To continue on the success of Network 20/20’s successful trips to Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, and Poland, the organization traveled in May 2016 to the following countries of South East 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, Pristina, Sarajevo, and Zagreb.
Network 20/20 made this visit at a critical time—growing extremism in Kosovo and Bosnia, a steady flow of refugees through Serbia and Croatia, Russian influence in Serbia, and elections in Kosovo and Serbia make for potentially destabilizing trends in a fragile part of Europe. With a new U.S. president taking office in 2017, the results of this trip provided recommendations for the next administration.
During the ten-day trip, delegates met with leading business people from regional and multinational companies, journalists, law, high-level government officials, religious, and civic leaders. Topics addressed included the impact of the flow of refugees on domestic politics, the threat of extremism, the extent of Russia’s involvement in the region, business prospects, and the state of civic engagement. The delegation is producing a report and disseminate to members, leaders of both the private and public sector, and U.S. Congress.