to Content
Header Image

New perspectives on EU enlargement

Plenary / Global power
German and English language

The current EU strategy for the Western Balkans includes a clear course of action for Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo. What are the potential future prospects for EU rapprochement in the Western Balkans? Politicians and young political experts will exchange their views on this and other questions of EU enlargement.

Analyst, ESI - European Stability Initiative, Sarajevo
European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Brussels
President, Slovenia, Ljubljana
Research Associate, London School of Economics and Political Science, London; PhD Candidate, University of Sussex
President, Kosovo, Prishtina
Federal President, Republic of Austria, Vienna
President, Serbia, Belgrade
Managing Editor, POLITICO, Brussels Chair


Analyst, ESI - European Stability Initiative, Sarajevo

 Adnan Ćerimagić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) works as an Analyst for think tank European Stability Initiative (ESI) since January 2015. Before joining ESI in August 2013 as a Fellow, Adnan worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo and Brussels. He also did a traineeship in the Secretariat of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee. Adnan worked at the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (ETC) in Graz. He studied law at the University of Graz and EU international relations and diplomacy at the College of Europe in Bruges. At ESI, he is researching EU enlargement policy, the Western Balkans’ EU integration process and Turkey.

Dr. Johannes HAHN

European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Brussels

 Studium der Philosophie, Promotion 1987
1980-1985 Obmann der Jungen ÖVP
1985-1992 Managementfunktionen in verschiedenen Bereichen der österreichischen Wirtschaft und Industrie
1992-1997 Landesgeschäftsführer der ÖVP Wien
1996-2003 Gemeinderat und Landtagsabgeordneter sowie Gesundheitssprecher der ÖVP Wien
1997-2003 Mitglied des Vorstandes, zuletzt Vorstandsvorsitzender (CEO) der Novomatic AG
2003-2007 Mitglied der Wiener Landesregierung
2005 Wahl zum Landesparteiobmann der ÖVP Wien
2007-2010 Bundesminister für Wissenschaft und Forschung der Republik Österreich
seit 2010 EU-Kommissar für Regionalpolitik
seit 2014 EU-Kommissar für Europäische Nachbarschaftspolitik und Erweiterungsverhandlungen


President, Slovenia, Ljubljana

1990-1992 Delegate, Assembly of Slovenia
1992-2000 Deputy, National Assembly of Slovenia
2000-2004 President, National Assembly of Slovenia
2004-2008 Member of the European Parliament
2008-2012 Prime Minister of Slovenia
2012 President of Slovenia


Research Associate, London School of Economics and Political Science, London; PhD Candidate, University of Sussex

 Tena is a Research Associate at LSEE-Research on South Eastern Europe, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science and an ESRC doctoral candidate at the University of Sussex. Her foremost field of expertise concerns the politics and political economy of South East European countries, with works looking at the impact of foreign investments, links between economic transition and inequality, and the changing political views of the Serbian diaspora. She has authored the 2018 Croatia chapter for Freedom House’s 'Nations in Transit' report and has acted as an expert and consultant for a number of other international organisations and institutions, including the International Organisation for Migration and the Scottish Parliament. Her analysis has appeared on Al Jazeera, The New York Times, Balkan Insight, the Huffington Post, and the Irish Times, among others.

Hashim THACI

President, Kosovo, Prishtina

 Hashim Thaçi is the fourth President of Kosovo and was the first prime minister of the independent Kosovo. He was born on April 24th, 1968 in Skenderaj, Kosovo. President Thaçi completed his undergraduate studies in history at the University of Prishtina where he was also leader of the Kosovar students‘ movement from 1990-1993. Later on he pursued graduate studies in political science at the University of Zurich. Hashim Thaçi was one of the main founders of the Kosovo Liberation Army and served as its political chief. He led the Kosovar Delegation at the Rambouillet Peace Conference on Kosovo in February 1999. Following the the war and the NATO intervention in June 1999, Thaçi became Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK). He played an active role in the Unity Team during the Kosovo status negotiations led by Nobel Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari. Thaçi's party, PDK, went on to win the parliamentary elections of November 17th 2007. He would go on to declare the independence of Kosovo based on the proposal of the UN Special Envoy, just 3 months later. Thaçi served two terms as the Prime-Minister of Kosovo.

