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Balkan Communication NetworkThe BCN members have convened in Tekirdag, Turkey on 30 April 2010 with the purpose of updating the basic documents of the "Balkan Communication Network" (BCN), evaluating the achievements taken so far and deciding about how to proceed in the future. After the Founding Conference held in Ankara in 2005, Tekirdag Conference compose the third annual gathering of the Network.

The Tekirdag Conference was headed by Ambassador (R) Mr. Murat Bilhan, the former Chairman of SAM and the current Vice-President of TASAM.

During the meeting, the first-time participation and membership of the institutions from Moldova, Montenegro and Slovenia as well as that of the new institutions from the current BCN member countries have been approved and welcomed.

In the meeting, it was unanimously agreed that the BCN had been established to materialize close cooperation between the Member Institutions and to contribute to decision-making processes by presenting alternative approaches to various regional issues. This would constitute a second-track diplomacy by civil society organizations which would be conducive to establish closer understanding and confidence between member countries' participating institutions and civil society through their think-tanks and NGOs.

It was emphasised during the meeting that though BCN was initiated by SAM its creation reflects the common will of all participating institutions and the importance of its ownership by all member institutions.

Among the suggestions to be fulfilled by the Network in the period ahead, the following points were made by the participants:

- It was suggested that a book should be produced in cooperation with the academics in the region with the vision of improving the image of the Balkan countries in the face of others by preventing the existing misunderstandings and correcting the distortions of certain facts. In this framework, it was argued that such a joint effort could also produce common history books.

- The activities of the BCN since its foundation in 2005 could be publicized so that whatever has been achieved so far could be considered as an acquisition and could be proceeded further in the light of the previous experience.

- It was suggested that the articles produced by academics from the member institutions could be shared not only by putting them on the website of the BCN but also by circulating them to a collection of e-mail addresses after being evaluated and edited by a webmaster.

Just to conclude, it could be mentioned that several proposals have been made, the details of which have been recorded during the meeting, and it was expressed that they will actively be pursued by the members of the Contact Group.

The members of the Contact Group (at least one institution represented by one person from each country) should come into communication with each other during the period between the annual meetings of the Network and give suggestions and guidance to all member institutions on the further steps, initiatives and actions to be taken by the BCN.

The participants also expressed their desire to acquire support from the EU on the advancement of their projects. On this ground, the Representative from the EU Commission, Mr. Alain Servantie has responded by explaining the procedures of applying to assistance for project-producing.

The participating institutions have also agreed on strengthening the activities of the Network and the solidarity among themselves.

It was finally decided that the 4th round of the BCN meeting would be held in the city of Ohrid in the second half of 2011 with the main theme of "Energy Security"." and the 5th round of the BCN meeting would be held in the city of Tirana in 2012. It was also agreed that this meeting will also cover two other workshops, one on the gender issues and the second one on the fight against corruption.

April 30, 2010 - Tekirdag, Turkey




1-2 Aralık 2010