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Extended Conference Program

18:00 –18:15 Welcome

18:15-18:30 20th Anniversary Video 

18:30-19:00 Cooperation Appreciation Ceremony

Ambassador Kilian Wahl, OSCE    

   David Oberhuber, GIZ 

   Oleg Soldatov, COE 

Irena Ivanova, EUD Skopje   

 19:00 – 20:00 Cocktail

Panel 1

Geopolitics: The End of EU’s Normative Power?! How can EU Enhance the Effectiveness of Democracies in the Western Balkans?

The Western Balkans need good governance. EU as an external factor for good governance promotion needs to follow back on the output legitimacy of the European policies in the Western Balkans. Are they implemented, is the process of implementation without cronyism, corruption and do they deliver for the people? Can the crises of representative democracy in the Western Balkans be overcome with the change of how EU is monitoring the enlargement process?

Chair: Zhidas Daskalovski


  • Ruth Ferrero, University of Madrid
  • Ruslan Stefanov, CSD Bulgaria
  • Sokol Zeneli, Regional Action Lab Kosovo
  • Haakon Blankenborg, Special representative for the Western Balkans, Norway

Discussant: Zoran Nechev

Panel 2

Economy of the Future: Can the Social, Educational, Health Systems be Sustained with the Current Economic Model and the Needs and Perspectives of Generation Z?

Western Balkans face remarkable demographic shifts, population is aging, natality is dropping, people live miserable lives and the Generation Z has different needs, values and perspectives. This panel discuss the state of affair in the WB economies and the social, educational, health systems and seeks the answer to the question should the Western Balkans rethink the economic and social system of today to fit the generations of the future?

Chair: Kristijan Trajkovski


Danilo Vuković, University of Belgrade

Kiril Minoski, Consultant / Former Minister of Finance 

Zofia Polakiewicz, OECD

Stephen Ezell, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, USA

Discussant: Ana Mickovska Raleva


Case Studies

CRPM and GIZ: Business Model for Circular Economy in Wine Sector

This session aims to present the business model for organic waste management in the wine making industry. The model considers relevant national and local laws, municipal regulations and policies, background analysis of the waste and technological and chemical analysis for turning waste into energy. The model showcases how with innovation fostered through public private partnership a circular economy model can produce positive environmental results.

CYRKL Waste 2Resource Marketplace (online presentation)

Cyrkl is an international technology and consulting company specialising in circular waste management. Thanks to advanced technological solutions, Cyrkl helps companies turn waste into resources and thus into revenue with Europe’s largest digital marketplace for waste and residuals. With the Circular Waste Scans, they analyze companies’ waste streams and identify potential for CO2 and cost savings. Cyrkl provides market analyses and helps transfer recycling technologies and legislation. With these activities, Cyrkl brings innovation and circular economy principles to the world of waste management.

Panel 3

Towards a Just Circular Economy Transition

Discussion on tackling challenges on just transition through policy solutions and exchange of best practices in the field of circular economy solutions, introducing innovation in waste management, new technologies and effective and barrier-free circular economy supply chain measures and possibilities. Raising awareness about waste as a potential energy resource, regenerative production practices in businesses, and supporting young entrepreneurs in creating circular solutions. The panel highlights regional know-how exchange to promote a shift towards a just circular economy transition and sustainable use of natural resources. In sectors as diverse as plastics, bio waste, food, or textiles and with the strong engagement of both public and business sectors.

Chair: Fiona Imami, Co-Plan, Albania


  • Prof. Dr. Henning Wilts, Wuppertal Institute, Germany
  • Bojana Stanojevska Pecurovska, Center for Climate Change, Macedonia
  • Karolina Zubel, Case Poland
  • Amar Causevic, Morningstar Sustainalytics

Discussant: Ljubisha Vrencov 

Panel 4

Stability and Security: Does No War Mean Peace?

Security of the Balkans is a precondition for the development of the region. Firstly, the Balkans needs to be secure from external threats and influences. Russia, China, and to certain extent Turkey, have their own geopolitical ambitions that are counter to those of EU and NATO. The Balkan countries seek membership of the EU, but some develop ties with Moscow, Beijing and Ankara. This does not contribute to the stability of the region. The security of the region is also affected by ethno-nationalist tensions. EU neighbors do not shy from pushing nationalist agenda on Balkan candidate countries. What is to be done under these circumstances?

Chair: Erol Shakiri


Stefan Vladisavljev, BFPE Serbia

Sandro Knezovic, IRMO Croatia

Malazogu Leon, Consultant, Kosovo

Despina Syrri, Symbiosis Greece

Discussant: Ljupka Trajanovska


Workshop 1

Is a Regional Circular Supply Chain Possible?

Interactive workshop discussing efficient policies and measures for circular economy and circular supply chain solutions in the Western Balkans. Circular economy principles are becoming increasingly integrated into manufacturing and distribution strategies, but there are no developed supply chain systems in the Western Balkans, on the contrary, the prevalence of illegal dumping and informal waste management practices. Addressing these practices requires the enforcement of regulations and raising awareness about the need to complete changes in waste management in WB. The workshop will engage aspiring innovation, business and policy solutions in the region and will focus on deepening the understanding of the green economy, innovation and green entrepreneurship and waste management, including circular supply chains’ potential for the WB region and Europe.

Facilitators: Ivana Petrisková (CRPM) and Emil Angelov (SALAR International)

Workshop 2

Climate and Security

The workshop aims to bring together CSO representatives and relevant professionals, to discuss how climate change affects security related risks. The workshop will serve as a platform for discussing what are the possible approaches and strategies to mitigate the security risks and foster regional cooperation in addressing the interconnected challenges of climate change and security. More specifically, different experiences, from diverse regions from the globe will be shared on how climate change influence migration movements (considered as one of the major security risks), food and water security, disaster risks and how the society builds its resilience in combating such risks.

Facilitator: Kristina Jovanova, OSCE


Workshop 3

Donor and CSO Strategy Synchronization

The donor and CSO strategy synchronization meeting provides a venue for structured communication, coordination and cooperation between donors and CSOs that work towards similar goals.

The meeting will be a rare opportunity to link funding strategies for the region to CSO development and action strategies. Meetings like this can ensure better CSO alignment and less frequent doubled efforts.

For the purpose of the session CRPM will conduct a sector wide survey to identify challenges and CSO priorities so that the matching with donor priorities can happen.

Facilitator: Ksenija Putilin

  • Representative of international development and bilateral agencies
  • Representatives of CSOs from Western Balkans region

Outcome: a synchronized strategy will be shared with participants week after Conference

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