In June 1999, at the EU's initiative, more than 40 partner countries and organisations undertook to strengthen the countries of South Eastern Europe and to replace the previous, reactive crisis intervention policy in South Eastern Europe with a comprehensive, long-term conflict prevention strategy.
Dr Erhard Busek, special coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, will look at the Pact's achievements over the past five years and on the challenges that lie ahead, at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) on Monday 8 March.
At the time of the Stability Pact's inception, the Balkan region had just emerged from the Kosovo war. Five years later, all countries have democratically elected governments; the security threat has shifted from military to civilian domains such as organised crime and corruption; the economies are showing signs of progress and the growth rates in South Eastern Europe are in some places higher than in the West, albeit coming from a low level. Economic reforms and job creation together with strengthening the rule of law remain the main challenges.
Erhard Busek, a former Austrian vice-chancellor, has been special coordinator of the Stability Pact since early 2002. As coordinator of other initiatives and as special envoy for EU enlargement issues of the Austrian Government, he has been engaged in the Balkan's recovery process since 1996.
Professor Mary Kaldor, LSE, will chair this event.
Five Years of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe is on Monday 8 March at 6.30pm in the New Theatre, East Building, LSE, Houghton St, London WC2A. This event is free and open to all with no ticket required.
To reserve a press seat, please contact Jessica Winterstein, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Stability Pact, see http://www.stabilitypact.org/
For more information on Dr Erhard Busek, see http://ue.eu.int/pesc/envoye/cv/busek/busek.htm
20 February 2004