About Annual Forum '13

The First Annual Balkan Forum on Regional Cooperation took place on 7-9 February 2013 in Thessaloniki, Greece. The forum served as a platform for connecting multiple stakeholders and young leaders and for generating ideas and strategies to address key regional challenges and opportunities.  Participants in the inaugural forum brought a rich mix of experience and expertise to the table. The Initiative is committed to fostering and assisting a growing network of individuals and organizations that will collaborate across borders and sectors to pursue shared regional development goals and to develop innovative solutions to shared regional problems. 

  1. to discuss common agendas and capture initial thoughts about possible frameworks of cooperation;
  2. to examine the current situation in specific issue areas, identifying existing capabilities, assets, and constraints, as well as measures that need to be undertaken to fill gaps and push forward on regional initiatives;
  3. to generate ideas for collaborative initiatives - including initiatives that start small but will have real impact. 


18:00 - 21:30              Reception and Dinner

Keynote Speeches:  Yiannis Boutaris, Mayor of Thessaloniki
                                             David Burger, Deputy Director, Office of South Central European Affairs, U.S. State Department
                                             George Papandreou, Former Prime Minister of Greece


9:00 – 9:10         Welcoming Remarks
                                  Marika Theros, Balkan Forum Coordinator
                                  Stephen Heintz, President, Rockefeller Brothers Fund

9:10- 10:00        Rethinking Regional Cooperation: Concept, Approach, & Objectives
                                  George Papandreou, Former Prime Minister of Greece

                                   Framing Discussions: Opportunities and Challenges for the Balkans as a Region

                                   Jan-Erik Enestam, Nordic Council Secretary General
                                   Reflections on Nordic Cooperation: Past and Present

10:00-10:20       Coffee Break

10:20–12:00     A Framework and Vision for Regional Growth and Prosperity

What frameworks for cooperation might best support the transformation of a vision of an integrated region into effective regional initiatives? The purpose of this panel is to discuss key opportunities, constraints, and priorities for constructing a framework of cooperation and buildin vision for a region that promotes sustainable development, collective growth, and collaborative investment.
Moderator: Mark Freeman, Institute for Integrated Transitions
Speakers: Ashraf Ghani, Institute for State Effectiveness

Panel Respondents:  

                                   Shpend Ahmeti, American University in Kosovo
                                   Dorian Ducka, Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Energy
                                   Leonidas Makris, Political Advisor to Mayor of Thessaloniki
                                   Jelena Milic, Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies

12:00 – 12:30        Coffee Break

12:30 – 14:00         Regional Cooperation Initiatives
What lessons can the Forum draw from existing or past initiatives and how can effective approaches be adapted to meet the needs of our region? The purpose of this panel is to analyze and discuss several examples of regional cooperation and development, and think through the lessons they may provide for the Balkan Forum as it evolves from a generalized vision into concrete plans for policy action.

Moderator: Priscilla Lewis, US in the World Initiative

Speakers:          Darko Brkan, Zasto Ne (“Why not")
                                Gidon Bromberg, Friends of the Earth Middle East
                                Tryggvi Felixson, Nordic Council
                                Goran Svilanovic, Regional Cooperation Council

14:00-15:30        Lunch

15:45- 17:30     Parallel Workshop Sessions
Workshop Objectives: to discuss the current situation in each issue area, identifying existing capabilities, assets, and constraints, as well as measures that need to be undertaken to fill gaps and push forward on regional initiatives; to generate ideas for collaborative initiatives, and capture initial thoughts about possible frameworks for cooperation.


Shpend Ahmeti is a leading public policy researcher in Kosovo. He brings extensive experience from the civil society sector in Kosovo. In 2007, Mr. Ahmeti set up the Institute for Advanced Studies GAP, which he ran for three years. The GAP Institute is now one of the leading think tanks in the fields of good governance and economics in Kosovo. Mr. Ahmeti worked as an economist for the World Bank for many years, where he took part in the management of the World Bank portfolio in Kosovo and was part of the team that drafted the Public Expenditure Review for Kosovo. He also worked as a financial analyst for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. For the past seven years, Mr. Ahmeti has been teaching public policy and international political economy at the American University in Kosovo. Since 2010, he has been actively engaged in politics as part of the Vetevendosje movement. Mr. Ahmeti holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the American University in Bulgaria and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Miodrag Atanasievski is the president of the Macedonian Chamber of Tourism. He holds a bachelor’s degree in defense from the Faculty of Philosophy at Cyril and Methodius University. From 1981-1994, he taught defense at secondary schools in Skopje. From 1991 to 1996, Atanasievski was a member of the executive board of the Assembly of the Municipality of the Center, managing the portfolio for education, defense, and urbanization. From 1997 to 1998, he was director of LUNA travel agency, and from 1998 to 2001, he was the technical manager of the amusement park unit at JP “Parkovi i zelenilo”. Since 2002, he has been manager of LLC Luna – Skopje. In 1991, he founded the Reform Forces of Macedonia, and from 1991 to 2000, he was the president of the Municipal Organization – Center. From 1994 to 1997, he was an active member of the Liberal Party, and from 1998 to 2000, he was an active member of the Liberal Democratic Party. He is the founder and owner of the travel agency TEABO – Skopje. From 1992 to 1996, he served as the president of the board of directors of J.H. Pestaloci Primary School. Since 2007, he is founder and chairman of the board of the Association of Macedonians from Macedonia and the Diaspora. From 2008 until presently, he is the president of the Macedonian Chamber of Tourism. He has participated in several national and international projects such as “Together Home in Macedonia” supported by the Macedonian government in 2007, and “Create your own Future”, supported by the Agency for Youth and Sports in 2008.

