Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey, Photo by Felix Gonzalez (CC 2.0)
Balkan Economic Forum Ethos
“What we do with our world, right now, will propagate down through the centuries and powerfully affect the destiny of our descendants. … We are capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet.”
Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
It is an inescapable fact that the rippling effects of human history touch everyone’s life in one way or another. The Balkans are no exception. The richly coloured tapestry of Balkan history has been woven by a mosaic of countries and cultures that reflect the tumultuous and incredible journey undertaken by successive generations. The significance of the region is indisputable in that it represents an important cornerstone of the wider European territory, yet the relevance and impact of its recent history still linger in the shadows and seep into the fabric of everyday life in the Balkans.
Once thought to be relegated to dust-collecting archives, certain periods of the Balkan past remain unsettled in the minds and hearts of some and, therefore, reappear in the context of modern political, business and social life. These simmering embers from fires believed to have been extinguished unwittingly continue to affect the lives of today’s generation that now has a fresh opportunity to write its own chapter of history in a new and productive way.
Business investment, reduced corruption, the protection and responsible management of natural resources, economic growth, sustainable employment and poverty relief in the Balkans will contribute measurably to the enhancement of social well-being, regional stability, cooperation and reconciliation following recent events. The Balkan Economic Forum was created to make a tangible contribution to the achievement of these worthwhile endeavours for the well-being of those who live on this peninsula and beyond its borders by working with its members and international supporters in collaboration with today’s Balkan generation, whose choices, like those of their predecessors, will inevitably leave their footprint in the sands of time.