20.00 – 22.00 Welcome dinner


08.30 – 09.30 Registration

09.30 – 10.00 Welcome speeches

  • Yiannis Lagonas, Co-founder and Chairman, Thessaloniki Regional Forum
  • Konstantinos Foutzopoulos, Co-founder and Executive Director, Thessaloniki Regional Forum
  • Theodoros Karaoglou, Deputy Minister of Interior, Macedonia & Thrace, Greece 
  • Mladen Ivanic, f. Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Haki Abazi, Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo


10.00 – 11.30 Session I. European Union: the post-2020 agenda

  • Zlatko Lagumdzija, f. Prime Minister of Bosnia & Herzegovina 
  • Ditmir Bushati, Special Envoy of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, f. Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Albania
  • Knut Fleckenstein, Advisor for Balkans to PES President
  • Dusan Reljic, Head of the Brussels Office, SWP (German Institute for International and Security Affairs)
  • Ioannis Armakolas, Senior Research Fellow, ELIAMEP (Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy), Greece
  • Jovan Ratkovic, Global Fellow, Agora Strategy Institute, Munich / Brussels 
  • Astrit Istrefi, Executive Director of the Balkan Forum, Kosovo
  • Tania Lessenska, Programme Coordinator, Wider Europe Programme, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), Sofia Office

Moderator: Elena Papadimitriou, Journalist SKAI media group


11.30 – 11.45 Coffee break


11.45 – 12.00 Keynote speech: European Integration of the Balkans, priorities of the Croatian EU Council Presidency

  • Stribor Kikerec, Assistant Minister for Southeast Europe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Croatia


12.00 – 13.00 Session II. Western Balkans’ EU accession

  • Odeta Barbullushi, Advisor to Albanian PM & National Coordinator for Regional Economic Area, f. Deputy Foreign Minister, Albania
  • Zoran Popov, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, North Macedonia
  • Evangelos Kalpadakis, Diplomatic Advisor of the Leader of the Main Opposition, Greece
  • Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, f. Minister of EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator for Montenegro’s EU Accession
  • Hermine Poppeller, Ambassador of Austria to Greece 
  • Christos Makridis, Deputy Head of Unit, Serbia Unit, Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission
  • Sotiris Serbos, Associate Professor in International Politics, Democritus University of Thrace

Moderator: Marilena Koppa, Professor at Panteion University, Athens


13.00 – 14.00 Lunch break


14.00 – 14.15 Keynote speech: Euro-Atlantic partnership and the Balkans

  • Michele Siders, Political Counselor, US Embassy in Athens


14.15 – 15.30 Session III. The Balkans as a field of wider Geopolitical Contest: old players & new stakes

  • Ranko Krivokapić, f. President of the Parliament, Montenegro
  • Mimi Kodheli, Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Albanian Parliament, f. Minister of Defense, Albania
  • Burak Özügergin, Ambassador of Turkey to Greece
  • Borko Stefanovic, Deputy President of the Party of Freedom and Justice, f. Chief Negotiator of Serbia in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Serbia
  • Gordana Delic, Director, The Balkan Trust for Democracy, The German Marshall Fund of the US (GMF)
  • Theresa Fallon, Director Centre for Russia, Europe, Asia Studies CREAS, Brussels
  • Marko Savkovic, Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence/Belgrade Security Forum Team

Moderator: Matteo Bonomi, Research Fellow, Istituto Affari Internationali (IAI), Rome


15.30 – 16.30 Session IV. Balkan Democracy: how deep is its consolidation?

  • Ioanna Lachana, Head of Press Office / Spokesperson – EULEX Kosovo
  • Theodoros Georgakopoulos, Editorial Director of diaNEOsis, Greece
  • Remzi Lani, Executive Director of the Albanian Media Institute
  • Jovana Marovic, Executive Director of the Politikon Network, Montenegro 
  • Ljubisa Vrencev, Programme Coordinator, Arbeiter Samariter Bund, Greece

Moderator: Despina Syrri, Head, Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece, Council of Europe


16.30 – 17.30 Session V. The Need for a Future Narrative

  • Yiannis Boutaris, f.  Mayor of Thessaloniki
  • Max Braedle, Director of FES (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung), Serbia 
  • Tatjana Lazarevic, Editor of KoSSev, Kosovo
  • Anastasis Katsianis, Vice-President of the Strasbourg Club
  • Leonidas Makris, Adjunct Professor, Department of Political Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Vojislav Savic, Political Analyst, Pozitivna Srpska, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Velma Šarić, Founder & President, Post-Conflict Research Center, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Moderator: Konstantinos Foutzopoulos, Co-founder and Executive Director, Thessaloniki Regional Forum


20.00 – 22.00 Dinner


09.00 – 09.30 Keynote speech

  • Grigorios Dimitriadis, Secretary General for International Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Greece 


09.30 – 10.40 Session VI. Energy cooperation in the region, sustainable development and the green transition 

  • Alexandra Sdoukou, Secretary General for Energy & Mineral Resources, Ministry of Environment & Energy, Greece
  • Georgios Gkiaouris, Associate Director, Power and Energy Utilities, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
  • Yossi Amrani, Ambassador of Israel to Greece
  • Stelios Kympouropoulos, Member of the European Parliament 
  • Michalis Mathioulakis, Academic Director of the Greek Energy Forum
  • Jasmina Trhulj, Head of the Electricity Unit, Energy Community Secretariat, Vienna
  • Sonja Risteska, Project Manager, Southeast Europe, Agora Energiewende, Berlin

Moderator: John Papadimitriou, Journalist 


10.40 – 10.45 Presentation: SDGs and Public-Private Partnerships as a tool for regional development

  • Anastasia Psomiadi, Founder & President APSON CSR


10.45 – 12.00 Special session: Fostering investments and business sustainability: Interregional mobility and economic cooperation


Keynote speech: Strategic planning for regional development: challenges, limitations and opportunities

  • Dimitrios Skalkos, Secretary General for Public Investments, Ministry of Development and Investments, Greece
  • Niki Dandolou, Special Secretary for EU Structural Funds, Ministry of Development and Investments, Greece
  • Dubravka Negre, Head of Representation, Western Balkans, European Investment Bank (EIB)
  • Ervin Bushati, Chairperson of the Albanian Delegation, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)
  • Yannοs Mitsos, Senior Advisor, Business Issues, Public and Media Communication, Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV)
  • Michalis Stangos, Founder of MSCOMM Group
  • Vladimir Inkov, Head of the Commercial and Economic Section, Consulate General of Bulgaria to Thessaloniki
  • Nikos Sp. Philippou, President and CEO Philippou SA

Moderator: Sofia Beretanou, Journalist ALPHA 989 and


12.00 – 13.30 Session VII. Balkans 4.0: growing digital together

  • Leonidas Christopoulos, Secretary General of Digital Governance and Simplification of Procedures, Ministry of Digital Governance, Greece
  • Tatjana Matic, State Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Serbia
  • Gregory Pfleger, US General Consul in Thessaloniki
  • Giorgos Avarlis, Deputy Mayor for Administrative Reform and Digital Governance, Municipality of Thessaloniki

Moderator: Dimitris Apokis, Journalist, International News Coordinator in Hellenic Broadcast Corp. (ERT)


13.30 – 14.00 Closing remarks


Parallel events

11.00 – 12.00 Balkan Young Leaders, Steering Committee Roundtable