Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Radmila Sekerinska and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov participated in the 22nd Symi International Symposium held this year in Athens and Lagonisi, under the auspices of the Greek Presidency of the Council of Europe, and organized by the Andreas Papandreou Foundation in collaboration with the Attica Region and the Municipality of Athens.
The focus of the Symposium was on cooperation and solidarity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in its aftermath, and on the exchange of views on access and strategies that will represent national and global interests in the field of healthcare. exit strategies, regional cooperation and socio-economic challenges following the COVID-19 crisis, human rights and the impact on vulnerable groups, the development of “green” economies, the impact on democracy and other related issues.
Sekerinska participated in the “World after COVID-19” committee on global political and security challenges posed by the coronavirus, which also included NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Joanna, as well as politicians and experts from the United States, Sweden, Turkey and France.
“The pandemic has shown that the concept of security needs to be redefined and expanded. This implies changes in our national strategies, but also in NATO planning, which are supported in recent ministerial meetings. The pandemic also reminded the world of the importance of investing in public health and scientific cooperation”, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Radmila Sekerinska.
Dimitrov participated in the committee titled “COVID-19 and regional cooperation – prioritization of common interests”, which examined the importance of regional cooperation, especially in pandemic conditions, as well as the need to take the necessary measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in the health and the socio-economic life of citizens in the Western Balkans and the EU. The commission also included former Greek and Kosovar Prime Ministers George Papandreou and Albin Kurti respectively, along with Foreign Minister Dimitrov.
“Geographically, culturally, economically, our region is on the same boat with the European Union. And now we are fighting against time. To complete the European integration of the Western Balkans, where tensions over nationalism, borders, history will pave the way for a brighter present and future for present and future generations. To convince skeptics in the EU that it is in the common interest to invest in this goal, and to restore hope among young people in the region, that the goal of a better and more prosperous life, a rule of law, quality education and services health, fresh air, be accessible at home. The involvement and assistance of the great political forces is certainly very important, but we are the ones who have to create the opportunities on the ground. And this sense of cooperation, solidarity and community that was slowly but surely reborn during the pandemic crisis, it is particularly important that we cultivate it together as part of the accession process towards the goal of a fully European Western Balkan region”, Foreign Minister Dimitrov stressed in his speech.
On the occasion of the Symposium, Minister Dimitrov had several meetings, including Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis with whom they discussed the main issues on the agenda of the Greek Presidency of the Council of Europe. The symposium features discussions between politicians, health scientists, academics, Nobel laureates and representatives of international and European organizations. /ibna