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9th Annual international academic conference on European integration: “THE EUROPE OF TOMORROW: CREATIVE, DIGITAL, INTEGRATED”

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On May 15th, 2014 (Thursday) at the Hotel “Aleksandar Palas” in Skopje, the University American College Skopje in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung hosting today the 9th Annual international academic conference on European integration: “THE EUROPE OF TOMORROW: CREATIVE, DIGITAL, INTEGRATED”. This one-day Conference has the aim to seek potential vistas for building a strong European Union which is capitalized on creativity, innovation and digital technologies while strengthening its core political values of freedom, solidarity and integration. The event tackled some of the most important issues in the 21st century, discussed through the debate of some of the most prominent domestic and international scholars and practitioners.

This year key-note speakers were: Geoff Pugh, Professor of Applied Economics at Staffordshire University, UK, who’s contributions was on “Innovation Policy Support for SMEs in Traditional Manufacturing Industries: Some lessons from the EU?”, Milica Uvalic, Professor of Economics at University of Perugia, Italy addressing on the topic “The Europe of Tomorrow: Integrating the Western Balkans” and Paul Stepan, Lecturer at University of Salzburg, Chairman of the Austrian Society for Cultural Economics and Policy Studies (FOKUS) and Managing director of Eurozine emphasizing  “Schumpeters Nightmare: Rewarding Creativity in a Digital Environment”

Major issues addressed by the research-based policy recommendation contributors in the Academic Track I: Political Challenges, European Education & Urban Creativity Prospects and Academic Track II: Economy and Business in the Era of Creativity and Digitalization focuses in general on:
· Investments in the cultural and creative sectors sustain the economic growth, employment, innovation and social cohesion;
· The use of information communication technologies (ICTs), contribute to productivity growth, jobs and competitiveness, improve social inclusion and help reduce the negative impact on the environment;
· Internal problems of consolidation following the adoption of the Lisbon treaty and the European financial crisis;
·Bridging the North-South divide within Europe
· European commitment to the EU future of Western Balkan states and to the European Neighborhood Policy in times of Eurosceptic critique of democratic deficiency
· Economic, political, regional and migration issues concerning the future of European integration etc.

Over the past nine years our Conference has become an important venue for scholars and practitioners dealing with the contemporary European challenges.

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