Seminar on Neutrality for Students

Hotel NORCEV, March 6 – 8, 2013

The ISAC Fund, in cooperation with the Swedish Armed Forces, organized, for the first time, a Seminar on Neutrality for 25 university students. The seminar was held on Fruska Gora from March 6 to 8, 2013.

The two day interactive seminar aimed to spread accurate information about the issue of neutrality, the history behind that concept and what it means for a state to be neutral in the 21st century, topics on which ISAC already contributed through a groundbreaking conference in 2011 (Neutrality in the 21st century – Lessons for Serbia), the results of which the seminar was based on.

The Seminar participants consisted of 25 socially active university students from Serbia. The selected students were very motivated and showed exquisite knowledge, as well as inquisitiveness about the topic, so both the organizers and the lecturers were extremely satisfied with their willingness to participate and engage in the fruitful discussion. Conference speakers were renowned experts on the subject, from Sweden, Austria, and other European permanent neutral states, as well as those from EU/NATO and Serbia. We would especially like to thank the representatives of Swiss, Austrian, Dutch and Finnish embassies for participating in the panel discussion that was especially interesting for the students. Below you can find the lecturers and the themes covered:

Sweden: Policy of non-Alignment and the European Union
Col. Thomas Klementsson, Defence Attaché, Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden

Historical Introduction – Foreign Policy of Serbia and Neutrality
Mr. Igor Novaković, Research Fellow, ISAC Fund

The Concept of Neutrality: Origins and Challenges – From the Peace of Westphalia to the European Union
Dr. Ove Bring, Professor Emeritus, Swedish National Defence College

Evolution of the Concept of Neutrality During the Cold War
Mr. Igor Novaković, Research Fellow, ISAC Fund

EU Integration and European Neutral and Non-aligned States
Dr. Heinz Gдrtner, Austrian Institute for International Politics

European Neutral and Non-aligned States and the System of Collective Security
Dr. Heinz Gдrtner, Austrian Institute for International Politics

Panel Presentation – Role of Neutral and Non-aligned States in EU and PfP Structures and Missions
Col. Markus Widmer, Defence Attaché, Embassy of Switzerland
Brig. Gen. Reinhard Schцberl, Defence Attaché, Embassy of Austria
Lt. Col. Robbert Verbrugh, Defence Attaché, Embassy of the Netherlands
Ms. Outi Isotalo, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Finland

Serbia and International Security Cooperation
Col. Katarina Štrbac, Strategic Research Institute, Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia

Serbia’s Military Neutrality
Mr. Nikola Petrović, Director, ISAC Fund

Discussion: Serbia and its Position in 21st Century Europe
Mr. Nikola Petrović, Director, ISAC Fund

It is important for Serbia to continue its reform oriented path, especially in the area of security, in order to become a true factor of stability. Therefore, countering myths and troublesome policies of Serbia’s elites is of immense priority and thus this Seminar seeked to provide objective information about the genesis and development of the concepts of neutrality and explore where Serbia fits in that context.