As part of its multiyear program “CFSP and Serbia’s Accession to the EU”, ISAC organized its 6th annual international conference “CFSP and the Global Pandemic: Impact on Serbia and Europe” held online via Zoom platform and Facebook live, on December 15 and 16, 2020.
The Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU and its impact on the process of Serbia’s accession process has taken a new level of importance with all challenges that 2020 has brought, especially in the context of a global Covid-19 pandemic. The European Union has been already dealing with numerous issues such as migration, climate change, Brexit, strained trans-Atlantic relations, and a resurgent Russia and China when the pandemic hit the world. The question that has been arising is how the European Union will be evolving in its foreign and security approach, with a seemingly endless amount of challenges.
The first day of the conference was dedicated to the subject of the future development of CFSP framework in the context of the pandemic and the topic was discussed by: H.E. Jan Lundin, Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Serbia, Ms. Dorothea Gieselmann, Chargée d’ Affaires of the Germany Embassy in Belgrade, H.E. Jean-Louis Falconi, Ambassador of France to the Republic of Serbia and Mr. Ivan Vujačić, President of the Forum for International Relations and Former Ambassador of Serbia to the United States. They shared their views on how candidate and potential candidate countries would be affected by these changes and what should be the role and approach of the Western Balkans in that regard.
Mr. Thomas Ossowski, Permanent Representative of Germany in the EU’s Political and Security Committee, gave a keynote speech on Europe, CFSP and the Western Balkans during the Corona Epidemic. For the second panel participants discussed about the ways in which Europe would cope with strong challenges coming from China, Russia and even the United States. This included via Zoom from Brussels and Warsaw, Dr. Steven Blockmans, Director of Centre for European Policy Studies, and Marta Szpala Senior Fellow at the Centre for Eastern Studies in Poland. Joining them were Simon Ilse, Office Director of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Belgrade and Dr. Filip Ejdus, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade.
On the second day Igor Novaković, our Research Director, presented ISAC’s latest publication “Analysis of 7 years of Serbia’s Alignment with the EU’s Foreign Policy Declarations and Measures” and during the presentation participants talked about Serbia’s alignment with the EU’s approach on topics related to Chapter 31 (Common Foreign, Security and Defence policy).
More detailed conference conclusions and remarks will become available soon after the holidays.
Once again, we would like to thank all the panellists, Zoom participants, as well as everyone who was following via Facebook live!
This conference was organized with support of the Balkan Trust for Democracy, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Serbia, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.