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Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum
Stability | Growth | Cooperation
Serres, Greece - May 25-26, 2017

Agenda 2017

Wednesday May 24th 2017
Arrivals - Check-in - Registrations
12:00 - 19:30
Registrations | Asteria Conference Center
19:30 - 21:00
Welcome Reception | Regional Unit of Serres
Thursday May 25th 2017
Programme of the day
Forum official language is English. Simultaneous translation in Greek and Russian
08:00 - 09:00
Registrations | Asteria Conference Center
09:30 - 10:30
Session I | EU, Balkans, Black Sea perspectives & SDGs 2030

Balkans & Black Sea citizens’ prosperity relates with Financial Stability, Economic Growth, Intergovernmental relations, Neighborhood Policies, Multilateral Dialogue, Institutional cooperation and the Rule of Law in the states of the region. This session delivers notes by Key Officials to enhancing policy dialogues, pooling of resources for competitiveness and innovation and strengthening bi-regional cooperation.

Session Speakers

Session Moderator

10:30 - 11:00
Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:15
Session II | Roads of Energy “Electricity & Gas Interconnectivity”

Energy cooperation, especially in the sectors of electricity and natural gas, has always been at the forefront of regional cooperation and integration in S.E. Europe. The Athens process which inaugurated the Energy Community operated as an incubator for regional collaboration that facilitated the eventual accession of the Eastern Balkans in the EU. Energy projects of regional and international significance are considered throughout the BSEC region as a means of furthering market integration and liberalization while supporting local communities from a developmental perspective. Scope of this group will be to pinpoint, analyze and assess the most important energy challenges affecting the BSEC area with a view of promoting cooperative bilateral, intra-regional and inter-regional solutions to jointly overcome those challenges. The working group will focus each year on a major topic of interest that will eventually cover the entire energy policy spectrum.

Session Speakers

Session Moderator

12:15 - 13:15
Lunch Break
13:30 - 14:45
Session III | Digital Economy & Innovation “Controlling the double-edged sword”

After steam power, electricity and IT, the fourth industrial revolution will again fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to each other. Digitalisation brings about changes in production methods and shifts patterns of consumption. It presents risks as well as opportunities, and offers chances for inclusion as well as exclusion. This double-edged sword is addressed in this session on the digital economy and innovation. Local, national and global contexts, competitiveness, public policies, transformation of business models, transformation and prospects for innovation from a regional perspective. Optimization is a process, not an end state. Collecting information, tracking trends, testing new rules and staying competitive in the continuously changing digital economy are key to holistic approach and effective management.

Session Speakers

Session Moderator

14:45 - 16:00
Session IV | Women in Leadership “Overcoming obstacles in a challenging region”

It is widely accepted that women’s' professional and personal development, often requires to bypass the confrontation of gender inequalities and the social invocation in remaining stuck in the family. To this extent, the way towards the equilibrium “Women in Leadership” becoming a difficult equation, undertaken to be developed by a team of esteemed female personalities. Scope of this session is to outlining the actual status, the perspectives, the goals and the necessary steps towards to increasing the leading roles and positions of women in the Balkans and Black Sea region.

Session Speakers

Session Moderator

16:00 - 16:30
Coffee Break
16:30 - 17:45
Session V | Agriculture, Environment, Use of Sources “tackling common problems and exploring potentials”

The rapidly changing climate makes the conservation of biodiversity even more important as a course of resilience and adaptability. Genetic diversity is essential to the continued production of food and fiber. Agricultural landscapes are important reservoirs of biological diversity and agricultural practices can have significant positive and negative impacts on natural biodiversity. Yet, there is little interchange among the agricultural, biodiversity and climate change communities of scientists or policymakers. This session will explore issues and policy at the intersection of these issues, both from a genetic and landscape perspective, regionally and internationally.

Session Speakers

Session Moderator

17:45 - 18:00
Conclusions | End of Conference Day-1
20:00 - 23:30
Official Dinner | Elpida Resort Hotel
Friday May 26th 2017
Programme of the day
Forum official language is English. Simultaneous translation in Greek and Russian
08:00 - 08:45
Registrations | Asteria Conference Center
09:15 - 10:30
Session VI | Maritime, Infrastructures, Transportation & Hubs “Regional cooperation, works in progress!”

Beyond national borders, diplomatic and political activities, life improvement and economic prosperity take roots on how efficiently maritime and means of transport, infrastructures, and hubs connect people and facilitate trade exchanges. From airports to ports hinterland connections to cities, the trans-European transport network requires a regional coordination and a long term planning for a large variety of stakeholders. This session will describe the current situation of “Maritime, Transportations, Infrastructures and Hubs” in the Balkans and Black Sea region, and afterwards will identify the areas and the key improvements that could be promoted in the short and medium term.

Session Speakers

Session Moderator

10:30 - 11:45
Session VII | Cultural & Sustainable Tourism “Cultural Tourism, a key to Sustainable Development”

Tourism stands as major source of income for many countries, considered a people-oriented industry, provides jobs and helps revitalizing local economies. But the impacts of the massive form of tourism usually results social dislocation, loss of cultural heritage, economic dependence and ecological degradation. Nowadays it is accepted that tourism need to be sustainable, protecting tangible and intangible cultural heritage, respecting local society and the travelers, but moreover benefit the people and the environment of the host country. This session shares policies and information of responsible management in hotel, cruise, air transportations, tour-operators, and showcases practices to optimizing cooperation at intra-regional level.

Session Speakers

Session Moderator

11:45 - 12:00
Forum Declaration “Cultural Tourism, a key to Sustainable Development”
12:00 - 12:15
Conclusions | End of Conference
12:15 - 13:15
Lunch Reception
13:30 - 18:30
Social Programs | Cultural Heritage Journeys in the Regional Unit of Serres
20:30 - 23:30
Farewell traditional dinner | Agio Pnevma village
Saturday May 27th 2017
Check out & Departures
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Optional extension stay at Serres
20:00 - 23:00
Volunteers Farewell Party