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23 FEB 2010

International conference on overcoming economic crisis in Western Balkans to mark 2nd RCC anniversary

Hido Biscevic, RCC Secretary General (right), and Eduard Kukan, Chairman of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with SEE Countries, at the opening of the International Conference on Western Balkans in 2020, Sarajevo, BiH, 24 February 2010. (Photo RCC/Selma Ahatovic-Lihic)

Hido Biscevic, RCC Secretary General (right), and Eduard Kukan, Chairman of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with SEE Countries, at the opening of the International Conference on Western Balkans in 2020, Sarajevo, BiH, 24 February 2010. (Photo RCC/Selma Ahatovic-Lihic)

SARAJEVO – A two-day regional conference “Western Balkans in 2020 – Overcoming the Economic Crisis and Developing Competitive Economies” will open in Sarajevo tomorrow. The event, organized by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat, will also mark the 2nd anniversary of the organization.

This international conference will review the impact on the Western Balkan countries of the global economic crisis, assess the different policy actions taken, and examine the ways to strengthen the long-term competitiveness of the region’s economies. A key issue for South East Europe is the ability to make and implement the appropriate policy choices and benefit effectively of the support available so that it can emerge from the crisis and, in the long run, achieve steady economic development.

The expected results of the conference should influence the policy debate in individual countries, on regional level and with international organisations, as well as provide specific topics for the work programme of the RCC and other regional organizations and initiatives.

The event will be opened by Hido Biscevic, RCC Secretary General; Eduard Kukan, Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with Countries of South East Europe, European Parliament; Javier Martin, Assistant Deputy Director General, Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Elisabeth Hagen, Executive Director, Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies.

The meeting will bring together senior policy officials and key experts from the Western Balkans academia, the European Commission and international financial institutions, as well as representatives of the relevant think tanks from the EU member countries.

Speakers will include Yngve Engstroem, Head of Unit for Regional Programmes, Directorate General for Enlargement, European Commission; Nevenka Savic, Director, Directorate for European Integration, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Renata Vitez, Director, CEFTA 2006 Secretariat; Alistair Nolan, Head, OECD Investment Compact for South East Europe; Massimo Cingolani, Deputy Head of the Western Balkans Division, European Investment Bank; Giulio Moreno, Head of Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Goran Radman, Chairman, RCC Business Advisory Council; Albert Rakipi, Executive Director, Albanian Institute for International Studies; and others.

Journalists are invited to attend the opening of the conference on Wednesday, 24 February 2010, at 5 p.m., at Congress Hall – and the subsequent reception at 7 p.m. in Cafe Inn – of the Holiday Inn hotel, Zmaja od Bosne 4, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

More information about this event, including concluding remarks and presentations, is available HERE.

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