4 June 2014, University of Bonn
“South Eastern Europe: Enabling Sustainable Development of the Region - Vision instead of Prejudice”
On June 4th 2014, Dr. Kerim gave a lecture at the University of Bonn in Germany speaking on the relevance of the Balkans, the unique cultural diversity and geopolitical positioning of the region as well as the crucial role of the EU and NATO in the process of stabilization and peace building for the Balkan nations. Suitably entitled “South Eastern Europe: Enabling Sustainable Development of the Region” Dr. Kerim’s lecture shed light on the concept of “vision instead of prejudice” and diversified the perception of the Balkans as a territory of enriching beauty and long-withstanding traditional values.
Dr. Kerim argued that we must not regard the challenges and future prospects of Southeastern Europe in divergent isolationism because they are common and shared with most European nations. “In treating the region not as an isolated corner of Europe, but rather as the passageway to the world beyond the West, the European Union can only benefit from the Balkans” Dr. Kerim confirmed. Consequently, he asserted that all preconceived notions and controversies about the Balkans be surpassed in order for a new political narrative to take place.
His second conclusion introduced a distinct observation about the Balkans in the 21st century stating, “the peoples and nations in the Balkans have the opportunity to be their own architects, i.e., to do the designing of their own states, their bilateral relations, their intraregional relations as well as the integration of the region into the EU.” This unique process of development, Dr. Kerim spoke is immensely aided by the presence of NATO acting as a “security umbrella” for peace and stability in the region. As an underlined message, Dr. Kerim emphasized that the new reconciliatory and progressive era for the Balkans will occur gradually, through a process of regional cooperation, the creation of synergies and infrastructural networks.
Full text (English version)
Full text (German version)