The 5th Annual Marshall Center Alumni Association for Southeast Europe (MCAASES) Workshop on the topic Development of Southeast Europe Regional Structures took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia on 26-28 September 2017. The event brought together approximately 25 senior association members from 12 Southeast Europe countries among which Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.
The US Ambassador to Slovenia H.E. Brent Hartley and German Ambassador H.E. Klaus Riedel provided opening remarks and underlined the contribution of Marshall Center alumni associations to affect positive change in their countries in order to promote stability and security and to bring greater attention to resolving defense, foreign policy or regional security issues.
Dr. Sebastian von Munchow from Marshall Center and Dr Bekim Maksuti, Deputy minister of defence of the Republic of Macedonia provided an overview of the Southeast Europe regional security bodies boosting the discussion on MCAASEES contribution in improving the regional cooperation by using the regional alumni associations as a tool to share their views and experience in order to be achieved shared security environment assessment
During the event the senior alumni association member discussed regional security issues and how best the MCAASES could improve its activities in order to become a key regional player in providing recommendations for coping with the current security challenges to experts and decision-makers, recognizing no nation alone can provide for its security.
Bulgaria’s alumni association provided an overview of its activities in 2017 and the ones planned in 2018 and shared some best practices and lessons learnt on how could be improved the activities of the regional alumni association. The Bulgarian delegation was represented by Ms Violina Kehayova from the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence and Mr Ognemir Stoimenov from the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Alumni associations of Croatia and Bulgaria were elected to take the positions of President and Vice –President of the MCAASEES in 2018.