Forumi Rajonal 2017 Vlore-AL

Second Western Balkans Forum on Regional and Local Economic Development
Vlore, Albania - November 30-December 2, 2017

"To go far, go together".

“What future for Western Balkans? A vision from local and regional perspective”

Decentralization and division of powers are essential elements for democracy. Sub-national governments (communes, counties, intermediary authorities and regions) forms backbones of the political and administrative structure of our states; here citizens and all actors present in the territory such as the academic world, research centers, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial organizations, development agencies and civil society can influence how their communities can governed and play an active role in the society..

The aim
The long-term development paths of cities and regions are shaped by a never – ending process of restructuring, with some cities and regions achieving fast growth over long period while others lock into a trajectory of relative and sometimes absolute decline. Nonetheless, in some cases, some lagging regions and cities find renewed growth and previously vibrant cities and regions may lose momentum. It appears that from the economic restructuring benefit some cities and regions and puts others at a disadvantage.

The Forum aim to foster the exchange of ideas, reflections and prospects encouraging academics to get more comprehensive information on "real world" issues and policy makers using what emerges from the academic debate. In other words, the basic idea is to promote dialogue with people from different points of view dealing with the same issues and seeking innovative, effective and efficient policy solutions.

The aim of the forum is to bring together scholars and the policy makers from Western Balkans in order to create for exchange of knowledge and discussions of the issues that surround regional and local economic development research and policy , to challenge the existing models and discourses of regional and local economic development, to address current policy challenges and to offer the solutions for better utilization of human mobility. Although the regional focus is on the Western Balkans, we encourage the submissions and participation by scholars and practitioners working in others regions as well, since their experience may be very beneficial for our region and our region will be more attractive.

In the morning of the day before the Forum Workshop will be held a public lecture on the sustainable development of cities and regions, accompanied by the emergence of a documentary on global warming.

In the afternoon, representatives from the Western Balkans and other countries will visit the cultural and historic heritage sites in the Municipality of Vlora.

The forum will start with the Plenary session, keynote speeches by distinguished scholars in regional development studies. The rest of the forum will be composed of series of thematic panels, with several research papers presentations, one presentation by invited practitioner (government institutions, NGO, international organizations, experts) followed by a discussion of the issues raised at a panel.

The official languages of the forum are English and Albanian.

The forum has a multidisciplinary approach and intends to bring together, every year, scholars from abroad range of disciplines including anthropology, demography, economics, law, psychology, sociology, geography, development studies, innovation, health sciences, political science, international relations and other related disciplines with a focus on regional economic development. Inter- disciplinary research and comparative perspectives are particularly encouraged.

Possible topics include:

New Local Development Tools: The Effect of Digital Infrastructure on Creating Self-employment.
Co-Creating Sustainable Cities.
City & Regional Policies for the New Economy
Environmentality, Sustainability, & New Forms of Ecological Resilience.
Sustainable Local Development Policies (Smart City, Smart Community,Smart Land).
Better administrative capacity at regional and local level to improve economic governance.
Universities as agents of change in regions and cities
Communities as change agents: local development in the EU beyond 2020
The Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development
The role of media in promoting of territorial values and regional development.


Participation in the Forum is open to public officials on different levels: local, regional, and national level, in Western Balkan Bodies and Institutions, in the EU, international organizations, diplomats, entrepreneurs and organizations of entrepreneurs, the public and private regional development agencies, academics, experts and civil society from different countries as well as other interested persons on the themes of Regional and Local Economic Development. The Second Forum on Regional and Local Economic Development is organized by the Center for European Policy Studies for Regional and Local Development in cooperation with the European Academy of Regions, the University Ismail Qemali of Vlora, the Regional Council of Vlora Region, Vlora Municipality, Regional Youth Center of Vlora and will be under the auspices, support and strategic cooperation of many international, European and Western Balkan Organizations as such as OECD, ALDA (to be confirmed), Ersa, Western Balkans Network etc. The 2017 edition is supported by the Government of Flandres and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania, under the auspices of the Minister Mr. Damian Gjiknuri..


Albania (hosting country)- Bosnia/Herzegovina – FYROM – Kosovo – Montenegro – Serbia.


Officials, Executives, cabinet Ministers, prominent business and financial leaders are invited to take part in a constructive dialogue aiming to improve the bilateral and multilateral relations, the cross-border economic cooperation and sustainable development between the Western Balkans and European Union and other part of the world, under regional and local perspective.

1) Listen to first class speakers on challenges and opportunities in the Western Balkans and particularly in Albania.
2) Gain knowledge on how the region is planning to future proof its economy, institutional strengthening and rule of law.
3) Sharpen the Saw and meet experts and influencers face to face.
4) Full access to the Forum, offered only to the delegates of the event.
5) For some activities, like Public lecture, the participation in Forum is free.

