To continue on the success of Network 20/20’s successful trips to Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, and Poland, a member delegation traveled in May 2016 to the following countries of Southeast Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, and Serbia. The purpose of the trip was to get a sense of on-the-ground realities in countries of strategic importance to both the United States and the world through intensive interviews with a range of high-profile leaders in Belgrade, Banja Luka, Mitrovica, Pristina, Sarajevo, and Zagreb.
As part of Network 20/20’s Entrepreneurial Diplomacy Program, the Southeast Europe project took place at a critical time—the threat of returning former ISIS fighters, Russian influence in Serbia and Republika Srpska, and regional tensions make for potentially destabilizing trends in a fragile part of Europe.
The report that resulted, A Plan B for the Western Balkans: Reigniting U.S. Leadership in Southeast Europe, will be disseminated to policymakers, business leaders, diplomats, the media, and NGOs. Topics addressed include absence of EU leadership in Southeast Europe, role of religion and extremism, impact of foreign influences, business prospects, state of civic engagement, and the role of the U.S. in the region. The report concludes with recommendations for policymakers and identifies areas for potential development for business leaders.