Will Bartlett is a senior research fellow on the political economy of South East Europe at the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He holds an MA in economics from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in development economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He earned his PhD from the University of Liverpool on unemployment and migration in the former Yugoslavia. He has lectured at the Universities of Southampton, Bath, and Bristol, and was a research fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. From 2006-2008, he served as President of the European Association for Comparative Economic Studies (EACES). Dr. Bartlett has acted as a consultant to the European Commission, European Parliament, European Training Foundation, OECD, and other international organizations. His current research covers labor markets, vocational education, and skills gaps in South East Europe.

Jelena Berkovic coordinates public communications at GONG, a non-partisan civic organization founded in Croatia in 1997 to encourage citizens to actively participate in political processes. From 1998-2010, Ms. Berkovic worked as an editor and journalist on Zagreb’s Radio 101 and was involved in a similar capacity in the student paper REVOLT and the cultural magazine Gordogan. She studied journalism at the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb and holds an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Yiannis Boutaris was born in Thessaloniki. He studied at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki where he obtained his Diploma in Chemistry. In 1967, he received a Diploma in Enology from the Wine Institute of Athens. From 1969-1996, Mr. Boutaris served as assistant director, technical director, and managing director in a family business, J. Boutari & Son S.A., a company that produces, imports, and distributes wines and spirits. In 1996, he became managing director of Yannis Boutaris & Associates Ltd., a consulting company in the wine sector, where he remained until 2010. From 1998-2010, he was the president of the Kir Yianni S.A. winery, located at the privately owned vineyards of Yiannakohori and Amyndeon and run by his two sons. Mr. Boutaris served as a Municipal Counselor from 2002-2010. In the 2006 municipal election, he was a mayoral candidate as the leader of “Protovoulia for Thessaloniki” and receiving 16 percent of the votes. In the municipal election of November 2010, he was elected Mayor of Thessaloniki. Since 1980, he has served as president and as a member of the board of directors of many professional, cultural, and environmental organizations, such as the Assembly of European Wine Regions (AREV), the Academie Internationale du Vin, the Federation of Greek Wines and Spirits Industries, the Thessaloniki Film Festival, W.W.F. Greece, and the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization. He was also the founder of the Macedonian Museum of Modern Art in Thessaloniki and Arcturos, a non-profit organization aiming at the protection and management of the environment and wildlife. He has received many awards and distinctions including Winemaker of the Year 2003 from the Association of Greek Wine Journalists, and 2003 European Hero by Time Magazine for his work with Arcturos. He has two sons and a daughter. Mr. Boutaris is fluent in English and French.

Darko Brkan is the founding president of Zašto ne (Why Not), a Sarajevo-based non-governmental organization that promotes civic activism, government accountability, and the use of digital media and new technologies in deepening democracy in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In addition, he is a founding member of Dosta! (Enough!), one of BiH’s most prominent civic movements for social justice and government accountability. A leading civil society activist, Mr. Brkan began his career in civic activism more than ten years ago as coordinator of the Campaign for Conscientious Objection to military service in BiH. He graduated from the Faculty of Electric Engineering in Sarajevo with a degree in information technology and is an MBA candidate at the School of Economics and Business in Sarajevo, where he is majoring in strategic information management. Mr. Brkan was a Reagan Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, where he explored how information technologies and online tools can be used to promote democracy. He has won several awards in the field of innovation and new technology, including the U.S. Alumni Innovation Award in 2011. Mr. Brkan is a board member of the association of U.S. Alumni in BiH, a member of the political council of ACIPS, and a board member for Ekipa, a foundation promoting independent and socially engaged culture. He is a member of the Alumni of the Academy of Political Excellence of CoE since 2008, the Alumni of the Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict since 2010, and the Alumni of the U.S. Government after completing the IVLP Program in 2009.

Gidon Bromberg is the Israeli Director of EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East. Friends of the Earth Middle East is a unique regional organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists to promote sustainable development and advance peace efforts in the troubled Middle East. The organization has offices in Tel-Aviv, Bethlehem, and Amman. Mr. Bromberg co-founded the organization under the name of EcoPeace in 1994 and has been the Israeli Director ever since. In 1997, Mr. Bromberg led the entry of the organization into Friends of the Earth International. He has spear headed the advocacy campaigns of the organization both in Israel and internationally, and developed the cross border community peace building program Good Water Neighbors that is seen as a model for other programs in conflict areas. In 2007, Mr. Bromberg was invited to join the East West Institute’s International Task Force for Preventive Diplomacy. In 2007, Mr. Bromberg completed a World Fellowship on global leadership at Yale University, and was awarded by TIME magazine the title of ‘Environmental Hero’ 2008. In early 2009, Mr. Bromberg and his co-directors were awarded the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and in August 2009 were honored by a meeting with ‘The Elders’ organization led by former US President Jimmy Carter. In April 2010, Mr. Bromberg and the Friends of the Earth Middle East team were awarded a Green Globe Award for their work in Environmental Education in Israel. Mr. Bromberg is a member of the Israel UNESCO World Heritage Committee and the inter-ministerial committee for Sustainable Development in Israel. Mr. Bromberg is an attorney by profession, having previously worked in public interest environmental law, and is a member of the Israel Bar Association. He holds a bachelor of Economics and a Law degree from Monash University in Australia. As a fellow of the New Israel Fund he completed a Master’ degree in international environmental law at the American University in Washington, D.C. He has published over thirty academic and popular publications concerning Middle East environmental policy and water security issues.

