CANCELLED: The Western Balkans' Euro-Atlantic Future and the Russian Regional Role

Thursday, November 19, 2015
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 IAB, 420 West 118th St.)
Please join us for a talk with Dr. Enver Hoxhaj, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Parliament of Kosovo and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo.
New global rivalries and the re-emergence of Russia’s assertive policies towards Europe and Middle East are increasingly affecting the Western Balkans. In the past two decades, the Western Balkans has been relatively a stable region with a clear pursuit to integrate in Euro-Atlantic structures. However, Russia has recently increased its involvement in the region, and is trying to challenge the Euro-Atlantic future of certain countries in the region by offering military, economic, and cultural incentives. To discuss this new problematic role of Russia in the Western Balkans, Kosovo’s former foreign affairs minister, Dr. Enver Hoxhaj will present his views on the Euro-Atlantic future of the region and the impact of Russian interference. Dr. Hoxhaj’s talk will highlight some of the existing forms of Russian interference in the region, especially in Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and certain parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He will also point out how Russia’s increased involvement in the region not only undermined the Euro-Atlantic aspiration of the region and impede democratic reforms, but also can return old ethic hostilities and rivalries that have the potential to destabilize the region and undermine the entire international investment provided to the region in the past two decades. Dr. Hoxhaj will offer his vision of how to cope with this Russian interference and what role do the EU and US have in this endeavor.

Dr. Enver Hoxhaj has been a key politician and diplomat for the past ten years in Kosovo. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Parliament of Kosovo, where he leads Kosovo’s parliamentary diplomacy. Dr. Hoxhaj is a Visiting Fellow at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University. Previously Dr. Hoxhaj was Minister of Foreign Affairs (2011-2014) where he played a vital role in consolidating and strengthening Kosovo’s bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. Dr. Hoxhaj was the first Minister of Education (2008-2010) after Kosovo’s independence playing a crucial role in the modernisation of the education system and infrastructure. Dr. Hoxhaj has been member of Kosovo delegation in the UN-led talks for defining Kosovo’s final status (2005-2007) and has played a key role during the state-building process before and after Kosovo’s independence. Before this he was a professor at the University of Pristina and a long-standing human rights activist. He holds a PhD in history and politics from the University of Vienna and is author of numerous journal articles, books and other publications. Dr. Enver Hoxhaj is fluent in English, German and Serbo-Croatian.