Gordana Comic, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and member of the European Integration Committee, took part in the 27th Economic Forum in Krynica Zdroj, Poland, 5-7 September 2017.
Deputy Speaker Comic participated in the panel “Future of the European Union in light of growing Euro-scepticism”. Daniel Kawczynski of the UK House of Commons, Piotr Apel and Rafal Trzaskowski of the Polish Parliament, Mary Murphy, President of the Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies, and Ferdinando Nelli Feroci President of the Italian Institute for International Affairs also took part in the panel.
The panel revolved around the Brexit fallout, deep rifts within the EU caused by the refugee crisis and the blockade of the EU institution. The participants stressed that though none of the Euro-sceptic leaders has managed to win in an election in the first half of 2017 there is still a wave of public dissatisfaction in the EU, but there are also ideas how to oppose the anti-European narrative.
Speaking of possible solution to the EU crisis, Deputy Speaker Comic said that the voters’ response to the difficulties and crisis is to turn to populism and isolationism. These tendencies should be addressed by a political elite who should influence people and their system of values. 20th century history demonstrates how these two processes can be dangerous for a society in crisis.
Gordana Comic said we should not be wondering who is at fault in the EU, the real question is how to address the crisis. Democracy is complicated, but it is still the best system, and the EU will weather the crisis with the help of democracy. The role of the parliament and parliamentarians should be bigger in that sense.
The Economic Forum is organised by the Warsaw Institute for Eastern Studies. It is attended by over 4,000 participants, representatives of parliaments, governments, chambers of commerce, EU institutions and the academic community, who, in 140 panels, discuss the role of the state in the economy, future of the EU, the EU’s new role in further enlargement, role of the media in light of globalization, crisis of democracy, sustainable development and the leaders’ vision for the 21st century.
Deputy Speaker Comic also took part in the conference “Europe of the Carpathians” hosted by the Polish Sejm within the 27th Economic Forum, in Krynica Zdroj, Poland, 5-7 September 2017.
She participated in the panel on “Solidarity across borders: EU neighbourhood policy and the migrant crisis”. Polish Minister of Interior Mariusz Blaszczak, former MEP Jan Hudacky, President of the Regional Info Centre Presov, Agoston Samuel Mraz, Director of Nezopont Institute Hungary, and Beris Gwynne, President of the International network of consultants for peacebuiding initiatives took part in the panel.
The key topics of the panel were EU humanitarian and development aid, participation of states in addressing the migrant crisis, protection of the EU outer borders, influence of borders on the development of economy, tourism and migration.
Deputy Speaker Comic said that economic development and political stability are the key words for the development of the European idea and European integration. Serbia has proved itself to be a reliable partner to the EU especially in tackling the migrant crisis which has revealed the importance of the entire Western Balkan region. This is a region whose EU accession could contribute to the stability of the Union which is why the EU should continue with its enlargement policy.