IDSCS organised the panel discussion “Crisis Prevention and Management with Critical Infrastructure in the Western Balkans”

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Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” – Skopje (IDSCS) on May 4th in Skopje organized the panel discussion “Crisis prevention and management of critical infrastructure in Western Balkans “. At the event, the paper “Crisis prevention and critical infrastructure in Western Balkans” was presented by prominent Western Balkan experts.

The welcoming remarks were delivered by Marko Troshanovski, president of the Institute for Democracy and Vladimir Anchev, State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence of North Macedonia.

Troshanovski welcomed the attendees and in his remarks he talked about the main motivation behind the project and the importance of critical infrastructure.

Today’s topic of critical infrastructure is extremely important. Currently, the Ministry of Defence is in the process of preparing a law on critical infrastructure where the Institute for Democracy is part of the working group. The sustainability of critical infrastructure, from cyber security to the maintenance of irrigation systems, road infrastructure, the entire physical infrastructure is of vital importance for the social and economic benefit of the community” stated Troshanovski.

Anchev talked the position of the Ministry of Defence in the regulation of critical infrastructure and stressed the importance of discussion among all affected sides of society.

The Ministry of Defence in North Macedonia has been a proponent of norms for many years, which is connected to the entire system of crisis management. Among other things, it was discussed for the first time at the level of government of the Republic of North Macedonia to regulate the critical infrastructure as such. So far in our country, there has been no legal solution, no legal competence of any state institution that will deal with the critical infrastructure. We are trying to have a wider consultation with many more stakeholders so that we don’t rush it and not to make the existing system worse. The Law on Critical Infrastructure is in its final stage” said Anchev.

Vasko Popovski, disaster risk management, crisis management, urban resilience, social innovation and development expert, Donika Emini, executive director of the CiviKos Platform and member of Balkan Research Centre, Aleksandar Kovacevikj, researcher at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) and Anamarija Velinovska, researcher at IDSCS shared their perspective on the topic of critical infrastructure

Each of the panelists provided an overview of their national contexts in the countries of the Western Balkan and presented a formulation of forward-looking recommendations aimed at supporting the efforts for building the resilience of the critical infrastructure to crises and disasters. Popovski provided a detailed overview of the overall critical infrastructure framework and concluded by saying that even though the national contexts and the countries crisis and disaster risk management systems are various, the regional approach in this resilience-building endeavor is the modus operandi for intensifying these activities and contributing to the safer, more secure and resilient Western Balkans. Emini briefed on the Kosovo efforts for building the resilience of the critical infrastructure and pointed out that we need to shift the paradigm of critical infrastructure from risk to resilience and from protection to building resilience. Kovacevikj shared his perspective on Serbia’s national disaster management and he provided an essential input by saying that there are limited capacities and knowledge to develop and implement critical infrastructure resilience-building-related policies. Velinovska, touched upon the topic of pandemic management and lessons learned for a more secure future. Presenting the North Macedonian perspective, Velinovska emphasized that even though North Macedonia went on a good start in crisis-management, the subsequent developments related to procurement, vaccines, private health providers and scandals within the public health care system unveiled great gaps in the county’s management abilities.

The panels were moderated and concluding remarks were delivered by Mr Zoran Nechev, Head of the Centre for EU integration within IDSCS.

The ‘Enhancing Think Balkans – knowledge hub for Western Balkans EU integration and regional cooperation” project is financially supported by the International Visegrad Fund and builds upon the previously established cooperation between the members of the Southeast European Think Net Network (SEE Think Net) and Think Visegrad as part of the ‘Regional cooperation in the Western Balkans: The Berlin Process and Visegrad Group in comparison project’ and the project “Cooperation Instrument for the Western Balkans Think Tanks – THINK BALKANS” supported by the International Visegrad Fund.

The project is implemented by Institute for Democracy (IDSCS), in collaboration with the European Movement in Serbia (EMinS), Balkan Research Institute from Kosovo*, Politikon Network from Montenegro, Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS) from Albania, Humanity in Action from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) from Poland, Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT) from Hungary, the Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (RC SFPA) from Slovakia, and EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy (EUROPEUM) from the Czech Republic, will work in achieving the project’s goals.


“Crisis prevention and critical infrastructure in Western Balkans”


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