- Published: 09.07.2023.
16th Dubrovnik Forum takes place
The main topics of this year’s conference were permanent geopolitical changes on the international scene brought about by Russia’s aggression on Ukraine. Special attention was attached to energy, food supply, stability and security of the Western Balkans as well as its European journey. The participants discussed the challenges Western Balkan countries faced on their path towards EU membership. In light of regional dynamics and geopolitical changes, ensuring security in the Balkans is growing increasingly important for the stability of the entire region and beyond.
The opening panel brought together high officials from various countries and organizations. These included Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, as well as EU High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell.
Plenković underscored that Croatia would help Ukraine in demining and war crimes prosecution, given our own experience from the Homeland War.
Jandroković stressed the importance of protecting democracy. The parliament speaker underlined need to protect the values such as peace, freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights, adding that we needed to explain to people that our societies had been built on those.
Addressing the panel via a video link were Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and OECD Secretary General Mathias Cormann.
Dubrovnik Forum saw the participation of other high officials, including European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica, foreign ministers of Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary and Special Representative to the Western Balkans Gabriel Escobar, EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Miroslav Lajčák, and High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Christian Schmidt. This year’s global conference also brought together representatives from countries such as Japan, China, India. Ethiopia, Armenia, and Egypt.
At a panel organized in cooperation with the OECD entitled “Labour Migration in South East Europe: How to Make the Most of It”, Grlić Radman delivered a keynote address underscoring the importance of Croatia’s OECD membership. OECD accession brings significant benefits to aspiring countries as it represents a recognition of economic development and quality of institutions, offering opportunities for cooperation, investment and alignment with international standards.