The Marshall Center's Dr. Valbona Zeneli comments during a panel discussion. (Courtesy photo)
SKOPJE, Macedonia - Under the topic "Meeting the Challenges of EU Membership and NATO Accession – Macedonia and her Neighbours" more than fifty distinguished security experts with military, political and civil society backgrounds from twelve countries of the region and beyond gathered in Skopje, Macedonia from Sept. 27-29.
In her welcome address Radmila Shekerinska, chairperson of Macedonia's National Council for EU Integration, stressed the importance of dealing with the challenges of the region and encouraged open and constructive discussions. The Austrian Ambassador to Macedonia Thomas Baier officially opened the 25th workshop by expressing his appreciation to the organizers for holding a workshop on such an important topic. The workshop will result in policy recommendations with realistic, current and relevant proposals for immediate implementation in the national policies addressing the discussed challenges.
After very open and frank discussions of the internal challenges for Macedonia's security, stability and progress, the participants explored new perspectives through bilateral cooperation and finally shared views of international actors on the uneven path to Euro-Atlantic integration.
The workshop was supported by the Austrian National Defence Academy, Vienna/Austria; the Directorate General for Security Policy at the Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sports, Vienna/Austria; the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation; the consortium's study group on regional stability in South East Europe, and the two think-tanks Analytica and Progres Institute for Social-Democracy stationed in Skopje/Macedonia.