ROAD TO PRESPA FORUM DIALOGUE

As part of the overall concept for the Prespa Forum for Dialogue (PFD), a Road to Prespa Forum Dialogue panel is planned to take place as a precursor to the first PFD international conference on 28 May 2021.

The aim of that would deliberate on the ways and means to make use of the positive results of the three agreements of North Macedonia (the Ohrid Framework Agreement and the Agreements with Bulgaria and Greece) in overcoming other outstanding bilateral and regional issues. The underlying idea is that the PFD will become the place of the new impetus for open discussions and solutions so that the region could be also seen as able to deliver in terms of cooperation, stability, and security.

The panel will focus on providing the necessary food for thought on how to: create a positive dialogue within and among the countries and their societies; move forward in dealing with the difficult issues at hand; create positive regional narratives that could contribute to enhancing the regional cooperation and strengthening the stability and security; overcome the delay in the EU enlargement process; and address the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The panel would also serve as a platform for collecting ideas and suggestions that would be put together in a Regional Policy Brief with policy recommendations on the political, economic, and social impact of the regional and bilateral agreements in the Western Balkans commissioned by the MFA of North Macedonia. The policy recommendations should be presented at the Concluding Plenary Session of the PFD conference in Ohrid by Professor Florian Bieber, Director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz.

Slide Topics to be discussed: - The significance of the three agreements in a regional, European and global context: making use of the positive results to overcome other outstanding regional and bilateral issues;
- Creating a positive dialogue within and among the countries in the region in a practical sense;
- Moving forward in dealing with the difficult issues at hand and creating positive regional dynamics and narrative;
- Creating a more genuine people-to-people trust/regional cooperation on the basis of these agreements;
- Showing the region’s ability that it could become a player that does not only receive, but also delivers in the sense of finding lasting solutions, cooperation, stability and security;
- Overcoming the delay in the EU enlargement process; and
- Addressing the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will be held in a hybrid manner.
The opening addresses will be open for the media.