Posted on 02/12/2011
Last Friday, November 25th, Vuk Jeremic, the Foreign Minister of Serbia, addressed the students, staff and other guests from the College. The title of talk was ‘The Balkans in Time of Strategic Adjustment’. His Excellency arrived at the College and was welcomed by Vice Principal Geoff Ward and the committee members of the Politics and International Relations Society, who organized the event.
A small reception was held for him before the talk at the Principal’s Office where Mr. Jeremic and members of the Serbian Embassy in London met the Heads of the European Studies and Politics and International Relations Department, as well other staff members of the College. They talked about current affairs and Serbia’s recent loss at the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour Finals in London. Other guests from the Serbian Embassy arrived shortly after and everyone made their way to the Management Lecture Theatre.
Geoff Ward delivered a welcome speech to all students, staff and guests attending the talk followed by an introductory speech from the Politics and International Relations Society. During his address, Mr. Jeremic talked about the challenges his country faces, how important cooperation and European integration has become during these difficult economic times, and his predictions for the future of the Balkans region. This was followed by questions from the floor where Your Excellency was challenged on Serbia’s current situation regarding discrimination against the Roma, its conflict with Kosovo and its entry into the European Union. His delivery and response to all questions, according to students after the talk, was professional, clear and very eloquent. “His political and diplomatic tactics were stunning and unrivalled.” commented a 2nd year PIR student who was very impressed by the Foreign Minister. Many students who were inspired by his energy, charisma and friendly nature left the event satisfied and content.
His Excellency thanked the College before leaving for the opportunity to address the students, who are the university’s best ambassadors, and praised all those involved in the event for its organization and smooth running. Ambassador Dejan Popovic also complimented the College and students for putting on such an educational and important event. In all, a very successful evening for all those who organized and attended the event.
By Sophie Crockett
Royal Holloway, University of London