Authors are invited to submit abstracts, relating to the conference theme or the various topics.

Key dates

Submission process The calls for papers are now open. Submission of papers are welcome from scholars, experts, policy makers and PhD students carrying out research in the field of regional and local economic development.

Please submit an abstract in of 300-350 word in MS Word format to , no later than 10 November for the new researchers and 15/11/2017 for others.

The selection committee will review
There is no fee for participation in the Forum. Full access to the Forum's work is only available to pre-registered delegates, by sending an email to: or by completing the on-line forum form for participation in the forum.

Who will not have papers to introduce is free to attend the forum and ask questions about programmed speakers. Always the registration on the forum page by completing the form or sending the email to: is mandatory.

Draft Axhenda

tetor 2017

Wednesday November 29th 2017
Arrivals - Check-in – Regjistrimet
19:30 - 21:00 Welcome Reception |

Thursday December 30th 2017
Programme of the day
15:00 - 19:00
Registrations | University Ismail Qemali of Vlora/Hotel Pavaresia, Vlore
11: 00- 12:00 | Public Lecture on topic of Regional and local Sustainable Development, by Prof.Niko Pano. (Theater “Petro Marko” of Vlora-to be confirmed)
In this part of Forum official language is Albanian. Simultaneous translation in English
12: 00-13: 00 |
Documentary film about global warming: "An uncomfortable truth, a global threat"(Theater “Petro Marko” of Vlora-to be confirmed)
15:00 - 18:15 |
Visit to the cultural heritage areas of Vlora
20:00 - 23:30 |
Official Dinner |

Friday December 1 2017
Programme of the day
08:00 - 09:00 | Registrations | University Ismail Qemali of Vlora
09:00 - 09:15 | Opening | Welcome
- Dritan Leli, Kryetar i Bashkisë së Vlorës
- Prof. Roland Zisi, Rector of "Ismail Qemali" University, Vlora>
Introduce of the forum
- Luiza Hoxhaj, CRLDS Albania
View more information on the session topic, speakers and moderator
09:15 - 09:30 | Opening | Forum Inauguration
- Mr. Damian Gjiknuri, Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Albania
- Mr. Henri Malosse, former president of EESC –the European Economic and Social Committee - "Advantages of the Community-led Local Development approach" "Advantages of the Community-led Local Development approach".
- Petrit Selimi, National Coordinator for the Millennium Challenge Kosovo, Government of Kosovo, former Foreign Minister.
- Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic, Minister of European Affairs of Montenegro - Chief Negotiator for EU Accession Talks - National Coordinator for EU Funds.
View more information on the session topic, speakers and moderator
09:30 - 10:30 Session I | EU –Balkans. What future for Western Balkans? A vision from local and regional perspective.
- Why are growth rates different? Path of innovation in Balkans regions
- Territorial Cooperation and Cohesion policies: between results and perspectives
Dr. Franz Schausberger, Chair of Working Group on the Western Balkans, CoR.
Dr. Elena Miteva, Senior Advisor to the OECD South East Europe Division.
Prof. Arben Malaj, Rektor of “Luarasi” University, Tirana, Honorary Consul of Austria to the South of Albania.
"Mrs Madi Sharma, EESC Member/ President of the EU- Fyrom consultative Committee of the EESC: “Engagement of women and youth as economic drivers for growth”,.
Dr Irena Đokić, Research Associate, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb. President of Croatian section of ERSA.
Jasha Menzelxhiu and other representatives from WB countries
View more information on the session topic, speakers and moderator
10:30 - 11:00 |Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:15 | Session II | Development of smart grids for renewable energy with a regional approach: best practices and perspectives (Jan Harzmann/Stephan Ressl).
Prof. Gjergj Simaku;
Nihad Harbas, Energy & Climate Change Consultant, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dr. Lorenc Gordani;
Prof. Maks Shuli,
Case to be presented: TAP Project (to be confirmed)
View more information on the session topic, speakers and moderator
12:15 - 13:15 | Lunch Break
13:30 - 14:45 | Session III |
Digital Economy & Innovation
New app technologies for regional development (Nelu Neacsu)
New Local Development Tools: The Effect of Digital Infrastructure on Creating
Self-employment. Analysis of a Case Applied in Albania and Western Balkans Region.
Anila Busho, CEO at Eipass Albania: "Today Is Needed to Close the ICT Toll, Case of Eipass Albania".
14:45 - 16:00 | Session IV | Reshaping city centers (Urban Renaissance) – aspects of mobility, local commerce invigoration, touristic attraction, viability. Dr.Eglantina Gjermeni;(prof. Ionica Oncioiu)
What chances are there for a city or a region within the national urbanistic plans issued by the Romanian government ? (topic description, potentiality, challenge, opportunities, citymarketing, regional development) (arch. Dean Fushekati)
The potential of co-creation for developing sustainable cities - Creating engaged and collaborative cities (Dr.Luiza Hoxhaj)
16:00 - 16:30 | Coffee Break
16:30 - 17:45 | Session V | Agriculture, Health, Environment, Use of Sources “tackling common problems and exploring potentials”
“Integrated development operations as a lever for regional development in rural areas”.
Towards a circular economy – recycling waste as new raw materials and the involvement of regions in the process (Louis Delcart)
Involvement of regions in health care decision making – the case of mechanical circulatory support for heart failure therapy (Richard Murrugarra-Centurion)
View more information on the session topic, speakers and moderator
17:45 - 18:00 | Conclusions | End of Conference Day-1

