The CEU Center for European Neighborhood Studies (CENS) and the Andrássy University Budapest (AUB) cordially invite you to the conference: “Regional Cooperation and Regional Identity in the Western Balkans: Similarities and Differences”
Maintaining good neighborly relations and participating in regional cooperation, as explicit conditions for progress towards integration into the EU, is one of the most efficient tools in the hands of Brussels to support stability in the Western Balkans. With the aid of regional cooperation, the EU aims to foster a shared understanding within the region which should have a positive effect on the stabilization of political regimes in the area. Despite these efforts, the Western Balkan countries have not created a joint understanding or image of the region, have not agreed on what defines the region and where it belongs to, as some countries define themselves Central European or Mediterranean. The countries’ own perception/image is rather diverging, which drives the region apart instead bringing it closer together. The search for national differences seems to be prioritized, as distinctiveness assists in the nation building process. However, the nation building process in the western Balkans is confronted with other national minorities, who feel to belong to another state. The EU attempted to overcome this problem by de-nationalizing EU member states by creating a European identity and by implementing border-free travel.
In the first panel, the speakers will examine the image construction and belonging issues, while the second panel will focus on specific events in the region which shape the identity. The final round-table discussion will gather all the speakers for a more informal discussion with a high participation of the audience.
Please register with Christina Griessler (firstname.lastname@example.org).