“The spirit of our endeavour is, To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield”

Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, President

The conference is organised under the High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic.
The Balkan region has been, since the Yugoslav wars of dissolution during the end of the past century, limited just to the Western Balkans and more precisely to the Balkan Six – after a period of rejection of the very term of “Balkans”, considered as ideally outside of Europe. Times are ripe to pick up a more concrete and strategically founded vision of the region: a peninsula delimitated by the Adriatic, Aegean and Black seas, whose security is inevitably interconnected and interdependent.
Well-founded historical considerations apart, these countries, notwithstanding their different positions or integration stages in the Euro-Atlantic community, share the same strategic interests: the viability and sustainability of their economies; the demographic decline and youth emigration often due to bad governance; the urgency to recover from the pandemic-induced depression; the need to diversify energy sources, especially the more polluting ones; the threat by organised crime; the importance of a balanced relationship with big external powers like China and Russia and of recovering stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
The security landscape has been particularly affected by: a negative combination of frozen and active conflicts on the shores of all three seas (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Syria, Transnistria, Ukraine, Georgia for instance) and the effects of an increased global powers’ competition.
The general political climate in the Euro-Atlantic community is marked by a widespread will to rebuild on a better foundation ties that not only are enduring, but that still provide a solid and shared protection, while continuing to project stability.
Structured into three panels, the discussions will start with a first panel dedicated to framing the current and future role of the EU in the Black Sea and Balkan regions with respect to the strategic competition among great powers (namely Russia, China, Middle Eastern countries) currently unfolding in the area.
The second panel will delve into the challenges of regional security, taking into account the role of NATO, the protection of critical infrastructure and of freedom of navigation.
Finally, the third one will discuss how international and regional cooperation can effectively tackle a very specific and distinct threat to the security of the area: powerful non-state actors, often helped by external organised groups, especially those dealing in trafficking and organised crime (arms, drugs, money laundering also through crypto-currencies, migrant exploitation, etc.).
All of this, finally in presence after months of webinars and hybrid events. 


28th of July 2021 (from 3 PM CEST)

Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa
Via Gerolamo Frescobaldi, 5, 00198 Roma



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