SUMMARY OF PANEL 1
In our first panel “Creating a Growth Economy: Good Governance, Transparency and the Rule of Law”, chaired by Prof. Dr. Harvey Goldstein – Dean of the Public Governance and Management Program at MODUL
University Vienna, with the panel members H.E. Samuel Zbogar – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Prof. Dr. Miomir Zuzul – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia 2003 -2005 and President of the Dubrovnik International University, Croatia, Prof. Dr. Mica Jovanovic – President of Megatrend University Belgrade, and Mike Zafirovski – American-Macedonian executive formerly in CEO
posts at GE, Motorola and Nortel, brought insights how good governance relates to a steady economic development.
Prof. Dr. Goldstein expressed his gratitude to the Founders of the CGDC
for hosting 13 scholarships at MODUL
University for the next 5 academic years to students from the Western Balkans who as a result will advocate good governance and development in their native countries.
Further, Prof. Dr. Goldstein spoke about the relationship between good governance and sustainable economic development and pointed out that the institutional capacity of a region and a nation is at least as important, and arguably, a more important factor than the traditional economic and cause factors. Included in the institutional capacity are social capital, leadership vision and quality of governance. Further, Prof. Dr. Goldstein said out that universities play a major role in establishing good governance: “Universities have unique assets. They have a large concentration of very skilled experts in a number of different areas.
They also have a potentially very large role to play in providing leadership participating with members of government officials, with business leaders in being affective problem solvers being on teams that help in a collaborative way, help to solve problems, help to build a vision of where we want to go as societies in the future.”
H.E. Minister Zbogar spoke about three pillars that represent the future of the Balkans: the EU enlargement, membership to the European Union, good governance and growth. He mentioned that the EU enlargement is the driving force and the key to the development of the Western Balkans: “the enlargement is the engine of the reforms that are needed.” But he also warned, “We have to overcome on one side enlargement fatigue that exists within the European Union. On the other side we have to overcome the commitment fatigue that exists in the countries that want to join the European Union.” Further, H.E. Minister Zbogar appealed that even with no enlargement in sight a first step towards better governance is to adjust the countries legislation to EU standards.
Prof. Dr. Zuzul reminded us how the fall of the communism challenged the values in the Balkan countries. He stated: “I am coming from the former communist world as well as many of us here. We got democracy and with democracy several important things came. With democracy you got both freedom and sudden opportunity. Not only did you get the chance to make a decision, but also responsibility. Suddenly we got that privilege to make a determination, but I don’t know how quickly we do it, or how much we learned the responsibility. Yes, there is an opportunity to make money over a night, but at which rate and how.”
Starting with the thought “the bigger the knowledge, the faster the economy develops,” Prof. Dr. Jovanovic drew up topics, which need to be addressed globally in order to guarantee sustainable economic development. He explained the four corners of the square of “the successful sustainable economic development”, containing international relations, intercultural relationship, knowledge or education and successful government. Prof. Dr. Jovanovic then argued that with the unification of Europe international relations must become intercultural relations. Hence, since the first corner of the square is already being eliminated while there are no international relations any longer in the European Union as he mentioned, instead of the square “we have a triangle of the successful sustainable economic development with intercultural relations, knowledge or education and the third corner successful governance.”
Mike Zafirovski, “as the only businessman on the panel”, outlined what countries and regions need to provide to attract investment: creation of an attractive environment, eager in the productive force, real commitment to competitiveness, entrepreneurship and education as well as the Diaspora engage in a productive way. He strongly emphasized: “…investment in the business training, I would argue, is the best investment you can make, if you are brave enough to make investments.”
The panel members provided the audience with versatile frameworks to foster economic development and agreed that education together with the know-how transfer is the first and the most important path to take on the road to good governance and economic development.