Visit of Delegation South East Europe

The Kozmetsky Center and St. Edward’s University hosted a delegation of distinguished leaders representing the nations of South Eastern Europe/Balkans February 25-27, 2014.  The purpose of the visit was to share perspectives on security and economic circumstances in South Eastern Europe, and to explore opportunities for building academic cooperation in the region with St. Edward’s University and associations with the wider Austin community.  The visit featured a panel session on Tuesday February 25 held on the St. Edward’s University campus devoted to exchanging views among the visitors on prospects for future developments in their respective nations and the region. The delegates met in small working group subject area sessions to discuss common teaching, research, and other professional interests with St. Edward’s University faculty and members of the Texas House of Representatives. Colleagues representing Global Austin and World Affairs Council of Austin also met with the members to discuss contemporary international issues in the Balkans. The group was received by Austin’s Mayor Lee Leffingwell, and were briefed on Austin and Texas economic development, business investment, international interests and opportunities by members of the Mayor’s staff, Governor’s staff, and other community leaders. The program included briefings on border security, cyber security, and disaster preparedness provided by heads of relevant Texas government divisions involved in the preparation of the Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan.  Participating delegates also exchanged views on the relationship of their nations with NATO and the European Union in a forum with faculty representing the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Clements Center for History, Strategy, and Statecraft, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and others held at the University of Texas, Austin on February 27. St. Edward’s University President George Martin shared his vision with the delegation on future international educational development for the university, and accepted an invitation of the delegates to visit major academic centers throughout the Balkan region in the near future.  We anticipate that this visit set the foundation for establishing ongoing exchanges between the St. Edward’s University community and the South East European/Balkan region on multiple levels.

Members of the Visiting Delegation included:
-Dr. Anna Krasteva, Director Center for Refugees, Migration, & Ethnic Studies, New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria)
-Mr. Vladimir Ateljevic, Government of Serbia (Serbia)
-Dr. Savo Kentera, President, Atlantic Council Montenegro (Montenegro)
-Dr. Sonja Tomovic Sundic, Dean and Professor, University of Montenegro (Montenegro)
-Dr. Valbona Zeneli, Professor, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (Albania)
-Dr. Tonci Matulic, Dean & Professor, Catholic Theological Faculty, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
-Dr. Vlatko Cvrtila, Dean VERN University of Applied Sciences, Zagreb & Adjunct Professor, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
-Dr. Radovan Vukadinovic, President, Atlantic Council of Croatia (Croatia)

   Kozmetsky Center Director Dr. Sharyl Cross with the delegation at the session held in the Carter Auditorium St. Edward’s University, February 25, 2014.

  South East Europe delegation with Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, February 26, 2014.

                                                                Dr. Valbona Zeneli representing the nation of Albania on the faculty of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch Partenkirchen Germany introducing the delegation to Mr. Johnathan Taylor and Mr. Michael Treyger of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s staff on International Trade and Economic Development.

  Vladimir Ateljevic of the University of Belgrade and Senior Advisor to the Serbian Government on European Union issues comments on Serbia's regional and EU partnerships.

     Dr. Tonci Matulic, Dean of the Catholic Theological Faculty at the University of Zagreb, responds to question from a St. Edward’s University student emphasizing the importance of stating the truth and the need for forgiveness and healing in overcoming the legacies of the Balkan conflicts.

      Dr. Savo Kentera offering an official presentation for the Atlantic Council of Montenegro to Mayor Lee Leffingwell.

      Dr. Lidija Cehulic Vukadinovic of the University of Zagreb delivered a lecture to Professor William Nicholas’ American Foreign Policy course on security relationships in South Eastern Europe.

 Member of the delegation Dr. Anna Krasteva of the New Bulgarian University in Sofia pictured during the visit to the Texas State Capitol Building.

    The South East European delegation with St. Edward's University President George Martin, Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives Bill Clabby, and Kozmetsky Center Director Sharyl Cross.