- 24 November 2015
Policy Program | Seventh Southeast Europe Foreign Ministers’ Conference
Aspen Germany’s Seventh Southeast Europe Foreign Ministers’ conference took place in Berlin on November 24, 2015. The conference was hosted by the Aspen Institute Germany in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office and the Italian Embassy in Berlin. The Foreign Ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia as well as members of the German government, Bundestag, representatives of the EU and regional organizations, and delegates from Foreign Ministries including Italy, Austria, France, Great Britain, Turkey, and the U.S. discussed current security, political, and economic issues as well as progress and challenges of the individual countries in the EU integration process in a closed session. The following public event in the Italian Embassy in Berlin began with a panel discussion on “Attracting Investments – Improving the Legal and Business Framework in the Western Balkans”. Here questions regarding the improvement of the infrastructure, the region’s attractiveness for foreign investors, but also the brain drain due to the emigration of young and well-educated people were mentioned and controversially discussed. The following Foreign Minister’s panel was introduced by the opening speeches of Federal Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni. The subsequent panel discussion of the six Western Balkans Foreign Ministers covered a wide range of questions and points of discussion from the current refugee crisis to terrorism and the fight against foreign fighters, as well as the aspired EU membership and the current state of accession negotiations.