Neven Budak has been teaching medieval history at the University of Zagreb since 1980. He was also a recurrent visiting professor at the Central European University in Budapest. Dr. Budak has published several books and over 60 articles in a number of countries. From 1999-2012, he served as president of the Croatian National Committee for Historical Sciences. He is a member of the International Commission for the History of Towns and of the Joint History Project (CDRSEE, Thessaloniki). Since January 2012, he has served as special advisor for science to the Prime Minister of Croatia.

Goran Buldioski is the director of the Open Society Foundations’ Think Tank Fund. He has experienced and contributed to the democratic transition of Central and Eastern Europe. His expertise encompasses strategic planning and capacity building for NGOs and policy research centers; organization and project management in the nonprofit sector, and development of democratic and participatory policy change in Eastern and Central Europe (CEE). Mr. Buldioski holds graduate degrees in public policy from the Central European University in Hungary, and in organizational behavior from the George Washington University. Before joining the Open Society Foundations, he worked for the Council of Europe, the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation, and the National Youth Council of Macedonia. His articles and research papers addressing think tanks, policy relevant research and democratic transition have appeared in the European Voice, Sharp! Magazine, the Turkish Policy Quarterly, LSE_UNDP Development and Transition Newsletter, the International Journal for Not-for-Profit Law and the Western Balkans Security Observer.

David Burger is Deputy Director for South-Central European Affairs at the State Department; the office is responsible for U.S. relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. He joined the Foreign Service in 1993, with postings in Pakistan, Singapore, Washington, Helsinki, Ankara (where he covered Iraq-Turkey issues), and most recently as Political-Economic Chief in Skopje, Macedonia. He is a four-time recipient of the Department’s Superior Honor Award. In summer of 2013, he will assume duties as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Betsy Campbell is the Vice President for Programs at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, providing leadership to the Fund’s program and grantmaking activities in the United States and internationally. Her responsibilities also include oversight of grants management and communications activities that support the Fund’s overall mission and program goals. Ms. Campbell began her career at Save the Children working with small enterprise and credit programs in Latin America and Africa. She served for 12 years at the Ford Foundation, as a program officer in the Rural Poverty and Resources program, as director of Community and Resource Development, and as senior director and deputy to the vice president for Asset Building and Community Development. Prior to joining the RBF in 2007, Ms. Campbell lived and worked in La Paz, Bolivia, where she provided consulting services to emerging foundations and a variety of environmental and community development organizations. She currently chairs the board of Winrock International and serves on the boards of the European Foundation Centre and the Center for Rural Strategies. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Campbell holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science in foreign services from Georgetown University.

Costa Carras is a co-founder and member of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeastern Europe and the Association for Democracy in the Balkans. At the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeastern Europe, he has special responsibility for the Center’s earliest initiative, the Joint History Project, which has successfully brought together scholars and education specialists from Slovenia to Cyprus. From 1996 to the end of 2001, Mr. Carras was co-chairman of the Business Advisory Council of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) with Rahmi Koc. His political activity dates back to the years of the opposition to the Greek dictatorship and continued with the founding of Friends of Cyprus in London in 1974, of which he remains an active member. An initiator of contacts between the Greek and Turkish business communities in 1985, he is currently the Greek Coordinator of the Greek-Turkish Forum. Mr. Carras was born in London where he lived until 1997. He holds a Double First in Ancient Greek and Latin Literature; and in philosophy and ancient history from Trinity College, Oxford. He also studied economics at the Littauer School of Public Administration at Harvard University before acquiring long and varied experience in business, particularly shipping, conservation, cultural matters, and religion.

Milan Culic was born in 1979 in the Republic of Serbia and graduated from the University of Westminster in 2006 in London, England. His master’s thesis won the MPI Foundation Youth Award for the best thesis in Europe in the convention and meetings industry category. Mr. Culic was voted Global 30 Under 30 by Meetings Professionals Magazine, as one of 30 people under 30 years old who shape and influence the global meetings industry. In 2008, as one of 204 honored citizens, Mr. Culic received a Special Status Passport from the Serbian Government. He currently serves as president of the Managing Board at the Center for Tourism Research and Studies, which he co-founded in 2008. Mr. Culic is currently a PhD student at SKEMA Business School in Sophia Antipolic in France, where he has served as a visiting lecturer in event marketing since 2010.

Jelena Curuvija Djurica graduated from the Faculty of Drama in 2000 in Novi Sad, Serbia. Since then, she has actively been working in theater in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Sombor, Subotica, and Vrsac in Serbia. Ms. Curuvija Djurica has over 40 theater premieres a several in television and film. Last year, she worked at the Sarajevo theater project, Hypermnesia, which included actors from Sarajevo, Pristina, and Belgrade.

Aleksandar Damjanovic has been a Member of Parliament in Montenegro since 2007. In this capacity, he has served as president of the Committee for Economy, Finance, and Budget of the Parliament of Montenegro; chief of the Parliamentary group of the Socialist People’s Party of Montenegro; and as a member of the National Commission for Fight Against Organized Crime and Corruption. From 2003 to 2007, Mr. Damjanovic served as the secretary of the parliamentary group of the Socialist People’s Party of Montenegro. From 1995 to 2002, he served as the inspector for finance at the Federal Ministry of Finance of the Government of Former Yugoslavia. From 1992 to 1994, he served as an advisor at the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Montenegro. He completed his studies at the Faculty of Economy at the University of Podgorica in 1992. In 1996, Mr. Damjanovic completed his postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Economy at the University of Belgrade. He was born in 1969 in Podgorica, Montenegro.

