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The discussions within 25 panels of the Belgrade Security Forum have identified that politics led by fear and populism represent a main threat to democracies, and an engine perpetuating the global disorder. The times are changing and the business as usual must be discontinued in Europe.

The multiple crises in Europe that have put the enlargement perspective on the backseat, have assisted the Balkan political elites in reviving old grievances and playing with warmongering. Instead of awaiting solutions led by Brussels, political leaders in South East Europe should take initiative to overcome bilateral disputes as a precondition for socio-economic development. Once more at the Belgrade Security Forum, the civil society and women political leaders from Belgrade and Prishtina have demonstrated their determination and courage to continue the dialogue even after serious setbacks.

The time has come for Belgrade-Prishtina dialogue to adapt comprehensive approach by developing a vision of common future and involving other actors such as business, local governments, and civil society.

The conversation led by Albanian and Serbian Prime Ministers at the Belgrade Security Forum demonstrated that dialogue despite all disagreements is possible, and should be expanded to the whole region. Reforms and development of resilient democratic structures need to be carried out by local actors in the region. This would entitle us all to advocate for intensification of accession process to the EU.

The meaningful dialogue is missing not only in the Balkans, but throughout Europe. The participants of the Belgrade Security Forum called for an open dialogue between European leaders, and more engagement in an honest conversation with their own citizens on why solidarity is needed for sustainable national and European solutions. A civil society could be an important factor in overcoming polarization within and across European societies by engaging directly with disenfranchised parts of society, especially youth.

The organizers of the Belgrade Security Forum are proud that in its sixth year, it managed to engage representative stakeholders from Vienna to Istanbul in a dialogue on key issues regarding the future of the entire Europe. Over the past three days, the Belgrade Security Forum has gathered more than 650 participants and close to 200 media representatives from Serbia, Albania and the region, as well as foreign correspondents. Engagement we provoked on social media was impressive as well.


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