the Seminar gathered outstanding young officers and experts from ministries and state institutions of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey as well as from old EU member-states. Following the established tradition, the seminar offered its participants the opportunity to work with prominent and reputable lecturers. It is worth mentioning some the distinguished panelists:

• Prof. Andras Inotai – Director General, Institute for World Economics, Budapest; President, Economic Policy Institute, Sofia;
• Former Vice-Chancellor Dr. Erhard Busek – President, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, Vienna; Former Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, Brussles.
• H.E. Manfred Scheich – former Ambassador of Austria to the EC;
• Ollivier Bodin – International Aid Coordination, DG Enlargement, European Commission , Brussels;
• David Lippeatt – Chief of Economic Policy Unit, US Mission to the EU, Brussels;
• H.E. Mark Michelsen – Ambassador of  the Kingdom of Belgium to Bulgaria, Sofia;
• H. E. Martin Klepetko - Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Bulgaria, Sofia
• Lothar Yaschke – Council of the EU, Western Balkans Task Force, Brussels;
• Geoffrey Mazullo - Director, Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program, East-West Management Institute, Warsaw

The Summer Seminar 2009 was opened with welcoming addresses from Dr. Ivanka Petkova, chairperson of the Economic Policy Institute and Dr. Klaus Fiesinger, Head of Department  Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Hanns Seidel Foundation. In the following honorary speeches, the young participants were also welcomed by Todor Churov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria and H.E. Martin Klepetko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic in Bulgaria (whose country presided over the EU at that time).

Within the first three panels were presented the current positions in the eurointegrational process of the newest member states – Bulgaria and Romania, of the countries granted candidate status – Macedonia, Turkey, Croatia and of the potential candidate states – Albania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In order to diversify the Seminar’s format, discussions in two working groups took place. Participants debated on the problems of the EU widening and deepening.

The second day of the event focused on the economic dimensions of the EU membership and the impact that global processes and the economic crisis in particular could have on the enlargement. The position of the international business was presented by Lubos Pavlas – Chief Executive Officer, CEZ Bulgaria EAD and Denis Samson – Executive Director, Solvay Sodi JSC. The participants were particularly intrigued by the interactive workshop conducted by Geoffrey Mazullo from the East-West Management Institute, Warsaw. On an expert level, the Seminar benefited from the presentation of the authoritative Chief Economist of UniCredit Bulbank – Kristofor Pavlov.

David Lippeat and Plamen Dimitrov introduced the participants with the current trends and developments of the external relations of the EU with USA and Russia emphasizing on importance of the role of the EU as a global player.

Within the framework of the Seminar the participants had the chance to become familiar with the views and opinions of the non-governmental sector. Representatives of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, USAID, the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Southeast Europe Association, shared with the audience their positions, aims and activities.

The organizers from The Economic Policy Institute surprised the guests of the Summer Seminar “Efficient Membership and Preparation for EU Accession” with two specially dedicated video addresses: from H.E. Paul Beijer, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to Bulgaria (the member state that will assume the rotary presidency on July, 1st 2009) and from Mrs. Meglena Kuneva, Euro commissioner for consumer affairs and winner of the Prize “European of the year” 2008.