“Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to speak to you and to welcome you all, on behalf of
Libek, to the opening of the first Open Balkan Forum.

The idea behind this conference is that the Open Balkan Forum would become a platform for
discussion about the most important integrational processes in our region.

The processes which are opening up our region. The processes which continue to release creative
energy and imagination of the Balkan people.

As someone who leads an organization whose moto is "Free and Responsible", I firmly believe in
limitless potentials of liberated human creation.

Furthermore, I believe in responsibility. Responsibility to preserve and cultivate our freedom. 
The biggest enemy of individual freedom in our society is fear. The most effective cure for this kind of
fear is, of course, knowledge.

Knowledge about all the possibilities and benefits that the free market economy as well as free
enterprise and responsible institutions provide.

I believe that it is our responsibility that Open Balkan, besides of all the other things, becomes an area
of knowledge about all of these possibilities.

We hope that this conference will frame the foundation for mechanisms of monitoring, evaluation and
advocacy for deeper connections between Balkan economies. 

Our vision is clear - we want a common regional market. A place for economic freedom, as well as all
other types of freedom.

Openness of the Balkan which aims to create economic unity has become one of the most important
European project that is currently happening around us. 

That is why the Open Balkan Forum represents our hope that all of us will act responsibly towards the
ongoing historically important processes, so that the Balkan unity will soon lead to our European

One of the earliest and most significant examples of a call for the creation of European unity is an 150
years old article written by the eternal Victor Hugo.

This article that spoke against the war, atrocity and destruction and that has become a classic, had a
simple title - For Serbia.

Victor Hugo's idealism about the European Union has been a reality of European people for over 70

Brotherhood based on peace and trade, that Hugo himself spoke of, today represents the
indestructible foundation for openness and connection of the European continent. 

Creating a single Balkan market, even with all the societal differences, isn't an idealistic idea

It is a call for all of us to live freely and responsibly. A call to create Open Balkan.

Thank you all and welcome to the first Open Balkan Forum."