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Western Balkans Process – 6th Joint Science Conference

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Conference of the national stakeholders of the education and science systems in the framework of the Western Balkans Process / Berlin Process

Date: Thursday, 1 to Friday, 2 July 2021
Location: Online

Lessons Learned from COVID-19: the Way Forward
The 6th Berlin Process Joint Science Conference is organised jointly by the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Leopoldina under the 2021 German Presidency of the Berlin Process. It brings together around 60 high-level representatives of national academies of sciences and arts, rectors’ conferences and leading universities, and research organisations and distinguished ad personam scientists from the 16 Berlin Process countries. Participation is possible upon invitation only.

The conference will prepare formal recommendations to the virtual meeting of the Heads of State and Government at the Berlin Western Balkans Summit on 5 July 2021, covering three major topics. In addition, it will discuss current affairs of education, research & innovation policy.

Pandemic management
In an unprecedented crisis threatening lives and affecting health, society and economy, the ongoing pandemic has claimed many efforts. Science-based knowledge continues to play an essential role in pandemic management, from advice in crisis situation, to pandemic containment and vaccination-based community immunisation. Many countries of the world have experienced several pandemic waves, with new variants delaying the end of the pandemic. Therefore, it is important to draw lessons learned from developments so far in order to avoid a resurgence of SARS-CoV-2-infections. The discussion will also focus on the specific pandemic situation in South East Europe.

Crisis resilience
A general lesson learned from COVID-19 for the entire European continent is the urgency to reinforce resilience to risks and threats posed by public health crises, as new future pandemics or regional epidemics are probable. This is why communities and states need to improve their capacity to withstand, cope with, adapt to and recover from affliction of any type by developing systemic resilience. The conference will look into pandemic preparedness, One Health, cross-border co-ordination as well as pillars of systemic resilience and short-term adversity reactivity.

Post-pandemic priorities
COVID-19 has both induced stresses and triggered transformations in different areas. Next to stresses such as overstrained medical care, disrupted social and economic systems, deteriorating mental health and child well-being, the perception of a “need for change” in the so-called recovery process has been growing. The conference will look into priorities for the post-pandemic time, including transformations such as climate neutrality and digitalisation of state and society. The focus will lay on South East Europe, also in the context of EU-enlargement and regional cooperation.

Joint statement

Contact

Lucian Brujan
Speaker of the Berlin Process Joint Science Conference
German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Tel.: +49 345 472 39-836
E-mail: lucian.brujan@leopoldina.org

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