Come aboard! In Vienna will be officially opened the event "Danube, Europe is meeting", promoted by the Balkan Observatory, an Italian research centre on South East Europe. Ten days by boat along the Danube, from the Austrian capital to Belgrade.
Just recently, an enlarged Europe was born. With ten new members the European Union now goes from the Baltic Republics to Slovenia and has slowly healed the wound left by the iron curtain. In 2007 Bulgaria and Romania should become members, but even with them the union is incomplete: the Western Balkans countries are still outside.
Nevertheless, many things have changed since April 2002, when the Balkan Observatory, in Sarajevo, together with the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, was one of the first organizations to promote a debate on the integration of southeast Europe into the EU. Now, after the Greek presidency, the European perspective of these countries has become more concrete.
But the Balkan Observatory does not want to stop here. The process should, in fact, continue as outlined in the "Europe beyond the borders" appeal launched in April 2002 in Sarajevo - "certain, sustainable, and from below." This is the reason for these ten days of events that include everything from roundtables and concerts, to public debates and theatre performances, to institutional appointments. Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Vukovar, Novi Sad and Belgrade are the legs of this journey, in the core of the Europe we want.
The event will be an opportunity to discuss the experience of the ten countries that will soon join the EU, to consider the relationship between media and the integration process, to face the environmental issues connected to the EU and Western Balkans, and to deepen the analysis of the characteristics of the road that will bring Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro and Albania to join the Union. Moreover, the event "Danube, Europe is meeting" will constitute another step towards a "Europe from below," a network of movements, NGOs, and European civil society groups that can anticipate, enrich, and positively condition the path towards the EU.
In Vienna will be held the opening of the initiative at 12.00 o'clock at the Italian Cultural Institute of Vienna - Sternberg Palace Ungargasse 43 - at the presence of Francesco Acanfora, Director Italian Cultural Institute, Raffaele Berlenghi, Italian Ambassador in Vienna, Jürgen Wutzlhofer, Municipality of Vienna, Carlo Andreotti, President Autonomous Region of Trentino-Südtirol, Ján Kubiš, Secretary General OSCE, Claudio Moreno, Permanent Representation of Italy with the International Organizations, Guido Lenzi, Permanent Representation of Italy with the OSCE. The event "Danube, Europe is meeting" will be introduced by Mauro Cereghini, Director of the Balkan Observatory. At 15.00, at Mexico Platz will take place the boarding ceremony and a delegation will embark for Bratislava. At 17.00 o'clock the appointment is at the Institut für Volksmusikforschung und Ethnomusikologie - Anton von Weber Platz 1 - where will be held the concert "Musical notes between the two sides of Europe" with the performances of Destràni Taràf, Ruzsa Nikolic - Lakatos and the Gypsy Family, Hungarian Dance House and of the ensemble "Gajdos".
For more information on the event please consult the web site www.osservatoriobalcani.org, or do not hesitate to phone at the Observatory on the Balkans headquarters: ++39 0464 424230, or to contact us by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org