Starting in the evening of 25 April in the House of Europe we took on the challenge to address and explore the topic – “Values at Stake: Revisiting Normative Horizons for Southeast Europe”. Starting with the welcome address from Turkan Karakurt from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Zagreb and Senada Šelo Šabić from the Institute for Development and International Relations at 18.00 on Thursday. This was followed by a debate that tackled the question of whether values can unite us. This discussion was moderated by Vedran Džihić from the Institute of Political Sciences at the University of Vienna. Participating in the discussion were: Igor Štiks, Antonija Petričušić from the Law Faculty of the University of Zagreb, Bojan Baća from the Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe at the University of Rijeka and the Center for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz, and Dorian Celer from Rijeka 2020.
The next day, on Friday the 26th of April, the event continued with a full day of diverse keynotes and panels designed to further explore the topics. This took place at the Faculty of Political Sciences on Lepušićeva Street. It was in high attendance by students, as well as faculty members, NGOs, and institutes. The full event program is available here with a list of all keynotes and panelists that took place on that day.
The diverse topics discussed at the various panels were all engaging and relevant. The speakers brought in fascinating comparisons between the EU now and other situations around the globe throughout history. However, the discourses also managed to capture the current contextual and the contemporary challenges faced by the EU and the Southeast European regions. Important topics were discussed, such as Populism, its presence and rise on the continent and abroad, and particularism. Additionally, there was a fascinating discussion led by a diverse selection of speakers from across Europe during the second panel titled: “Reflecting SEE in Europe – normative horizon or marketplace”.
This event was a great success with a large turnout. By design, it was intended to be a thought-provoking discussion on the subject of Values by bringing together a diverse selection of participants from institutes, faculties, NGOs, and other experts. Organised by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, in cooperation with the Institute for Development and International Relations in the execution of the Jean Monnet Project EUlead, which is aimed at raising the level of awareness in Croatia of the EU, strengthening the EU agenda in Croatia and aligning the Croatian approach towards the Western Balkans (WBs) with that of the EU. This event was successful in exploring many important issues and topics with an engaging discussion with students and other stakeholders.