The Western Balkans: Transatlantic and Regional Cooperation - Building Strong Alliances

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Army Navy Club


9:30 a.m.

9:45 a.m.
Keynote Addresses

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Building a Robust and Innovative Private Sector
A robust, innovative, and competitive private sector is essential for socio-economic development in the Western Balkans. Today, the private sector contributes significantly to the region, but governments remain heavily involved. What must be done so that the private sector can generate more and better jobs, faster growth, and more substantial investment in the region?

11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Coffee Break

11:45 a.m. 12:30 p.m.
Military Industry: Transatlantic Cooperation for Stable Region
Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine has mobilized European arms manufacturers to boost production. Meeting wartime demands is challenging. What role can reputable military industry in the Western Balkans play? Will the U.S. – Adriatic Charter gain momentum as an important security and defense instrument in support of stronger regional cooperation?

12:30 p.m. – 13:30 p.m.
Lunch Break

13:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Enhancing Regional Connectivity
Regional cooperation is essential if Western Balkan countries are to progress in the EU stabilization and association process. Many efforts are under way, including the Western Balkans Berlin Process, Adriatic-Ionian initiative, Regional Cooperation Council, and the Open Balkans initiative –How can the countries of the region connect more effectively to address shared challenges?

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Coffee Break

3:15 p.m. 4:45 p.m.
Cyber Security in the Western Balkans: Meeting the Challenges
Ongoing cyber-attacks on public and private institutions and individuals across the region are prompting more cyber security readiness. The IT industry is booming in the region, spearheaded by new generations of talent. What are the challenges, how can the region best respond, and how can it connect more effectively with the US and the rest of Europe?

4:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Energy Diversification: Towards European Energy Independence
As the energy transition in the Western Balkans slowly proceeds, the region has been hit by a four-fold energy crisis: : electricity fluctuations, technical challenges, water scarcities, and skyrocketing biomass prices. Decarbonization and promotion of renewable energy under competitive procurement is the main economically viable alternative to a region subjected to ongoing pollution and reliance on coal. What are the immediate challenges and how can they be addressed?