Program

Day 1
01 Mar 2023

Opening Speech

H.E. Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovačevski
H.E. Dimitar Kovačevski

One year after: The impact of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine to SE Europe

Russia’s invasion to Ukraine, a cataclysmic geopolitical event which has thrown the whole world in turmoil, even more so in neighbouring regions like SE Europe. Top ranking diplomats and foreign affairs Ministers discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine on national and regional level and assess future scenarios
Part I
Bujar Osmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of North Macedonia
Olta Xhaçka, Minister for Europe & Foreign Affairs, Republic of Albania
Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hellenic Republic
Part II
H.E. Anke Holstein, Ambassador of Germany to the Republic of North Macedonia
H.E. Cyrille Baumgartner, Ambassador of France to the Republic of North Macedonia
H.E. Andrea Silvestri, Italian Ambassador to the Republic of North Macedonia
H.E. Angela P. Aggeler, Ambassador of USA to the Republic of North Macedonia
H.E. Sophia Philippidou, Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the Republic of North Macedonia
Chair: TBC
Bujar Osmani
H.E. Andrea Silvestri
Angela Aggeler

A follow up of the Tirana Summit: The accession of the Balkans in the European Union

The EU - Western Balkans Summit in Tirana in December, a high-level meeting to be held in the region for the first time, was greeted with cautious optimism by proponents of EU accession: a sign that the region remains a top EU priority and the long-frozen process could finally be revived. In this high-level panel we aim to dissect key takeaways from the Summit and project their impact for the future of the region
Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, European Commission
Bojan Marinchic, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, Republic of North Macedonia
Martin Dvořák, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic
Nikolay Milkov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Bulgaria
Manuel Sarrazin, Special Representative for the countries of the Western Balkans, Germany
Meglena Kuneva, Ambassador of the European Union to the Council of Europe (2018-2022)
Thanos Dokos, National Security Advisor to the Greek Prime Minister
Chair: TBC
Bojan Marichikj
Martin Dvořák
Meglena Kuneva
Thanos Dokos
11.30

networking break

Fireside Chat

Edi Rama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania
Chair: TBC

Fireside Chat

Dritan Abazović, Prime Minister of the Government of Montenegro Chair: TBC

Fireside Chat

H.E. Albin Kurti, Prime Minister, Kosovo
Chair: TBC
H.E. Albin Kurti

Investing in Infrastructure & Connectivity: The Territorial Cohesion, trans- European networks: Road, Rail, Bridges, Ports & Airports

A well - connected region is a region that can aspire to growth and stability. This panel discussion brings together leading experts and public officials to assess how major infrastructure projects in the Western Balkans bring the region closer to a robust economic and political cooperation.
Blagoj Bochvarski, Minister of Transport & Communications, Republic of North Macedonia
Kostas Karamanlis, Minister of Transport & Infrastructure, Hellenic Republic
Branko Greganovic, President, NLB Banka Skopje
Nikola Ljushev, CEO, Makedonski Telekom
Athanasios Liagkos, Chairman, Thessaloniki Port Authority
Andi Aranitasi, Head, EBRD North Macedonia
Chair: TBC
Branko Greganovic
Nikola Ljushev
Athanassios Liagkos
Andi Aranitasi

Fireside Chat

Fatmir Bytyqi, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Republic of North Macedonia Chair: TBC
Fatmir Bytyqi
13.50

networking lunch break

FDI Prospects in North Macedonia

Foreign investment is a key factor to North Macedonia’s growth prospects, contributing in sectors as diverse as renewables, automotives and software. How is North Macedonia managing to remain successful in the midst of a challenging economic environment? How is the country planning for the future?
Stefan Peter, President, Foreign Investors Council, North Macedonia
Massimiliano Paolucci, Country Manager, Kosovo & North Macedonia, World Bank
Magdalena Soljakova, Senior Country Officer for North Macedonia, IFC
Guido Clary, Head of Western Balkans and Slovenia Unit, European Investment Bank
Chair: TBC
Magdalena Soljakova
Guido Clary

Strategies for maintaining Economic Growth in times of Uncertainty

From the pandemic to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the beginning of this decade has seen unexpected events put a dent to the fragile economies of the Western Balkans and a strain to the public finances of the region’s countries. In this panel discussion, top finance officials of North Macedonia explain how the country has made a robust return to growth and how it plans to maintain it in the midst of global political uncertainty.
Fatmir Besimi, Minister of Finance, Republic of North Macedonia
Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, Governor, Central Bank of North Macedonia
Zoran Jovanovski, Vice President, Economic Chamber of Commerce of North Macedonia
Dragan Davitkov, President of the BoD, AmCham, North Macedonia
Bekim Emini, Director, Invest North Macedonia
Chair: TBC
Fatmir Besimi
Anita Angelovska Bezhoska
Zoran Jovanovski
Bekim Emini

The Mayors’ Challenge

Cities are fast becoming important actors of change and drivers of economic growth, enhanced cooperation and mitigating global problems. In this high-level panel, Mayors of major cities of the region discuss the monumental challenges and opportunities cities are faced with and their recipes for success
Daniela Arsovska, Mayor of Skopje
Përparim Rama, Mayor of Prishtina
Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana
Chair: TBC
15.45

networking break

The Pipeline Conundrum: New Regional Energy Avenues

The Russian aggression in Ukraine has accentuated the importance of energy security and autonomy for Europe and the West. How can SE Europe and the Western Balkans leverage their geostrategic position to contribute to the target of shedding dependence from Russian oil and natural gas. What is the state of play of current pipeline projects?
Statements:
Kreshnik Bekteshi, Minister of Economy, Republic of North Macedonia
Naser Nuredini, Minister of Environment & Physical Planning, Republic of North Macedonia
Kostas Skrekas, Minister of Energy, Hellenic Republic
Artane Rizvanolli, Minister of Energy, Kosovo

Discussants:
Vladimir Asenov Malinov, Executive Director, Bulgartransgaz
Maria Rita Galli, CEO, DESFA
Kostis Sifnaios, Managing Director, Gastrade SA
Bajram Rexhepi, Executive Director, NER Skopje
Chair: TBC
Naser Nuredini
Artane Rizvanolli
Vladimir Asenov Malinov
Maria Rita Galli
Bajram Rexhepi

Digital Transformation: Taking the Government to the Next Level

Digital transformation in both the private and public sectors have been long deemed necessary for countries to keep pace with and fully take advantage of technological developments and ultimately spur future growth. In this segment we explore the transformation experiences of Greece and North Macedonia and what other countries in the region could learn from this process.
Admirim Aliti, Minister, Information Society & Administration, Republic of North Macedonia
Leonidas Christopoulos, Sec. General, Ministry of Digital Transformation, Hellenic Republic
Ljupco Georgiev, Country Manager for Macedonia and Kosovo, Microsoft
Chair: TBC
Admirim Aliti
Leonidas Christopoulos