Annual Conference 2012
Sofia Forum for the Balkans: The Balkans in the Globalized World
The Sofia Forum for the Balkans was designed as an annual meeting of high-level policy and opinion makers from the Balkans, together with their counterparts from the EU, the United States, the Middle East and North Africa, for in-depth discussions about key issues that, although regional in nature, concern Europe and the transatlantic relationship.
For more than a decade, international policies towards the countries of the Western Balkans have been structured along the basic axes of maintaining stability and security, and furthering compliance with the standards for European Union accession. Yet as Europe confronts the need for intense internal institutional and economic transformation, public debate in the Western Balkans has increasingly turned to issues divergent from the region’s European agenda, for reasons related to the nature of political processes, economic difficulties, changing demographics, and the media environment. In this context, a reassessment of the policy agendas of the Western Balkan countries, and the identification of alternative elites to revitalize the constructive, pro-European agenda in the region, is of great importance. As a member of the EU and NATO in the region, Bulgaria has a special responsibility for enhancing the region’s long-term stability and integration.