Date & Venue: 5 – 8 October 2016, Slovenia

Open to: Students and young professionals (international)

Deadline for application: 26 June 2016

About the seminar

While the Western Balkans is continuously coming closer to higher levels of cooperation and integration in the Euro-Atlantic region, some of the most fundamental security and structural questions remain unsolved. Parts of the Western Balkan region remain highly unstable, nationalism and extremism are once again gaining the momentum, there is still lack of a true reconciliation and peace building process is still to be concluded. While indeed we can observe commendable steps forward, towards a more prosperous future of the region, highly supported by international community and international organizations working in the region, many open questions remain unsolved. The lasting historic grievances and disputes of the region have most recently showcased due to the increased pressure of the migration crises in Europe. “The Balkan migration route” presents a significant burden for transit courtiers while cross-national implications have negatively impacted on the regional political and security cooperation.

The Balkan SAYS  seminar is offering a platform for youth from the region and beyond to meet and exchange views and opinions, build a mutual trust and understanding, expand the knowledge on important security, political and economic topics of the region, promote the values of security, peace and democracy, and present new ways of tackling the discussed issues. It will provide an opportunity for young professionals to openly discuss the security and stability in the region and collaborate with international colleagues in order to find creative and unique solutions based on research and analysis under the mentorship of reputable experts.

“Balkan SAYS – Security Architecture Youth Seminar is a youth oriented international security seminar. Its mission is to connect students and young professionals who will discuss important security topics with distinguished speakers and search for fresh views and new solutions to the most pressing issues of the Balkan region.”

The fourth annual Balkan SAYS seminar is looking for aspiring students and young professionals who are eager to gain new knowledge and experience on important security challenges of the Balkan region.

The seminar is designed in the form of panel discussions and workshops focusing on the following topics:

  • Integration of the Western Balkans’ countries into the Euro-Atlantic Organizations;
  • Violent extremism and radicalism in the region as a threat to international peace and stability;
  • Increased influx of refugees and migrants in the region;
  • Balkan SEES 2050;
  • Security challenges arising from Europe’s eastern neighbourhood.


We are looking for 40 exceptional students and young professionals with diverse professional and academic backgrounds. The Balkan SAYS – Security Architecture Youth Seminar is intended for students, young professionals, youth leaders and active young people who are:

  • 20 – 35 years of age;
  • citizens of EU or NATO member countries or Partnership for Peace (PfP) partner countries;
  • with diverse range of experience and skills, particularly focusing on the security sector and familiar with the seminar topics;
  • able to fluently communicate and work in English language;
  • open to enrich their knowledge and awareness regarding the security and cooperation in the Balkans with a special emphasis to the issues of youth;
  • committed to prepare themselves for the conference, and be able to actively participate during the whole duration of the conference.

  • Balkan SAYS

    Sindre, Norway

    "Balkan SAYS has been of major importance to me. It has brought me together with great minds and friends and allowed me to expand my academic and professional perspective on security politics"
  • Balkan SAYS

    Tommy, USA

    "Balkan SAYS is an amazing seminar for young people to meet and learn about issues facing the Balkans. Would greatly recommend applying for Balkan SAYS."
  • Balkan SAYS

    Andrea, Slovakia

    "Balkan SAYS is an exceptional event where passion for solving the most pressing security challenges of today meets the unwavering dedication of the organising team, breath taking sceneries of Slovenia’s nature, and friendships that extend across borders and time zones."
  • Balkan SAYS

    Paloma, Spain

    "Being part of Balkan SAYS has definitely helped me to define how I want to focus my professional future. It was my first time attending an international seminar by myself and it won't be the last one. "
  • Balkan SAYS

    Emmet, USA/Estonia

    "Balkan SAYS was an incredibly worthwhile experience start to finish, from the friendly welcome at Ljubljana airport through the late night informal discussions to the formal panel sessions and more."
  • Balkan SAYS
    "The Balkan SAYS, which covers wide-ranging fields, has a program structure that offers a well-balanced understanding of most pressing issues of security and stability in the Balkans region."


Participation fee: 50.00 Euros*

The participation fee includes: 3 nights accommodation in shared double rooms (with arrival on 5 October 2016 and departure on 8 October 2016), meals, local transportation and conference materials.

Application form

Please fill out the Balkan SAYS 2016 Application form

Balkan SAYS 2016

Once the application process is complete, selected participants will receive an acceptance letter via email with further details regarding the seminar. Non successful applicants will be informed accordingly.

 Contact us

For more information please contact us on our email:  balkan.says@gmail.com

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Slovenian National Winning Project of 2015

This seminar is suppored by:

Logo Warsaw_cmyk     US-embassy ALT


Read more about the project and previous editions of the Balkan SAYS seminar at:

Balkan SAYS 2016 Report Balkan SAYS 2015 Report   Balkan SAYS 2014 Report Balkan SAYS 2013 Report