Dorian Ducka is the Director of the European Integration and International Projects at the Ministry of the Economy, Trade, and Energy of Albania, a position he has held for the past three years. Prior to joining the government, Mr. Ducka was the vice-international secretary at the International Department of the Socialist Movement for Integration for Albania, the third largest party in the country. He has founded and been involved in several Albanian non-governmental organizations such as the Albanian Free Forum, IDEA Institute, and the Albanian Atlantic Association of Young Political Leaders, which promotes reconciliation, political cooperation, and youth empowerment in Albanian politics. Mr. Ducka has been involved in international reconciliation and youth leadership in the Balkans and Europe. He has been a speaker at events hosted by the U.S. Congress and Senate, the UK House of Commons, and the Norwegian Stortingnet. Mr. Ducka holds a Bachelor’s degree in international relations from the Eastern Mediterranean University in Famagusta, Cyprus. He pursued postgraduate studies as a Chevening Scholar for Public Policy at Kings College London. He received additional advanced training from Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore, and the Vienna Diplomatic Academy in Energy Diplomacy. Mr. Ducka’s interests include traveling; books; investing in cooperation among the young generation; international networking; reconciliation; transformational business; international security and democracy promotion; energy security; and diplomacy.

Jan-Erik Enestam has extensive government experience in Finland and the Nordic Council. Since 2007, Mr. Enestam has been Secretary General of the Nordic Council in Copenhagen. Born in 1947 in Västanfjärd, Finland, Mr. Enestam received his Master’s of Social Sciences from Åbo Akademi in 1973. In Finland, Mr. Enestam has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs; Minister of the Environment; Minister of Defense; Minister of the Interior; Minister of Social Affairs and Health Care; Minister of Defense; Special Advisor to the Minister of Defense; Project Manager at the Nordic Council of Ministers; Municipal Manager for Västanfjärd; Development Planner and Head of Office for the Government of Åland; and Acting Researcher for Finnish Tourist Board in Åland.

Maro Evangelidou graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Florence and underwent additional training in urban planning at the Centre de Recherches d’Urbanisme (CRU) in Paris. She holds a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies (DEA) in Urban Planning - Regional Planning from the Institut d’Urbanisme de Paris at the Univerisité Paris XII (Val de Marne). Additionally, she participated in a master’s course on environmental management in DEA “Sciences et Techniques de l’Environnement” ENPC and Univerisité Paris XII -Val de Marne. Ms. Evangelidou has worked in the private sector as a consultant and at the Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment since 1980. She initially worked on general policy and institutional framework issues in the Department of Urban Planning, and then went on to work on guiding principles for studies, legislative proposals, decentralization of competences at the Monitoring Office of Urban Reconstruction Operation. At the Organization for Strategic Planning and Environmental Protection of Athens (ORSA), Ms. Evangelidou was responsible for strategic interventions in public and private areas (metropolitan parks and brownfield areas). Additionally, she has worked on European projects, mainly on coastal areas, and previously served as the head of the Division of Strategic Planning and Metropolitan Interventions of ORSA.

Tryggvi Felixson is a senior advisor at the Nordic Council in Copenhagen. The Nordic Council is an assembly of 87 Nordic members of parliament established in 1951. Before joining the Nordic Council in 2010, he served as Head of the Department for Environment and Resources at the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Nordic governments’ cooperative organization. Mr. Felixson has served with the Icelandic government in the Central Bank of Iceland, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of the Environment. For six years, he served as the managing director for an environmental NGO in Iceland. Mr. Felixson was born and raised in Iceland and is a resource economist by profession, educated in Norway, the United States, and Mexico.

Mark Freeman is the executive director of the Institute for Integrated Transitions. A Belgian and Canadian citizen, Mr. Freeman is an international lawyer and leading expert on human rights issues in contexts of democratic and post-conflict transition. During the last 15 years he has worked extensively with societies in transition including Algeria, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi, Colombia, DR Congo, El Salvador, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Nepal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Turkey and Zimbabwe. Mr. Freeman helped launch and direct the International Center for Transitional Justice, in New York and in Brussels, and is the author of several leading texts on issues of political and post-conflict transition including most recently Necessary Evils: Amnesties and the Search for Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2010). He is a lecturer-in-law on Transitions and Conflict Management at the KU Leuven Faculty of Law and previously served as Chief of External Relations at the International Crisis Group. Fluent in English, French and Spanish, he holds a B.A. in Humanitarian Studies from McGill University, a J.D. from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and an LL.M from Columbia Law School where he was a Human Rights Fellow and James Kent Scholar.

Eda Gemi is a researcher at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP). From 2010-2012, she was a research assistant at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence. Her main areas of research are migration and Southeast European studies, with a particular focus on social integration, transnational political participation, circular migration, and gender of migration. In the framework of her research activities, she has collaborated with Charokopeio University, the Center for Gender Studies of Panteion University, the Research Center for Gender Equality – KETHI, the Hellenic Migration Policy Institute - IMEPO, the Centre for European Constitutional Law, the University of Sussex, and the Economic University of Athens.

Ashraf Ghani is the co-founder and chairman of the Institute for State Effectiveness and the chairman of the Aspen Institute’s Market Building Initiative. He is the chairman of Afghanistan’s Transition Commission, responsible for overseeing handover of responsibility for security in Afghan provinces to Afghan National Security Forces. Having served as adviser to SRSG Brahimi in Afghanistan in late 2001, Dr. Ghani became the finance minister of Afghanistan during the Transitional Administration, widely credited with the design of Afghanistan’s integrated political, economic and security strategy between 2001 and 2005, in the form of the Bonn Agreement, the National Development Framework, the ‘Securing Afghanistan’s Future’ exercise and the design of the Afghanistan Compact. Dr Ghani was a candidate for United Nations Secretary General in 2006 and a candidate in Afghanistan’s 2009 Presidential elections. Previously, he served on the UN High Level Panel on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, IDEA, as a senior non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution, a board member of Brookings’ project on global insecurity, the Atlantic Council, and the World Justice Project of the American Bar Association. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World (OUP: 2008), and is a frequent commentator in the media.

