Conference Proceedings – Western Balkans Youth Conference: We Share European Values and Goals 2021

Balkan Studies Center (BSC) is pleased to announce the proceedings of the Western Balkans Youth Conference: We Share the European Goals and Values (WBYS’21). This is the second volume in the series of conference proceedings launched by BSC. The conference, held on May 31, 2021, promoted the mission of BSC for improving scholarship and research among young researchers worldwide. The WBYS’21 attempted to seek authors and papers primarily contributing towards the promotion of peace, individual well-being, freedom, justice, social inclusion, sustainable development, scientific and technological progress, economic cooperation and trade, and the respect for the EU common values and principles.

With this volume, BSC continues the already established tradition, to focus each year on an issue with a special interest for the wider public and the youth in the Western Balkans, and give feedback to the academic community and decision-makers with a published volume of its proceedings. The Western Balkans Youth Conference: We Share the European Goals and Values aimed to explore the prospects of the Western Balkans countries in the EU, the Western Balkans compliance with Copenhagen political, economic and legal criteria, the EU as instruments for the Western Balkans reconstruction, development and stabilization, the Berlin Process, democratization and the system of governance in the Western Balkans, the EU politics towards the Western Balkans, the Great Power politics in the Western Balkans, the EU values of the human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and human rights,  and so forth. One small step has been made to deconstruct the Western Balkans and to turn the discourse and attention to the youth perspective to the EU goals and values within the Western Balkans context.   

The conference was a platform for the exchange of views, experience and research findings among future young researchers and scholars in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and technical sciences. Thus, the conference provided an opportunity for graduate students and young researchers to discuss new initiatives regarding the current and future socio-political, economic and scientific issues and challenges primarily related to the EU and the Western Balkans. Since the future of the young people in the Western Balkans is certainly in the EU the conference promoted the EU goals and values. Organizing this conference would have been impossible without the support of the Student Parliament at the International University of Sarajevo (SPIUS) and Organizing Committee members, namely Amar Buljubašić, Selma Ibrekić, Amina Kahriman, Neira Zulić, and Ajla Srna. The WBYC’21 is an example of common work towards overcoming challenges in the Western Balkans. Therefore, we strongly believe that the voice of youth is essential in shaping the future of the Western Balkans within the EU goals and values.

The WBYS’21 also received significant support from the Scientific Committee members namely Prof. Dr. Emel Topçu, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmed Ganić, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ervin Kovačević, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aliye Fatma Mataracı, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mirsad Karić, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Benjamin Duraković, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ramo Palalić, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Joseph Jon Kaminski, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Emil Knezović, Assist. Prof. Dr. Aliaksandr Novikau, Assist. Prof. Dr. Edib Smolo, Assist. Prof. Dr. Ena Kazić, Assist. Prof. Dr. Šejma Aydin, Assist. Prof. Dr. Jahja Muhasilović, Assist. Prof. Dr. Selvira Draganović, and Assist. Prof. Dr. Tarik Namas. Not only that they provided organizational support for the conference but they also participated in the review process and moderation of conference panels.

Due to the unpredictable situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the WBYS’21 was held virtually. The participants presented their research papers via a combination of live video platforms. The platform was also used for maintaining interaction among the participants, and virtual networking. Therefore, the participants have had an opportunity to explore current social, political and economic issues in the context of present research studies. Then, they exchanged views, experiences, findings and enhanced networking, and future collaboration.

The proceedings of the Western Balkans Youth Conference: We Share the European Goals and Values (WBYS’21) consist of ten papers that were selected after a rigorous review process by two reviewers. Then, all submitted papers were checked for text similarity and plagiarism by licensed Turnitin software. Selected papers in the proceedings explore different international and regional subjects including Euro-Atlantic strategy in the Western Balkans, regional reconciliation process, corruption and organized crime, identity politics and political participation, human rights and fundamental freedoms, hate speech and ethno-politics, regional educational and cultural exchange, multiculturalism and EU integration, EU integration and migrations, market economy and competitiveness in the Western Balkans.

  • Editors
  • Muhidin Mulalić
  • Hamza Preljević