The “Regional Stability in South East Europe” (SG RSSEE) study group met from 22nd to 25th of September in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The workshop took place for the 43rd time with 28 experts from various fields such as ministries and defense academies, security institutions, universities, non-governmental organizations and representatives of the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC).
Multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies in Southeast Europe
The focus of the experts’ presentations was on the opportunities and challenges arising from the multiethnicity and religious diversity in the region. Not disregarding the heterogeneity of Southeastern Europe, the experts discussed the countries – with a focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina – and compared challenges and lessons learned with each other. The points addressed ranged from the need for a political actions, to the balance between a communal identity in addition to one based on an ethnic identity, to the influence of political and religious representatives.
Versatility as the focus of the workshop
The regional and professional range of the participants allowed for a reflection on the topics from different perspectives. The participation of representatives of governmental as well as non-governmental organizations allows for an important exchange between them. The workshop therefore also provided an opportunity for networking among these different organizations.
Confidence-building measures and scientific exchange for recommendations
Since 1999, the National Defence Academy and the Directorate General of Defense Policy have been in charge of the international study group on the stabilization process in the Western Balkans within the framework of the “Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes.” Workshops are held twice a year to discuss current security policy issues at the academic and diplomatic levels.
The promotion of mutual understanding and trust within and between the States of Southeastern Europe is a fundamental goal of the study group. The following “Policy Recommendations” are drawn up by the members of the study group following each workshop. They are the result and provide the basis for a future joint scientific exchange. These policy recommendations are addressed to international decision-makers and intend to support the process of conflict resolution in the region.