Balkan Borrel

Linking Europe is a partner organization with PAX for setting up twice yearly the networking event on the Western Balkans in the Netherlands. The Balkan Borrel consists of a debate on ongoing affairs with experts in the field and informal drinks afterwards. Keep an eye on our calendar for the next event!

Several previous editions were co-organized by Linking Europe. Click on the image of the flyer for a better view.

Our Future Europe, dealing with conflict and Diversity

15 October 2014

The participants of the Our Future Europe project discussed their past and Europe’s future with students and active citizens interested in conflict and diversity. Eighteen active youths from Serbia, Kosovo and The Netherlands gathered in the Netherlands for an exchange and they are enthusiastic to spread their ideas with their peers. CS Ubuntu (study association of Conflict Studies), Djembé (study association of Anthropology), NGO Linking Europe and peace organization PAX made it possible for Dutch youth and active citizens to participate in the exchange of perspectives on conflict and diversity in Europe with all participants. A conflict simulation game and a shared narrative of the Kosovo War were part of the evening.

North Kosovo 2020 Constructing future scenarios

27 June 2014

Even though the war has ended 14 years ago, Kosovo remains highly divided. Especially the people in the northern municipalities of Kosovo are trapped in a situation of uncertainty and insecurity. PAX constructed several future scenarios for northern Kosovo. The report ‘North Kosovo in 2020. Future histories in the making was presented in Brussels just before this Balkan Borrel. At the event we discussed the scenarios with our partners from Kosovo. The following guests were present:

  • Nenad Djurdjevic (Coordinator of The Forum for Ethnic Relations)
  • Tanja Lazarevic (CRZ, Centre for Communities Development)
  • Aferdita Sylaj (Director at CBM, Community Building Mitrovica
  • Nataša Saveljić (Project Manager at CBM, Community Building Mitrovica)

The evening was organized by Linking Europe Project Coordinator Iliriana Banjska in cooperation with PAX

Activism in Divided Bosnia: from Census to Consensus?

10 December 2013
Balkan Borrel 10 december

Is there a growing tension between citizens and politicians in ethnic divided Bosnia-Herzegovina? Last summer thousands of citizens from different ethnic backgrounds took to the streets, after politicians failed to adopt legislation for new personal identification numbers. Also the census this fall caused political commotion.

In the middle of nationalist campaigns, activists from Zašto ne (“Why Not”) call on the Bosnian people not to declare their ethnicity, but to register as ‘other’. Darko Brkan, leader of the organisation Zašto ne, will speak about the power of the people in Bosnia’s present and future. Also featuring for intensive group discussions: Dion van den Berg (IKV Pax Christi), Marko Prelec (Executive Director Balkans Policy Research Group),  Laura Boerhout (historian Southeastern Europe), Danijel Tadic (Project Manager at Max van der Stoel Foundation), Aferdita Sylaj (Executive Director Community Building Mitrovica) and representatives of Bosnian youth group Mladi BiH. The evening is presented by Linking Europe’s president, Theresa Song Loong.

From Croatia to Kosovo: A European Peace in Process?

13 June 2013
BalkanBorrel 13 juni

The road to the EU is to pave the way for peace in former Yugoslavia. But the road is long and bumpy. This summer, after almost a decade of talks, Croatia will become the 28th member state of the European Union. Also Kosovo and Serbia are expected to move closer towards Europe now they have concluded an agreement on northern Kosovo. The EU has been a major driving force behind reforms and cooperation in and between these war-torn countries, but what are the effects of EU accession on the ground in Croatia, Serbia and Kosovo? How do citizens from the region see the EU? And how does the EU contribute to peace in practice, in conflict areas such as northern Kosovo?

We will discuss these questions with Jan Marinus Wiersma, a former Member of the European Parliament, Nemanja Nestorovic, civic activist from Mitrovica, Vesna Teršelič, head of Center for Dealing With the Past, Documenta, Nena Tromp, lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and Justine Jones, a RUG PhD candidate on Transitional Justice in the Balkans. The evening will be moderated by Linda Schevers of IKV Pax Christi and Geert Luteijn, secretary of Linking Europe.

Identity in Kosovo: between Eagles and Stars?

29 november 2012
When Kosovo declared itself independent in 2008 it got a new flag with stars, a new anthem and set of national holidays. However Albanian Flag day on 28 November is still widely celebrated. Do the people in Kosovo feel like citizens of Kosovo state or do Kosovo Albanians, Serbs and others mainly identify with their own ethnic backgrounds? How can there be a multicultural Kosovo as designed in the Ahtisaari peace plan? How should policymakers and peacebuilders deal with the ethnic question?

We will discuss these questions with Mr. Hajrulla Ceku, activist and lecturer of political science at Universum College in Pristina. Other speakers are Mr. Bob Deen, senior advisor to the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Ms. Iliriana Banjska, anthropologist, Mr. Willem Poelstra, photographer and Ms. Dorien Claessen, anthropologists at the University of Utrecht who researched identity in Kosovo. The evening is moderated by Marijn Speth, treasurer of Linking Europe.

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