Directors of IFIMES at the »Balkan Think Tanks« convention


Directors of IFIMES at the »Balkan Think Tanks« convention 


LJUBLJANA/TIMISOARA, 6 June 2024 – Directors of the International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) prof. dr. Zijad Bećirović and Bakhatyar Aljaf took part in the fourth "Balkan Think Tanks" convention in Timișoara, which was attended by researchers and representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey.

The convention is led by SETA, a foundation from Turkey, in cooperation with the New Strategy Center (NSC) from Romania and the University of Timisoara West, with the support of the Presidency of Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) from Ankara. The purpose of the convention is to facilitate dialogue between political researchers from the Balkans and to offer a space for discussion about current political issues. Previous conventions were organized in 2015 (Ankara), 2016 (Pristina) and 2022 (Ankara). The event consisted of several closed round tables on selected topics of the common political agenda of the Balkans.

Director Aljaf participated in the Balkans and Turkey in the transforming Global Geopolitics panel, where he gave an opening speech entitled Europe needs another 'Big Bang' expansion like 2004. Due to the geopolitical changes in Europe, Middle East and Central Asia, the European Union must now consider accepting Turkey and the countries of the Western Balkans.

Directors Bećirović and Aljaf met with the special envoy of France for the Western Balkans, René Troccaz, and invited him to a lecture at the institute. They spoke with NSC Director George Scutaru, who was a long-time member of the Romanian Parliament, a member of the Defense Committee and a former National Security Advisor to the President of Romania. The directors of IFIMES talked with prof. dr. Muhittin Ataman, director of foreign policy studies at SETA, and prof. dr. Mesut Özcan, director of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey.

On June 7, 2024, the directors of IFIMES also attended the international conference "Security Challenges in the Balkans", organized by the New Strategy Center (NSC) and the University of Timisoara West. 

Ljubljana/Timisoara, 6 June 2024