Dr. Alexander VAN DER BELLEN

Federal President, Republic of Austria, Vienna

1962-1970 Studies of Economics, University of Innsbruck
1966 Diploma, Economics, University of Innsbruck
1970 PhD, Economics, University of Innsbruck
1968-1975 Scientific Assistant, Department of Public Finance, University of Innsbruck
1972-1974 Research Fellow, WZB - Berlin Social Science Center
1975 Habilitation, University of Innsbruck
1976-1980 Non-Tenured Professor, University of Innsbruck
1977-1980 Federal Administration Acadamy, Vienna
1980-2009 Tenured Professor of Economics, University of Vienna
1990-1994 Dean, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Business, Economics and Statistics, University of Vienna
1994-2012 Deputy, National Council, Vienna
1997-2008 Federal Spokesman, The Austrian Greens, Vienna
1999-2008 Chairman, National Council, Vienna
2012-2015 Deputy of State Parliament, Member of Municipal Council, Vienna
since 2017 Federal President, Republic of Austria, Vienna

Aleksandar VUCIC

President, Serbia, Belgrade

 Aleksandar Vučić was born on March 5, 1970, in Belgrade. He graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade, in 1994. He joined the Serbian Radical Party in 1993. The same year he was elected an MP into the National Assembly. In 1998 he was appointed for the Minister of Information, by the Government of National Unity. Together with Tomislav Nikolić, in October 2008 he founded the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). After general parliamentary elections in May 2012, he was appointed for the Minister of Defense and the First Deputy Prime Minister. In September 2012 he was elected for the President of the SNS. After the electoral victory in March 2014, he was appointed for the Prime Minister. He started new term as the Prime Minister after the elections in April 2016. He won the Presidential elections on 2 April 2017 and began his five years term on 1 June 2017. He is fluent in English and Russian, with basic knowledge of French and he is studying German. He is married and has three children.

Florian EDER

Managing Editor, POLITICO, Brussels

 Florian Eder is POLITICO's Managing Editor, Expansion, overseeing the newsroom's policy coverage. Prior to joining POLITICO, Florian was EU correspondent for Die Welt, covering EU politics and policies from Brussels where he arrived at the peak of the euro crisis in 2011. Florian spent three years in Die Welt's Berlin newsroom as an editor and previously worked as Italy correspondent for the Financial Times Deutschland.

Political Symposium

show timetable


11:30 - 14:30My Europe – My StoryPartner
15:00 - 16:30OpeningPlenary
17:00 - 18:30New perspectives on EU enlargementPlenary
19:30 - 21:30Drink receptionSocial


06:30 - 07:30DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
06:30 - 07:30POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
07:00 - 10:00Alpbach Hikes: Hiking with pioneers – Mindfulness in educationPartner
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 01: Whoever has the money has the power? The future financing of the EUBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 02: EU-Russia relations: Attempting a cool-headed analysisBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 03: Citizens don’t bite: Experiences and learnings from successful participation projects in EuropeBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 04: European security and the Mediterranean: A simulationBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 05: A world without nukes? The impact of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear WeaponsBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 06: Women and youth empowerment: The Sustainable Development Goals in practiceBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 07: Democracies under pressure: Civil society and populismBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 08: Implementing the SDGs: The challenges countries face and the solutions they offerBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 09: European security in the age of hybrid threats: Rethinking military and civilian cooperation?Breakout
13:00 - 14:15Sovereignty in the EU: Who decides?Plenary
15:00 - 16:15Democracies under pressurePlenary
16:30 - 18:30Green Finance: Private capital against climate changePartner
16:30 - 18:30Lessons from the best: What we can learn from Europe’s most sustainable regionsPartner
16:45 - 18:15The subsidiarity principle under scrutinyPlenary
18:00 - 20:00European-Israeli DinnerSocial
18:15 - 19:00POLITICO Happy HourSocial


06:30 - 07:30DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
06:30 - 07:30POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
07:00 - 10:00Alpbach Hikes: Hiking with pioneers – Mindfulness in politicsPartner
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 10: Living the Swiss militia principle: Ensuring resilience through involvementBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 11: Israel: Can democracy exist without peace?Breakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 12: Defending democracy in the digital age: From theory to practiceBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 13: The end of oil: Global systems in transitionBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 14: Are you acting or reacting? Countering climate change through new partnershipsBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 15: Culture and identity: What level of adaptation is required for successful integration?Breakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 16: Promoting sustainable developmentBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 17: Democracies under pressure: The media and populismBreakout
11:00 - 12:45From grey to green: Green infrastructure as a way out of the biodiversity crisisPartner
12:30 - 13:45Global power shifts: Implications for Europe and AsiaPlenary
14:15 - 15:45European Union – Russia: What to do?Plenary
16:15 - 17:15The future of the EU: Priorities of the Austrian EU Council PresidencyPlenary


07:00 - 10:00Alpbach Hikes: Hiking with pioneers – Mindfulness in businessPartner
07:30 - 08:30The rule of law under scrutinyPlenary
09:00 - 10:30Reconciling (bio)diversity protection and efforts to mitigate climate changePlenary