Debate on Europe 2

I THEMATIC OUTLINE I As war again haunts the European continent, the political project Europe must...


As war again haunts the European continent, the political project Europe must be thought anew. Instead of ever closer integration of a few core European countries, further EU enlargement is now back on the agenda – not only as an economic and social objective, but as a security measure, so as to achieve long-term stability in an increasingly volatle geopolitcal situaton. The western Balkans are in focus again, together with Ukraine and Moldova. This is unquestionably shifting the centre of gravity to the east, not only geographically but also when it comes to whose perspective is relevant and whose is not.

But where does Southeast Europe stand today? What is its place in the new geopolitical constellation? Are its conflicts really a thing of the past? And how do different countries in the region approach the challenge of creating inclusive and sustainable societies, where minorities’ rights are the responsibility of the majority?

Following up on the Sofia Debate on Europe held in February and on the Belgrade Talks on War and Peace this autumn, leading experts, writers and opinion-makers will meet in Skopje to address
some of the most pressing issues on the agenda of the region and their relevance for Europe’s future. These questions are acute and urgent, highly political to their nature. But they are also the products of and have consequences for much more fundamental and long-term social and historical developments. The program includes public panel discussions and literary readings as well as internal sessions.

Join us to explore new ways of how the countries in Southeast Europe see themselves and each other – and how the region can play a constructive role in a common European future!

The 2nd Skopje Debate on Europe is organized by Debates on Europe and Kontrapunkt. It is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

Debates on Europe is a joint initiative of the S. Fischer Stiftung and the Deutsche Akademie fürSprache und Dichtung. Since its inception in 2012, the series Debates on Europe has been hosted in places where the idea of Europe is at stake. In international discussion forums organized in cooperation with local actors – mainly in East and Southeast Europe – it addresses the most pressing issues on the European agenda.


*whole program will be provided with simultaious translation in 3 languages: Macedonian, Albanian and English
Friday 17 November
18:30 Opening
Venue: Čifte Hammam, National Art Gallery

Kosovo Between Geopolitical Token and Conflictual Reality – Panel discussion

Kosovo is not only a country in Southeast Europe, diplomatically recognized by most EU members and currently receiving international attention due to the threat of its conflict with Serbia escalating. ‘Kosovo’ has also been turned into a symbolic token used in a geopolitical game. The rule-based world order is constantly put into question, not only by Russia and Serbia but also a whole range of European and global politicians and opinion-makers. “All rules are off,” they say. “Look at what happened in Kosovo.” What is at the core of this argument? And how harmful is the gap between the symbol ‘Kosovo’ and the real problems that need to be addressed – in Kosovo, in the region, in Europe?

Speakers: Sonja Biserko (Serbia), Veton Surroi (Kosovo) and Sergei Lebedev (Russia; inexile)
Moderator: Steinar Bryn (Norway)

Saturday 18 November
16:00 Might and Rights. The Role of Minorities and Majorities in Southeast Europe – Panel discussion
Venue: Čifte Hammam, National Art Gallery

The relation between minorities and majorities is key to many of the conflicts in Southeast Europe and the instrumentalization and ‘weaponization’ of minority groups by both domestic and foreign politicians remain a threat to stability. At the same time, the power of the majority – might – comes with great responsibility and the rights of minorities must be safe-guarded. How can a more constructive relationship between majorities and minorities be thought? What are the pillars of an inclusive society? These questions go well beyond ethnic, linguistic or religious groups and concerns LGBTQ and women’s rights as well.

Speakers: Robert Alagjozovski (North Macedonia), Linda Gusia (Kosovo), Gorana Pebić (Serbia) and Manol Peykov (Bulgaria)
Moderator: Kristof Bender (Austria)

17:30 Coffee break

18:30 Literature in Times of Conflict – Discussion and reading
Venue: Čifte Hammam, National Art Gallery

What is the place of literature in a world torn apart by war, social conflict and political turmoil. How free can literature be in an increasingly unfree world? And what does art and literature actually do with its freedom?

Speakers: Nikola Madžirov (North Macedonia), Arian Leka (Albania), Elife Krasniqi (Kosovo), Sergei Lebedev (Russia, in exile)
Moderator: Vladimir Jankovski (North Macedonia)

Sunday 19 November
10:00 Internal Networking Session – Discussion
Venue: CSP Centar Jadro

Споделено на: ноември 7, 2023 во 9:32 pm