6th International Balkan Forum | Edirne Declaration ( Draft )


“Multi - Dimensional Regional Integrations/ Vision of Cooperation 2023” Edirne Declaration ( Draft )...

“Multi - Dimensional Regional Integrations/ Vision of Cooperation 2023”

Edirne Declaration ( Draft )


1 -6th International Balkan Forum” was held in a very intimate and warm atmosphere in Edirne on May 02-03, 2013.


During Forum held by cooperation of Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Research (TASAM) and Governorate of, it has been focused on the main theme of “Multi Dimensional Regional Integrations / Vision of Cooperation 2023”. Many politicians, diplomatic mission representatives, think tank and NGO representatives, academicians and press members have attended to the meeting. Both long term and short term results of European and Balkan based integration efforts with all constituents have been thoroughly analyzed.  


2 - During Forum the topics of “Political Integration of Balkans: Will Balkans Europeanize?”, “European Union Enlargement: Balkans position in the EU”, “Cultural Integration in Balkan Region: Is a Balkan sub-identity possible?”, “Economic Integration of Balkans: Economic Structure of Europe and Balkans” and “Security for all: Common Security of Balkans and Europe” have been discussed and circumstances experienced or might be experienced by Balkans about all above mentioned topics have been generally handled.


3 - It is a general view that European Union policies play a determining role in integration process of Balkans. The EU plays a leading actor in transition period as Western Balkans is really important in peace process. It can not be denied that there are some troubles in EU which has currently experienced political and economic crisis. The most important structural problems apart from economic ones are immigration and integration.  


4 - There are many different opinions about crise process of Europe. During Forum, two opinions have been stated. One of these two opinions is that Europe will solve the problem in a short time despite its negative picture and it will also play an effective role in transition of Balkans with its oligopolistic structure. Second opinion is that the process makes it possible to evaluate the common future of the EU and Balkans as these conditions threat the future of the EU.


5 - One of the general opinions in Forum is speed change in Balkans. Balkans called as “cradle of war” not long ago is now showed as “cradle of peace”. The view, particularly from Europe, is much more positive. For Europe, the whole Balkans some of which are already member or candidate will be involved in the EU enlargement process. According to this opinion, development of Balkans is really hopeful however there are many steps to be taken. On contrary to this view, it has also told that some of Balkan countries can not be a member with cultural or pragmatist approach.


6 - One of the debates in Forum is formation of Balkan sub-identity and its past and probable results. All the common Balkan sub-identities have been shaped by external actors until now.  The common Balkan sub-identity formed by Balkan countries will restrict foreign intervention and reinforce regional institutions. It has been discussed that Turkey should revise the policies after probable formation of such identity. Turkey plays a key role in current conditions. It might be possible that Turkey develops Balkans economically in the event of Turkey’s progress in the EU process and this also contributes to integration.  The improvement process might be more probable with transition of human, capital and trade from Turkey to Balkans if a “Visa-free travel” can be applied especially between Turkey and Balkan countries. Deepening the relation between Turkey and the EU and progress of membership process might have positive effect on the integration of Balkan.


7 - In this sense, it has been stressed on a need for cooperation between Balkan countries. This cooperation model the aim of which is decreasing the dependency on foreign aid and reinforcing the capacity of the countries in the region might have cultural, athletic and touristic elements. Increasing the employment and investment, also, must be the most important macro-economical goals of Balkan economies. To reach these goals, it has been agreed that the EU integration process of the region should be accelerated.


8 - Religion is a very important element in Balkans. These are general opinions in the Forum that religion has been exploited for political gain and all the regional problems have been built on religion and religious identity.  Despite the common life culture of Ottoman Empire, religious discrimination has existed since that time.  Some of the politic elements apart from religion were pushed into the religion and marginalization of religion has deepened the discrimination politically.


9 - Current global crisis has damaged the integration process of Europe and Balkans. In European Continent, there is a bank-based financial system so that liquidity flow could be easily. The problems have started in Balkans just after sources withdrawal from the banks (the foreign capital withdrawal). Foreign investment has directly shifted from Balkans to Europe. This has damaged economy of Balkan countries which has already trade deficit. For the solution of this problem, an economic regional cooperation might be really beneficial. 


10 - During Forum it has been stated that stability and security in Balkans are based on either regional or European based integration. It is undisputable that conflict in Balkan which has still effect, has damaged integration process. The culture and identity were aimed in wars in the region. This approach is very dangerous for the region and even for Europe. No confidence of people who call themselves as the victim of this war in justice has restricted the integration process. Considering that security paradigm has currently shifted from Europe to Pacific, the position of Balkan in the new security conjuncture can not be exactly determined. This era is a historical breaking point and changing conditions distinguishes the past and future of Balkans. 


11 - In parallel with strategic concept which has been summarized in 10 articles, it has been accepted that there is a need for important initiatives for justice, security, stability, confidence, empathy and cooperation in Balkan countries. In this sense; it has been agreed that 6th International Balkan Forum and results are a strategic call to both official and civil decision makers for taking proactive initiative.

 May 03, 2013, Edirne

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Continents ( 5 Fields )
 Contents ( 405 ) Actiivities ( 172 )
Africa 65 135
Asia 75 207
Europe 13 28
Latin America & Carribean 12 30
North America 7 5
Regions ( 4 Fields )
 Contents ( 167 ) Actiivities ( 44 )
Balkans 22 92
Middle East 18 56
Black Sea and Caucasus 2 15
Mediterranean 2 4
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
 Contents ( 172 ) Actiivities ( 66 )
Islamic World 51 143
Turkish World 15 29
Turkey ( 1 Fields )
 Contents ( 193 ) Actiivities ( 48 )
Turkey 48 193

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