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BERLIN – German Air Force Col. Jörg Kunze, program director of the Seminar on Regional Security at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, welcomes 25 SRS alumni from 13 nations for the Community of Interest Alumni Workshop here. (Photo by German Capt. Christina Eder)

 

By Col. Jörg Kunze
Program Director, Seminar on Regional Security
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

BERLIN -- Representatives of countries aspiring to European Union membership and representatives of European Union member states gathered at the second Seminar on Regional Security Community of Interest workshop to discuss the challenges of EU accession from July 23 to 25 here.  

Led by Col. Jörg Kunze, Col. Günther Rozenits and Lt. Col. Andreas Hellwig, SRS COI 19-16 participants included 25 SRS alumni from 13 states either aspiring to EU membership or representing Southeast European EU member states.

During properly sequenced workshops, regional experts discussed the pros and cons of EU membership and the current public opinion towards EU membership within EU aspirant countries’ and EU member countries’ societies.

These discussions were enriched through a roundtable discussion with Sabine Stoehr, from the German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Klaus Woelfer, from the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Florian Feyerabend, from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation; Lt. Col.  Hans Peter Wamsler, the German defense attaché in Tirana, Albania; and, Christian Wehrschuetz, leading media correspondent of the Austrian Österreichischer Rundfunk.

For the first time ever at the Marshall Center, the number of female participants exceeded the number of male participants by far, representing more than 80 percent of the group.

On the final day, the working groups came up with programmatic proposals for how to overcome potential deadlocks in the EU enlargement process by sharing responsibilities and identifying steps for a way ahead for countries with aspiring EU states.

This COI interactive workshop serves as a follow-up to the first SRS COI, SRS 18-18 in Berlin.

The purpose of SRS COI workshops is to lead transatlantic partnerships to focus on timely topics of the EU.