18:00 Opening

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Ave. Dubrovnik 17, Gorgona Media Room

Welcome by HEDVIG MORVAI HORVAT, Executive Director, European Fund for the Balkans and FRANZ KARL PRÜLLER, Programme Director, ERSTE Stiftung

After five years of continuous work in the Western Balkans and the European Union, we strongly believe that the most valuable resources of the European Fund for the Balkans are the people who connect with us through active engagement in our Programmes. The EFB Community Conference is for all of you who showed an interest in working with us and contributing to developing our network!

Opening speech by IVO JOSIPOVIĆ, President of the Republic of Croatia
“European Future of the Western Balkans”

Croatia was chosen to host the first ever EFB Community Conference because of its positive example of successful accession negotiations with the EU. With a target date of 1 July 2013 for joining the EU, Croatia has set the example for the rest of the Western Balkan countries. By organising this event in Croatia, the EFB will acknowledge all the really positive changes that have happened here so far, and give its support to the work that still needs to be done. Croatia is also showing its support to the rest of the WB countries in their effort to introduce all the political, economic and social changes that are needed to become members of the EU. In order to show his dedication and support in bringing the rest of the WB closer to the European Union, President of Croatia, Mr. Ivo Josipovic, will officially open the Conference on Thursday, 11 October 2012.