- 5 September 2016 - 8 September 2016
Policy Program Western Balkans Conference on “Countering Radicalization, Nationalism, and Division: How to Better Promote Inclusive, Multi-Ethnic, Liberal Societies?“
On September 05-08, 2016, the Aspen Institute Germany with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office hosted a conference in Alt-Madlitz. The topic of the conference was “Countering Radicalization, Nationalism, and Division: How to Better Promote Inclusive, Multi-Ethnic, Liberal Societies?”. The rise of nationalism and social divisions in Europe, and especially in the Western Balkans, have put democracy to a test. Against this background, the conference focused on the role of politics, civil society, and media to encounter nationalism and ethno-nationalism and advocate for reconciliation and peaceful coexistence in the region. The discussions included topics like regional cooperation on different levels, responding to radicalization, and the importance of reconciliation between countries and regions in the Western Balkans. Participants discussed with members of the German Bundestag as well as with State Minister for Europe, Michael Roth, about cooperation between the European Union and the countries of the Western Balkans, and Germany’s special role in the context of political rapprochement. Overall the discussions pointed out that the combination of rising nationalism, EU enlargement fatigue, and lack of economic perspective puts the development of the region at risk.