Overview of the Western Balkans Region on its Pathway to Implement the Green and Digital Agenda as well as Health Policy [POLICY ANSWERS Conf. 2023 Sarajevo; Plenary Session 1]

The first plenary session hosted various presentations from key speakers establishing a basis for further discussions on the key pathways.

From left to right: Nikola Radovanovic, Claudio Belis, Maja Arslanagic-Kalajdzic, Samir Avdic, Bernhard Fabianek, Elke Dall, Rifat Skrijelj, Sanja Damjanovic, Pavle Krstic, Suvad Dzafic

On this page, you will find an overview of speakers with links to their presentations as separate entries.

Keynote Talk

As the first speaker of the conference, Bernhard Fabianek presented the Western Balkans Agenda and its relations to green and digital transformation and healthy societies, to the audience.

Key Highlights and Insights on Instruments and Opportunities for Aligning Priorities

Presenters introduced instruments and opportunities for connecting the key thematic areas.

Key Inputs for Setting the Scene

Bojana Bajic accentuated that the WB region has a differentiated level of progress in digital transformation processes. Interoperativity is the biggest challenge in the Western Balkans. Skills are needed, such as digital compass, and universities for IT. One advantage is that the region has more female students in IT compared to Europe. Serbia and Albania are frontrunners in the digital government, while in terms of digital infrastructure, Kosovo is in the lead, followed by Montenegro.  For digital government, it is necessary to separate policy and organizational levels.  The best examples come from countries which created separate agencies for digital government.

Miroslav Veskovic mentioned the lack of decentralisation, political will, and conflicting interests among the challenges that the WB region faces from governments in order to be successful with the green transition.  At the same time, governments should also not be taking the blame for everything. It is also about citizens’ awareness, and how much they are willing to sacrifice their comfort for the sake of climate. There is not enough regional cooperation, and it is necessary so that we move forward together

Marija Jevtic started by differentiating between health, global health and public health. She mentioned the need for integrated approaches, such as health and environment, when discussing health in the WB region. Sustainability is of key importance, and the support of local communities, who sometimes contribute more than the bodies in charge of healthy communities. There is a need to reform the health systems since as it stands, there is no satisfaction in patients and no satisfaction in the workforce. There is also a need to extend our approach to health and have a public discussion about the anamnesis of the system, social uncertainties, mental health, non-communicable diseases and microbiological resistance.

Best Practice Highlights: Lessons and Success Stories

What frontrunning projects are changing the Digital, Green and Healthcare landscape in the WB? Participants took a ride throughout the region, starting from E-Albania platform providing 1230 services to citizens and businesses, to Smart Cities Initiative to address pollution, transport and corruption in Sarajevo, to Kosova Digital Project Economy (KODE) enhancing overarching high speed internet coverage, to the establishment of the Cyber Security Center for the Western Balkans in Montenegro, to the Government Frame for Funding for Innovation and Technological Development in North Macedonia, to Smart Specialisation Strategies for Biotech and Health through Bio4 Campus in Serbia.

The copyright of photos included in this entry belongs to POLICY ANSWERS.

Geographical focus
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on September 14, 2023
Modified on October 12, 2023