Saturday December 2 2017
Programme of the day( Gjuha zyrtare e forumit është anglishtja. Përkthimi simultan në shqip)
08:00 - 08:45 Registrations | University Ismail Qemali of Vlora
09:15 - 09:15 | Welcome Notes
View more information on the session topic, speakers and moderator
09:15 - 10:30 | Session VI | Blue growth, Maritime, Infrastructures, Transportation & Hubs “Regional cooperation, works in progress!”
-The maritime transport integration in the global logistics chain as an overall benefit for the local and regional community.
- Sustainable Integration of Mariculture and Craft Fishing near the Marine Protected Area Karaburun-Sazan (Prof. Asoc. Rigers Bakiu).
View more information on the session topic, speakers and moderator
10:30 - 10:45 | Coffee break
10:45- 12:00 | Session VII | Cultural & Sustainable Tourism “Cultural Tourism, a key to Sustainable Development”
View more information on the session topic, speakers and moderator
12:00-13:30 | Session VIII | Regional Research and Innovation Policies and the Challenges of Western Balkan Countries.
- The Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development
- Universities as agents of change in regions and cities
- How to evaluate the impact of academic spin-offs on regional development
- "The Opportunities of Application of Talent in Albania, Benefits from State Administrations and Foreign Funds" by Dr. Evis Pano
- Prof.Patrizia Messina/Dr. Blerina Brami
13:30 - 14:30 | Lunch Reception
Forum Declaration & Conclusions | End of Conference
13:30 - 18:30 | Social Programs | Cultural Heritage Journeys in the Regional Unit of Vlora
20:30 - 23:30 | Farewell traditional dinner | … village

Sunday December 3
Check out & Departures

20:00 - 23:00 | Volunteers Farewell Party

This program may be subject to changes in the section rankings.

ktheu tek aktiviteti.


A photo of me

Western Balkans Forum of Regional and Local Economic Development-FoRLED is part of an open working process, started in 2016, which promotes an international dialogue and shares experiences on Regional and Local Economic Development. It provides the opportunity to transform a Western Balkans regional alliance of engaged actors into concrete partnerships at the national, regional and local level.

The forum is an ongoing process, which culminates every year with a Western Balkans event. National and regional forums, local events and training activities are an integral part of this process.

The Forum will constitute a platform for dialogue on key issues in this field. It will analyse how the our approach on regional and local development stands out as an operational and strategic approach to harmonize development policies at the level of the Western Balkans to the European ones and to prepare our countries for accession and full EU integration.

Its potential stems from the involvement of a large number of diverse leaders in diffrent levels of governance (comunitar, national , regional and local) and practitioners , experts, the private sector, academia, civil society and others. They wil work together to stimulate policies for sustainable regional and local economic development – to achieve their ultimate implementation on the ground.

The 2nd Western Balkans Forum of Regional and Local Economic Development- FoRLED will be held in Vlora, Albania, from 30 November – 2 december 2017 2017.

Forum on Regional and Local Economic Development- FoRLED, II Edition, 2017 is a three-day event on regional and local economic development policy in the Western Balkans organized by CRLDS Albania, in partnership with European Academy of the Regions, University Ismail Qemali of Vlora, Regional Council of Vlora, supported by Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy and Government of Flanders, involving relevant regional and international stakeholders, resulting in regional and local policy recommendations.

2nd edition of the FoRLED 2017 is organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in Albania, and will be held in Vlora, Albania, on 24-27 October at University of Vlora. It will once more serve as a platform for international dialogue on policy settings and perspectives of common interest to regional and local economic development policy makers and stakeholders.

CRLDS and our partners have the immense pleasure to invite you to the Regional and Local Economic Development Forum 2017-FoRLED 2017 !

Participation in Forum is free of charge, but the registration is obligated.