Protests at Salzburg economic summit

Violent protests on first day of WEF economic summit in Salzburg fail to impact upon proceedings

The main geographical focus of the summmit is on central and eastern Europe as well as Russia. The key issues that will be addressed in Salzburg are:

  • EU enlargement and EU relations with non-accession countries
  • regulation and competition
  • immigration and social contracts
  • innovation and European competitiveness
  • labour markets and pension reforms
  • corporate governance
  • intellectual property
  • viability of “European Silicon Valleys”
  • biotechnologies
  • ethics

 

Violent protests on the first day of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) European Economic Summit in Salzburg failed to make an impact on proceedings at the meeting itself. The first day was dominated by the issue of EU enlargement. The BBC reports that Günther Verheugen, European Commissioner for enlargement, called for Member States to put more effort into explaining to their citizens the social and economic advantages of enlarging the EU.

 

The World Economic Forum was founded in 1971 as a purely European organisation that would allow business leaders to come together to discuss a coherent strategy in the face of the challenges of the international market place. In the last 30 years it has evolved into an international organisation "capable of gathering world leaders in business, government and civil society to address the major challenges confronting humanity." It is most well known for its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland which has become a must not only for the world's leading business and political figures, but also anti-globalisation protesters.

 

The leaders of most of the Balkan countries, including Macedonia's President Boris Trajkovski and Yugoslavia's President Vojislav Kostunica, are due to attend the meeting together with NATO secretary-general George Robertson so the situation there is likely to be high on the agenda in the remaining two days of the summit.

 

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