Dennis Gratz was born in 1978 in Sarajevo. He graduated from the Law School of the University of Sarajevo in 2001 and received a Master’s in democracy and human rights at the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies at the University of Bologna in 2002. In 2003, he passed the bar examination and began work as an attorney in Sarajevo, specializing in marital law, copyright law, and law on media and freedom of press. From 2008-2009, he worked as a coordinator of the regulation work group with the DTT Forum of the Communications Regulatory Agency of BiH. Dr. Gratz was awarded a PhD from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg. His thesis dealt with systematic war crimes committed during the war in Bosnia 1992-1995, with a specific focus on elimination of local elites (theory of elitocide). Dr. Gratz published several scientific studies and essays on the topic of war crimes, constitutional issues, human rights protection, and implementation, and has been a lecturer and panelist on international and domestic scientific conferences and panels. Dr. Gratz is currently assistant professor at the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies of the University in Sarajevo and the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. From 2009 to 2010, he was a Fulbright scholar at Columbia University in New York. In 2010, he conducted a series of lectures on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia as a guest professor at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Studies at Hamburg University, Germany. Dr. Gratz is the co-founder and president of Naša stranka, a socio-liberal political party from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was a candidate for Centar Sarajevo municipal mayor during the 2008 local elections.

Yehuda Greenfield-Gilat is a licensed architect, a co-founder of SAYA/Design for Change and its Planning and Development Director. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. He specializes in the connection between planning, conflict resolution, and political economy. SAYA/Design for Change is an architecture and design firm, specializing in peace architecture- using design to inspire and envision peace in areas of intense conflict. The firm was founded in 2006, with the deep belief that architecture and design can play an essential, transformative role in disputed areas. In the years since, the firm has been commissioned by various NGOs, peace initiatives, and think tanks (the Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative, The Peres Center for Peace, the Center for Middle East Peace and more) to conduct studies, tools, campaigns and various collaborations with Palestinian architects and planners. Their work along the years- envisioning agreements and developing creative options and thinking for conflict resolution, create an extensive data-bank for peace making in the region, and have served leaders in former negotiations.

Milan Grubor is a senior advisor in the cabinet of the president of the National Assembly of Republic of Srpska. He was a participant in the first generation of the Southeast Europe Youth Leadership Institute at the University of Towson in the United States in 2001. Mr. Grubor was one of the founders and first presidents of the Council of Pupils of Republic of Srpska from 2001-2002. He was the founder and Vice President of the Union of Students of the Republic of Srpska from 2006-2007, and the founder and first president of the student parliament at the University of Banja Luka from 2008-2009. Mr. Grubor was the chief of AntiKor, a team that fought against corruption in higher education. From 2009-2010, he served as president of the Youth Council of Republic of Srpska. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Banja Luka in 2010. He is a columnist for Nezavisne novine newspaper in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He speaks English and French.

Stephen B. Heintz joined the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) in February 2001 as its fourth president. Founded in 1940 by the sons and daughter of John D. Rockefeller Jr., the RBF is an international foundation supporting social change to help build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. Before joining the RBF, Mr. Heintz held top leadership positions in both the nonprofit and public sectors. Most recently, Mr. Heintz was Founding President of Demos: A Network for Ideas & Action. Demos is a public policy research and advocacy organization working to enhance the vitality of American democracy and promote more broadly shared economic prosperity. Prior to founding Demos, Mr. Heintz served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the EastWest Institute (EWI), where he worked on issues of economic reform, civil society development, and international security. Based in Prague, Czech Republic from 1990 through 1997, Mr. Heintz worked extensively throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States. Mr. Heintz devoted the first fifteen years of his career to politics and government service in the State of Connecticut, where he served as Commissioner of Economic Development (1988-1990) and Commissioner of Social Welfare (1983-1988). In 1988, he helped draft and secure passage by Congress of “The Family Support Act, “ the first major effort to reform the nation’s welfare system. Articles written by Mr. Heintz have appeared in The International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal Europe and several books and journals. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Yale University.

Sladjan Ilic has served as the economic advisor to the Mayor of Strpce, Kosovo since June 2011. He is particularly engaged in the Brezovica ski resort revitalization project. Mr. Ilic earned a Bachelor’s degree in economy at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and the University of Belgrade, Serbia. He is a seven-time national champion in alpine skiing and a member of the 1992 Yugoslav Olympic team in Albertville. Until 2000, he was engaged in private entrepreneurship, primarily in the field of winter tourism. After the war in Kosovo, Mr. Ilic worked as the director of the OSCE’s NGO Resource Center in Strpce for a year. He also founded a local independent radio station and worked as a journalist. In 2002, he founded the Serbian Democratic Movement in the municipality of Strpce, ran for election, and was elected municipal president. In 2004, he resigned and became a member of the Kosovo Parliament as an independent candidate. Since 2007, Mr. Ilic has worked on various international projects focused on the economic empowerment of vulnerable groups and on providing concrete financial aid to communities in Kosovo.

Christina Koulouri is professor of modern and contemporary history and director of the Research Center on Modern History at Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences in Athens, Greece. Dr. Koulouri also serves as chair of the History Education Committee of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe (CDRSEE). She studied at the University of Athens, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and Paris I - Panthéon – Sorbonne, where she received her PhD. Dr. Koulouri is the author of several books and articles in Greek, English, and French on the teaching of history, the history of historiography, national identity, and the history of sports. She has also authored several school textbooks. Dr. Koulouri is the editor of four alternative educational workbooks for teaching modern and contemporary history in Southeast Europe. Dr. Koulouri has been a member of committees for the authorization of history textbooks in Greek secondary schools and a member of the project group of the Council of Europe on Learning and Teaching the History of Europe of the 20th century from 1996-2000. She has lectured at several international conferences in Greece, Western and Southeast Europe, the United States, Japan, Taiwan, and China. She is the coordinator of the project “Classifying and Registering the Historical Archives of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) and of the International Olympic Academy (IOA)”. She is also the coordinator of the team of historians from five Balkan countries for the project Balkan Tale, a comprehensive project on Ottoman and Balkan history funded by the Goethe Institute.

