Programme

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09:30-09:35         Opening – Mr Ionuţ Sibian, President of the EESC's study group on Economic and social cohesion and European integration of the Western Balkans – challenges and priorities

09:35-09:45         Short introduction by Mr Andrej Zorko, rapporteur, and Mr Dimitris Dimitriadis, co-rapporteur

09:45-11:15         SESSION I – Economic integration in the Western Balkans

  • Plamen KALOYANCHEV, Economic and Financial Affairs Officer, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission
  • Andreas PAPADOPOULOS, Advisor on  Economic Governance, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), European Commission
  • Vesselin VALKANOV, Ambassador, Head of Liaison Office of the Regional Cooperation Council (on Regional Economic Area)
  • Sofia BOURNOU, Senior Adviser, BusinessEurope
  • Ekaterina VOSTROKNUTOVA, Lead Economist for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region, World Bank Group
  • Peter SANFEY, Deputy Director, Country Economics and Policy, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

                Debate

11:15-11:30         Coffee break

11:30-12:45         SESSION II – Social cohesion in the Western Balkans

  • William BARTLETT, Coordinator of the LSEE Research Network on Social Cohesion in South East Europe
  • Nand SHANI, Team Leader of Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP) project, Regional Cooperation Council
  • Peter SEIDENECK, Coordinator of the Regional Project for Western Balkans “On the way to EU”, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
  • Jelena ANĐELIĆ, Program coordinator, Association of Citizens Initiative for Development and Cooperation (IDC)
  • Ákos TOPOLÁNSZKY, EESC member

                Debate

12:45-13:00         Closing - Mr Ionuţ Sibian, President of the EESC's study group on Economic and social cohesion and European integration of the Western Balkans – challenges and priorities