SMART Balkans Regional Conference 2023

The Center for Research and Policy Making (CIKP) in cooperation with partner organizations from BiH and Albania, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway, organized a Regional Conference of the project SMART Balkans – Peace and Prosperity in the Western Balkans, which took place on 14 15.12.2023 in Hotel DoubleTree by Hilton, Skopje. The conference is addressing the Specific Objective 2 of the SMART Balkans project that works towards Developed strong regional partnerships between civil society organizations from the region of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, N. Macedonia and Serbia) and with their EU counterparts and public authorities. This will result in progress in forming cooperative relations between CSOs in the region and using regional experiences, know-how and examples for joint advocacy of solutions to the government and government institutions in the fields of policy and social planning, as well as governing. Key topics discussed were: Peace, stability, and good governance as a precondition for economic (and other) prosperity; Role of media in promoting peace, stability, and good governance; Government efforts to ensure peace, stability, and governance; Threats to peace, stability, and good governance, such as political extremism, ethno-nationalism, terrorism, and organized crime; Violence against women and girls. The Minister of Defense, Slavjanka Petrovska, also gave an opening address. There were also several panel discussions. NEXT-EM dooel was also present.