Leonidas Makris has been working as an advisor to the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Mr. Yiannis Boutari, since July 2012. His tasks include working on the political agenda of the mayor as well as addressing issues of political communication. Since February 2012, he has taught courses on political communication, comparative politics, state and society, democracy and dictatorship, social movements, and the history of political ideas at the Department of Political Science at the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. From 2010-2012, he was a lecturer at the BSc program in Politics and International Relations at DEI College in Thessaloniki, where he taught comparative politics, democracy and democratization, and international institutions. Dr. Makris holds a PhD in Political Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also a licensed psychologist and previously worked as a psychologist. His main activities included counseling individuals with minor psychological disorders, conducting personality assessments, and evaluating mental conditions according to DSM-III-R. He is fluent in Greek, English, and Spanish.

Jelena Milić is among the most influential political analysts in Serbia and the Western Balkans. She worked with Goran Svilanović, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro and later of Serbia during his term at the Stability Pact of Southeast Europe Department. She also worked as a political analyst and researcher for the International Crisis Group and the Helsinki Committee in Serbia. Ms. Milić has authored several articles and essays. Her areas of expertise include Serbian security sector reform; Serbia-EU and Serbia-NATO relations; Kosovo; and the linkages among non-violent regime change, transitional justice, and security sector reform.

Suljo Mustafic was born in Bar, Montenegro in 1973. He graduated from the Department for South Slavic Literature and Serbo-Croatian Language at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad, Serbia in 1997. Since 2009, he has been a Member of Parliament in Montenegro and chief of the Club of the Bosniak Party in the Parliament of Montenegro. In the 25th Convocation of the Parliament, he was elected vice president. He is a member of the Committee for International affairs, the Committee of Defense, and the Constitutional Committee. He is also a member of the parliamentary board for stabilization and for the joining of the Parliament of Montenegro and the European Union. He speaks English and Turkish. He lives in Bar, Montenegro.

Andrej Nosov founded the Youth Initiative for Human rights in 2003, which he directed until 2009. Mr. Nosov developed programs for regional cooperation that focused on dealing with the past and on youth activism in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia. In 2009, Mr. Nosov founded the Heartefact Fund, a regional grant-giving and art production foundation. Under his management, Heartefact works in Kosovo, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 2001 to 2003, Mr. Nosov was a journalist at Danas Daily Serbia, Radio Free Europe, and other local media outlets. He is a lawyer and theater director by training. He produced and directed more than ten theater and film productions, which have received awards at several festivals in past three years.

Darko Pajovic is currently the president of a new parliamentary political party in Montenegro, Pozitivna Crna Gora (Positive Montenegro). Pozitivna Crna Gora won 9 percent in the October 2012 elections. He represents and manages the party, implements its policies, determines and presents its political views, and coordinates the cooperation of all its bodies. For twelve years prior, he was the founder and director of the non-profit organization Green Home, where he conducted several major environmental projects. He organized a major campaign for the protection of the Tara River Canyon in 2004, and the Campaign against the Montenegrin Government’s plan to build power plants on the Moraca River in 2010. Mr. Pajovic is also an International Union for the Conservation of Nature expert and has authored several publications in the field of environmental protection. He was a member of the National Council for Sustainable Development of Montenegro, and of the Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO. His professional experience also includes work in human reproduction: he is the creator of the first in-vitro baby in Montenegro; member of ESHRE European Society of Human Reproduction; author of over 40 scientific papers in the field of human reproduction; and has presented at scientific conferences since 2003.

George A. Papandreou graduated from Amherst College and holds an M.Sc. in Sociology and Development from London School of Economics. He was a fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs (1992-1993). An MP since 1981, he served in several government posts, as undersecretary of Culture and Minister of Education, before becoming Foreign Minister from 1999-2004. Mr. Papandreou has received several honors for his commitment to promote peace and democracy, as well as for fighting racism, and notably for his successful campaign, as Foreign Minister, to engineer a rapprochement between Greece and Turkey. He is Vice Chairperson of the International Olympic Truce Foundation, an institution he actively promoted when the city of Athens was awarded the 2004 Olympic Games. An active supporter of the information society and e-democracy, in 2003 Mr. Papandreou was selected as one of the “25 People Who are Changing the World of Internet Politics.” As President of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) from January 2004 - March 2012, Mr. Papandreou launched radical reforms of the Greek party political system. He served as Prime Minister of Greece from October 2009 - November 2011. Mr. Papandreou was unanimously elected as President of the Socialist International in January 2006, a position which he currently holds, as well as being a Member of the Greek Parliament. In fall 2012, he was a visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. In spring 2013, he will be teaching as SIPA Global Fellow at Columbia University in New York. Mr. Papandreou is married to Ada, and has two children, Andreas and Margarita-Elena.

Spyros Pengas is the deputy major of Thessaloniki. He studied political science and international relations at the University of Freiburg and the University of Munich. He worked as an intern at the UNHCR local office in Brussels, Belgium and returned to Greece in 1994 to work for a family business in oriental carpets. Mr. Pengas founded Eastern Paths, a nongovernmental organization that brings people from Greece to eastern Asian countries to introduce them to the local culture. He participated in the 2006 and 2010 local elections in Thessaloniki with Mayor Yiannis Boutaris and the Initiative for Thessaloniki. In 2010, he was elected Deputy Mayor receiving 1.111 votes. Mr. Pengas has served as deputy major since 2011.

