Progressive Leadership Program - Belgrade

From 16th to 19th September, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Dialogue Southeast Europe and Belgrade office, in cooperation with Foundation Max van der Stoel, hosted the first seminar of the 2021 Progressive Leadership Program. PLP is an annual capacity-building program organized by the FES that gathers young progressive politicians from the region.

For this year's edition of the Program, the topic was EU Internal and External Dynamics. Participants had the opportunity to experience three dynamic working days, with sessions in a variety of interactive formats. On the first day, organizers held a welcome address to introduce the seminar objectives and to meet with this generation of PLP attendees. The opening remarks were delivered by Inez Flameling (Foundation Max van der Stoel), Dr. Ralf Melzer (FES Dialogue SOE) and Dr. Max Brändle (FES Belgrade).

The interactive lectures started from the basics and built up – from understanding the decision and policy-making processes of the Union, and its institutional framework, all the way to the EU foreign policy and Enlargement Process. Within this framework, Western Balkans young politicians discussed the most recent developments within the EU Enlargement, including the ongoing debates over the new methodology.

And to make the debate all the more current, participants also discussed German parliamentary elections and the possible effects election results will have on the Southeast European region. In addition, the participants also had the opportunity to listen to a briefing and engage in a discussion on Serbia's EU integration process, and the current political situation in the country, with former President of the Republic, Boris Tadić.

However, a capacity-building program would not have been completed without getting to practically experience the accumulated knowledge. That is why the last portion of the seminar focused on a simulation game Experiencing the European Union. The game was uniquely crafted to give the participants a chance to deploy all of their skills as EU decision-makers and transfer knowledge to their version of reality.

To close the seminar, the participants pooled their experiences and impressions that helped evaluate the first seminar in the 2021 Program. The PLP 2021 continues end of October, with a session in Tirana.

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