As we approach 2014, the 25th anniversary year of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, our panelists will assess the status of post-communist Eastern Europe and specifically the Balkan region. Research reveals that the legacies of communism, the region's parlous judicial systems, economic problems, and the lack of freedoms continue to oppress some 54 million citizens in the Balkans. Recent statistics show that over 50% of the youth are unemployed in much of the region, rampant corruption and organized crime are on the increase, and the Balkan economies hemorrhaged $111.6 billion in illicit financial outflows via crime, corruption and tax evasion from 2001-2010. Additionally, the Balkan Route of illicit trade, originating from Afghanistan/Pakistan via Southeastern Europe, brings $20 billion annually into European Union member states through heroin smuggling alone which serves to finance terrorist networks. Human and organ trafficking and arms smuggling are a growing concern, also.
Our panelists will offer principled solutions to address these challenges and examine the way forward in completing the unfinished work in the post-communist Eastern Europe.
More About the Speakers
Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus, The Heritage Foundation
Co-Founder and Chairman, Adriatic Institute for Public Policy
Mara Letica Saad, Esq.
Executive Vice President and Legal Counsel, Letica Corporation
and Member, Executive Advisory Board of the Adriatic Institute
The Honorable Henry William Saad
Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals
Joel Anand Samy
Co-Founder, Adriatic Institute and International Leaders Summit
Becky Norton Dunlop
Vice President, External Relations