Dukagjin Pupovci is executive director of the Kosovo Education Center (KEC), one of the most prominent education organizations in Kosovo and the region. As an education expert, Dr. Pupovci has contributed to the development of the most important policy documents in the field of education and research in Kosovo, specifically through his membership in national policy making and advisory bodies. Additionally, he has co-authored numerous studies and articles on education and research in Kosovo. Dr. Pupovci worked as an education consultant in several Western Balkan countries. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics and is a full-time professor at the University of Pristina. He also teaches at the Higher School for Education in Tirana.

Boris Raonic is from Podgorica, Montenegro. He is the president of Civic Alliance a nongovernmental organization in Montenegro. In the early 1990s, Mr. Raonic was an active member of the liberal party of Montenegro (LSCG). During his studies at the University of Montenegro Faculty of Law, he founded one of the first nonprofit organizations in Montenegro. He has also worked as a journalist, at the Nansen Dialogue Center, and as the Director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights. He was a pioneer in the promotion of conscientious objection in Montenegro and a member of the crisis group for the protection of the Tara River. Mr. Raonic is the author of numerous articles in the fields of dialogue, tolerance, political culture, and dispute resolution, and a producer of two documentary films dealing with the subject of facing the past. He is a member of the National Council for European Integration, Director of the School of Democratic Leadership where he is the representative from Montenegro to the Council of Europe’s School of Political Studies, and serves on several nonprofit boards. He is married to Milena and is the father of Teodora.

Ilir Salihu is the chief of staff for the President of Kosovo. He holds an MBA (Honors) in Strategic Management from the IEDC – Bled School of Management in Slovenia. He also attended an industrial management program at the University of Management and Economics in Vaxjo, Sweden. Mr. Salihu began his professional career with the Department of Trade and Industry as an officer in charge of oversight of the management of state owned enterprises (SOEs) in Kosovo. He then moved to the Kosovo Trust Agency, an institution in charge of the privatization of SOEs and oversight of the management of public utilities (POEs). In 2005, Mr. Salihu was appointed deputy managing director of KTA and director of the POEs department. During his leadership, KTA incorporated all POEs and established a sound corporate governance system in enterprises that employed over 15,000 employees. During 2005-2008, Mr. Salihu chaired the board of directors of Post and Telecommunications of Kosova, j.s.c (PTK) and Pristina International Airport, j.s.c. Under Salihu’s direction, PTK accomplished an important transition from a company with a socialist mindset to one oriented towards a market economy. Similarly, Pristina International Airport was selected as the best airport in the category of under-1-million-passengers by the Airports Council International (ACI). Mr. Salihu worked as an economic adviser at the International Civilian Office from July 2008 until March 2011. In April 2011, he joined the cabinet of the President of the Republic of Kosovo as an economic adviser and has served as chief of staff since February 2012.

Evangelia Stamouli has served as advisor on International Environmental Affairs to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment, Energy, and Climate Change in Greece since 2011. She also served as an expert on the Western Balkans at the Department of International Relations and European Union Affairs from 2010-2011. Ms. Stamouli is the national representative for the integrated management of the extended Drina river basin, is the alternate focal point for the Aarhus Convention, and represented Greece at the Rio20 Conference. She studied political science at the University of Crete and holds a Master’s degree in Southeast European Studies from the University of Athens as well as a Master’s degree in global environmental governance and sustainable development from Panteion University in Athens. She is a graduate of the Greek National School of Public Administration.

Paul Stubbs was born in Liverpool, UK in 1959. He studied sociology, social policy and social work at the Universities of Hull, Leicester, Warwick and Bath, UK. Since 1993, he has lived and worked in Croatia, originally based in a refugee camp in Istria. On moving to Zagreb, he combined activism, research, and consultancy. He was a founding board member of the Centre for Peace Studies in Croatia. Since 2003 he has been a senior research fellow at the Institute of Economics in Zagreb. His main research interests, reflected in his publications, are social policy in South-Eastern Europe, policies as translation practices, community development and mobilization, and computer-mediated activism. He is a member of the editorial board of the Croatian Journal of Social Policy. He co-edited (with Bob Deacon) Social Policy and International Interventions in South East Europe (Edward Elgar, 2007), and (with Christophe Solioz) Towards Open Regionalism in South East Europe (Nomos, 2012).

Goran Svilanovic took office as the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council on 1 January 2013, following the appointment by the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Foreign Ministers in Belgrade on 14 June 2012. A Serbian diplomat and politician, he previously served as Co-ordinator of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (2008-2012). In November 2004, he became Chairman of Working Table I (democratization and human rights) of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, where he served until the end of 2007. He was member of the Senior Review Group of the Stability Pact, which proposed the transformation of the Stability Pact into the Regional Co-operation Council. From 2000 to 2004, Mr Svilanovic was Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was renamed to Serbia and Montenegro in 2003. Between 2000 and 2007, he was a Member of Parliament. He was President of the Civic Alliance of Serbia political party (1999-2004). With Ph.D. from the Union University in Belgrade, Masters and undergraduate law degrees from the University of Belgrade, Mr Svilanovic has also studied at the Institute for Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, the University of Saarland in Germany, and the European University Center for Peace Studies in Staadtschlaining, Austria. Mr Svilanovic has worked with a number of organizations and committees, such as the Centre for Antiwar Action (1995-1999), the International Commission on the Balkans (2004-2006) and the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights (2007-2008). Since 2008, Mr Svilanovic has been Assistant Professor of Law at Union University in Belgrade. Goran Svilanovic speaks Serbian and English. He was born on 22 October 1963. He is married and has two children.

