First day of the international conference ”Western Balkans in comparative perspectives – European Social Survey”

On the first day of the international conference ”Western Balkans in comparative perspectives – European Social Survey” the focus was on the regional cooperation in the context of the ESS and building research infrastructures and synergies. In the first session titled “Regional cooperation, Science Diplomacy and EBPM”, director of the ESS, Rory Fitzgerald, particularly underlined the importance of having all Western Balkan countries as part of the ESS in the near future, emphasising the importance of the WB Regional Network in this process. Also, director of the Institute for Social Sciences in Belgrade, Goran Bašić, used the example of Roma integration efforts in the region to demonstrate the value of comparable and quality data.

In the second session of the first day, named „Research onfrastructures and synergies“ seven speakers participated. Professor Dr. Albert Simkus, Professor Emeritus, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway as a keynote speaker presented his experiences in conducting and coordinating survey research projects in the region some 20 years ago. It allowed comparison with the current state of affairs, and see where some advances have been made, and where challenges have persisted.

Kseniya Kizilova (Head of Secretariat of the World Values Survey Association) gave an informative presentation about the WVS project. In addition to describing the main features of the project, the presentation highlighted the organizational dimension, and how the work with local collaborators is conducted. She emphasized that WVS project is continually interested in expanding its coverage. Dave Howell’s (Institute of social research, University of Michigan) introduction of the CSES project (Comparative study of electoral systems) covered similar topics. He highlighted its cooperative nature, based on collaboration with researchers from interested countries. Dr Howell commented that the research community in the WBB region could benefit by further developing collaborative approach to providing infrastructure for their research projects.

Minister of Science in Montenegro and  Chair Person of the South East European International Institute for Sustainable Technologies, Sanja Damjanović,  presented the main results and goals of SEEIIST project, emphasising among the other things its green direction and benefits in the fight against cancer.  Marija Bulat from Regional Youth Cooperation Office (Head of Local Branch Office in Belgrade) gave us the insight into the cooperation between the youth in the Western Balkans  region. Dafina Beqiri from the Western Balkan Fund introduced this institution which main goal is to promote cooperation on the sustainable economic development, education exchange and cultural cooperation between Western Balkans countries. Graham Lynch presented activities and plans of  RRING i GRRIP projects. These projects are working on embedding sustainable Responsible Research and Innovation in the marine and maritime sectors and have developed research programme for spreading and sharing the ideas of responsible research and innovation.

Here you can register for the second day of the conference.