Manual for the Swedish EU presidency – Watch the ESI Balkan Series for free on the internet

5 June 2009

Dear friends of ESI,

As part of our contribution to broaden and deepen the European debate on future enlargement, we are glad to offer you a manual to the Swedish enlargement debate as background to the upcoming Swedish EU presidency.

The manual was also presented at a recent ESI meeting in Stockholm, part of our Communicating Europe seminar series – held in a number of European capitals – for decision makers from the Balkans.

The manual is the latest installment in a series of guides to the people and organisations shaping national enlargement debates across Europe.

Carl Bildt

Carl Bildt

Participants at the Stockholm seminar were struck by the Swedish policy makers' strong bipartisan commitment to enlargement. As Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt puts it:

"A critical part of the soft power of Europe lies in the continued process of enlargement – a Europe that remains open to those in our part of the world who wish to share their sovereignty with us, accept the rule of law and commit themselves to the building of open, secular and free societies."

You find more on the Stockholm Consensus in favour of enlargement, and on many other issues, on

EXIT Festival in Serbia Roma boy in Bulgaria

EXIT Festival in Serbia

Roma boy in Bulgaria

Return to Europe documentary series on the internet – in English and for free

The award winning 10-part documentary "Return to Europe – Balkanexpress", based on ESI research in South East Europe and covering 10 countries from Montenegro to Turkey, has until now been seen by more than 4 million viewers in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The entire series will also be broadcast in several countries in the Balkans.

We will continue to post more information on the ESI website in the coming weeks.

However, now you can also do two other things:

  1. If you live in Europe, you can watch all 10 films for free – in either English or German – on the internet. All you need to do is click here (

    Making the films available to a wide audience was, from the very outset, the idea behind the strong support for this project by the Vienna-based Erste Foundation.

  2. Wherever you live, you can now order the 10-film DVD series for 39 Euros (plus shipping) by sending an e-mail to

To find out about upcoming ESI presentations, conferences and film screenings (in recent weeks these took place in Istanbul, Oxford, Yerevan and Pristina), please check the ESI news section.

Viking ship

Update on the Visa Project – Rumeli Observer on Viking Zen

Meanwhile the debate inside the EU on visa liberalisation for the Western Balkans continues.

To keep you informed we are constantly updating our special website on the visa project.

Rumeli Observer is also back after a short creative pause – musing about Elchs, Viking Zen and a Swedish theory of love, writing on Greek, Turks and a touch of spice, taking you Inside the ESI visa campaign, looking at the Stockholm consensus on EU enlargement and exploring Silences and the new Sweden. Much more is to come in the next few weeks.

Many best wishes,

Gerald Knaus