Despina Syrri is the president of Symbiosis. She serves on the Thessaloniki Municipality Migrants’ Integration Council and is currently involved in research on irregular migrants detention centers at the Greek-Turkish border, the treatment of third country nations at Europe’s external borders together with ELIAMEP, and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency. She is participating in the development of a European Master’s program on humanitarian action for the EC Department of Balkan, Slavic, and Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki. She has been a visiting fellow at the Amsterdam Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Director of Research and International Cooperation at the Immigration Policy Institute in Greece, and taught political science and political anthropology at the American College of Thessaloniki. Ms. Syrri has worked with the Reuters News Agency, Athens News Agency, South East Europe Research Centre, Berlin Migration Netzwerk, British Council, Oxford Refugee Studies Centre, EastWest Institute, as well as international and nonprofit organizations in Southern Africa, Eastern and Southeast Europe on issues of post-conflict development, elections, migration, refugees, borders, and the Western Balkans’ integration into the European Union.

Sumeja Tulic holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the Faculty of Law in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a Master’s degree from the European Regional Master’s Program on Democracy and Human Rights in Sarajevo. Since 2011, she has worked as a program officer for Civil Rights Defenders for the Western Balkans and as a member of Sarajevo War Theater (SARTR-SARAJEVO) since 2008. Ms. Tulic is one of the founders of Kontakt Association in Sarajevo, an organization focused on the theatrical analysis of social problems. As an actor, she has worked in many European productions in Belgium, Italy, Germany, and Greece.

Alban Ukaj is an actor from Kosovo residing in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He graduated from the Sarajevo Academy of Performing Arts in 2004 and has been working at the Sarajevo War Theater since 2008. He is active both in film and theater. Most recently, he has appeared in Greek director Menelaos Karamaghiolis latest project and others including a Palme d’Or awarded production. He is currently performs in the documentary theater production Hypermnesia and a BITEF theater production. His work focuses on regional cooperation programs such as continuous engagement with Belgrade’s Heartefact Fund and various projects in Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia. He is one of the cofounders of Kontakt, an association dedicated to the promotion of research in theater, with a focus on engagement of marginalized groups. Mr. Ukaj is currently writing and directing a short film based in Pristina with coproduction from Belgrade.

Ivan Vejvoda is the vice-president for programs of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. From 2003 – 2010, he was the executive director for the Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of GMF. He served in 2002-2003 as senior advisor on foreign policy and European integration to the Serbian prime minister – first to Zoran Djindjic and subsequently to Zoran Zivkovic. Prior to his service in the Serbian government, Mr. Vejvoda was the executive director of the Belgrade-based Fund for an Open Society from 1998-2002. During the mid-1990’s, he held various academic posts in the United Kingdom and the United States, including a one-year stints at Smith College and Macalester College in the U.S. and a three year research fellowship at the University of Sussex in England (1993-1996). He was a research fellow at the Belgrade Institute of European Studies (1984-1993). Mr. Vejvoda has published widely on the subjects of democratic transition, totalitarianism, and post-war reconstruction in the Balkans. In addition, he was a prominent figure in the opposition movement in Yugoslavia in the 1990’s. In Belgrade, he was the co-founder of the Democratic Forum in 1989 and of the Belgrade Circle – Association of Independent Intellectuals in 1992. He has co-edited Democratization in Central and Eastern Europe (Pinter 2000, Continuum 2002) and Yugoslavia and After (Longman 1997). He holds a Diplome from the Institut d’etudes politiques of Paris (1972) and completed postgraduate studies at the University of Belgrade. He has been awarded the French National Order of Merit and the Order of the Italian Star of Solidarity

Toni Vidan is the Energy and Climate campaigner of the environmental organization Zelena akcija (ZA)/ Friends of the Earth Croatia, serving previously as president and on the executive board. He is currently working on establishing an educational center on sustainable energy in former military barracks on Šolta Island near Split, Croatia. Since 1991, he has been active in international climate negotiations and helped establish the Global Environment Facility. He has participated in several international climate initiatives, including as the Coordinator of Climate Action Network for Central and Eastern Europe (1992-1995), and as the treasurer of Friends of the Earth International. Mr. Vidan also works with a number of consultative bodies in Croatia and internationally, including the as an observer at the Environment Committee of the Croatian Parliament; chair of the Croatian National Committee for the Development of the Civil Sector; and with the Southeast Europe Environment Forum. Mr. Vidan was recently elected as a future member of the European Economic and Social Committee.

Bosiljka Vukovic is the head of the Division for the Support to the National Council for Sustainable Development at the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism in Montenegro. She has been working in the area of sustainable development in her native country, Montenegro, since 2007. Ms. Vukovic previously served as head of the Office for Sustainable Development, a body in charge of cross-sectoral coordination of national strategic and long-term development policies. She serves as secretary of the National Council for Sustainable Development, a multi-stakeholder advisory body of the government of Montenegro on issues of sustainable development, chaired by the Prime Minister. As a national focal point for the UN Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) and the national preparations for the Third World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), she has been actively involved in the UN and EU sustainable development processes. In 2011, Ms. Vukovic was elected vice-chair of the Bureau for the 20th session of the CSD on behalf of the UN Eastern European Group. Prior to returning to Montenegro, she worked in grassroots development programs, most notably in Serbia, on monitoring and evaluation of infrastructural, community building, and agricultural development projects. She completed her Master’s degree at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University with a concentration in international economics and European studies.



Final Report of the First Annual Balkan Forum Meeting in Thessaloniki, February 2013.