2013 Session 1: Bumpy Transitions in the Middle East: Security vs. Democratisation

Sofia Platform 2013

31 October – 1 November Sofia (Bulgaria)

For many years one of the problems of the Western Balkans was that the international community and media around the world perceived the situation there mainly as a security challenge. The democratization process and the economic development were left behind for the moment when real peace was achieved. With the latest developments in MENA the question arises if we are heading for a similar scenario. Is it too early to talk about democracy building before the weapons are locked and bombings are over? Can we say that some countries in MENA are already slipping towards the status of “a failed state”? The Balkans managed to stop this process, so what are the recipes or the remedies?

Bernardino Leon, EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean (Spain)

Anas el Gomati, Founder of Sadeq Institute (Libya)

Ahmet Han, Kadir Has University (Turkey)

Moderator: Vessela Tcherneva, Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (Bulgaria)