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European Forum Alpbach 2014

Serbian Scholarship holders at the European Forum Alpbach 2014

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European Forum Alpbach 2014 – EFA14 was held from 13 to 29 August in the Tyrolean village Alpbach, under the main theme “At the Crossroads”. Or if you like numbers more, the European Forum Alpbach 2014 could be presented like this: 4,000 visitors, including 750 scholarship holders and numerous day guests from in total 64 countries shaped the image of the 16 days of the Forum. Overall, the European Forum Alpbach offered 779 hours of programme, with 60 podium discussions and 75 breakout sessions. Among this 759 scholarship holders in European Forum Alpbach 2014 also 28 scholarship holders from Serbia participated, including Club Alpbach’s Belgrade organization team. As in previous years Club Alpbach Belgrade members and scholarship holders took actively part in various parallel events during the European Forum Alpbach 2014 and followed its own agenda. Just to name a few events:

Speaker’s Night
Since 2007, our Young European price winner participates in Speaker’s Night in Alpbach. This year we had young Mina Bogdanovi?. Mina is this year’s winner at the Oratory Competition at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade in the free-choice topic category with her speech about the position of people with disabilities in Serbian society, and at the same time winner of “Young European 2014” Award, which has been granted by Club Alpbach Belgrade. We gave her a scholarship because she tackled the issue of rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in Serbia. Mina has inspired us to fundraise scholarships for two young persons with disabilities from Serbia. Since we also wanted to emphasise that the European Forum Alpbach is a place for everyone without boundaries, we gave her a voice. Mina had a special appearance with her a speech, presenting outside of the regular competition of this year’s Speaker’s Night.

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Fireside Talks
Club Alpbach Belgrade, together with Club Alpbach Salzburg and Initiative Group Trentino, has organized a Fireside Talk with Professor Sonja Puntscher-Riekmann, Vice President of European Forum Alpbach and Head of Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies, University of Salzburg. Prof. Puntscher-Riekmann gave a much differentiated keynote speech about a complex issue, the common EU neighborhood policies. She looked backward and forward especially on the Ukraine/Crimea crisis. Thanks to many questions of our scholarship holders the discussion afterwards was very lively and in-depth.
Club Alpbach Belgrade’s Representatives together with the Representatives from other Western Balkan IGs and Clubs, had a very interesting meeting with Mr Andrä Rupprechter, Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water management. This discussion topic was the current political and economic situation in the South East European countries.

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Regional Cooperation
During this year’s Forum Club Alpbach Belgrade has also initiated a meet up between Serbian and Kosovar scholarship holders. We organized a fireside talk between members from IG Kosovo and Club Alpbach Belgrade. This small meeting was a nice opportunity to bring the scholarship holders from the two organizations together and to give them a chance to get to know each other better in an informal manner. With this proposal we wanted to foster the practice of open discussion in Alpbach regarding our region, but also to initiate some new projects between our two Clubs. Also, former presidents of our two organizations, Taulant Hodaj and Milana Sredojevi?, shared their experiences regarding the mutual project €uroXibition, which is a great example of cooperation between Serbian and Kosovar Clubs, that succeeded so well despite the challenges it faced.
The representatives from Club Alpbach Belgrade had a meeting with the President of Club Alpbach Macedonia, Pishtar Lutfiu. The meeting topic was particularly the project “Austrian-Macedonian Days” and cooperation possibilities between our two Clubs. This four days fair and networking event is planned for October 2014 and Club Alpbach Belgrade has agreed on participating in this project.

FAN’ s Charter of Diversity
Club Alpbach Belgrade has also signed the Charter of Diversity, which was initiated by Forum Alpbach Network. Vice President of the Club ceremonial introduced the Open Call to Sign the Charta. The main aims of Diversity Charter are to: Acknowledge the diversity of society and maintain a culture characterised by mutual respect and appreciation for diversity; and to pursue an invitation policy that reflects the diversity of society, in accordance with the criteria of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ, religion and sociocultural background. Club Alpbach Belgrade will also share a particular responsibility in living these values and reflecting the commitment within its own organisational structure. We will also nominate a Diversity contact person, who will be responsible for the topic, including the two pillars: Diversity in application process and Diversity in topics.

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Standing Committee 2015 Role Nomination
One of the most important Club Alpbach Belgrade’s achievement during this year’s Forum is the nomination for the Standing Committee Role at the European Forum Alpbach 2015. Next year, Club Alpbach Belgrade – which in 2015 also celebrates its 10th anniversary – will act as the Standing Committee and organize a series of side events following the official program. Every year, one Club or Initiative Group of the EFA Associate Network coordinates the unofficial program during European Forum Alpbach, which the various Alumni Clubs and Initiative Groups (IGs) prepare. They organize a range of activities for the young, such as numerous fireside talks – an opportunity to speak to academics, economists and politicians in a private atmosphere –, get-togethers, sport activities, hikes and trips, quizzes and a lot more.

This year the Club Alpbach Belgrade’s Schoolarship Program was supported by following friends: Uniqa Insurance, Soravia Group, VIP, CMS, Confida, Grawe Insurance and UniCredit Leasing.

For more information or to download our brochure, click here.

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