Thirty-two young political and civic leaders from 8 Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – commenced their training within the Regional Program 2010-2011 of the Bulgarian School of Politics. The first seminar, which began today in Durres, Albania, is on the topic of “Policy Leadership for Sustainable Development”.

A common issue for the entire Balkans is that we still do not have the roads to travel quickly and conveniently between the countries, said in her opening address the Executive Director of the Bulgarian School of Politics Ms. Irina Alexieva. She wished to the participants to be the ones to build those roads – between the countries and between the peoples. Olsi Dekovi, Director of the Albanian School for Political Studies, also had a welcoming address.

Leadership in the 21st century was the key topic presented by Mr. Adrian Krasta, a lecturer on public communications at the University of Pristina, and one of the most popular opinion leaders in Albania for the past 20 years. During the afternoon session, participants discussed the role of parties and citizens in setting the public agenda. Presenter on the topic was Mr. Hartmut Pürner, a Director of Democracy and Civil Society Directorate at the OSCE Presence in Albania.

Participants took part in a simulation game on team building and leadership, and worked in small groups on a case study about local planning and sustainable development.

On the following day, participants will visit the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and meet with Minister Edmond Haxhinasto.

The “Political Debate in Southeast Europe” Program is running for 8th year already. Till now, more than 200 young politicians, civic activists and journalists have undergone training.

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