Epoka Students Participate in Bugajski Hour on Albanian Screen
September 5th, 2012
On Wednesday, 18 April 2012, students and faculty from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Epoka University had the opportunity to participate in the recording of the Bugajski Hour on Albanian Screen for its monthly broadcast. Janusz Bugajski, host of the show, is the chairperson of the Project in Southeast European Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
The fourteen students and four faculty members were in the audience as Janusz Bugajski interviewed the Head of the EU Delegation to Albania, Ambassador Ettore F. Sequi. One of the key points emphasized by Ambassador Sequi throughout the interview is that EU membership for Albania brings significant advantages, particularly increased economic ties and the benefit of EU commitment to assisting member states that find themselves in crisis, as recently exemplified in the EU’s assistance to Greece.
Following the interview, students and faculty from Epoka asked questions of Janusz Bugajski concerning Albania, the Balkans, and EU integration.
Prof. Bekir Ҫınar asked about the possible future union of Kosovo and Albania, given that the recent study, Albanian Public Perceptions of Socio-Cultural and Foreign Policy Issues, by the Center for European Studies and the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Epoka found that the majority of Albanians would welcome union with Kosovo. Mr. Bugajski responded by saying that the path for union of the Albanian populations in the several states around Albania is best achieved through membership in the EU, which will allow the free movement of people and make national borders irrelevant.
When asked a follow-up question by Epoka student Derand Krasniqi, Mr. Bugajski acknowledged that if some states with significant Albanian populations were allowed into the EU, but if others, such as Kosovo and Macedonia, were excluded from membership, that the situation may cause some frustration for Albanian residents of such states.
When asked what he thought was behind the recent violence in Macedonia, Mr. Bugajski noted that while we do not yet know who caused the violence, it is obvious that some group is trying to provoke wider ethnic conflict in Macedonia and that it is essential that Macedonians and Albanians alike refuse to be drawn in by these provocations.
Another question asked was on the status of journalistic freedom in Albania. Mr. Bugajski claimed to enjoy journalistic freedom himself, but remarked that self-censorship is an issue in Albania, when journalists avoid saying things that may not be welcomed by those in positions of power or influence.
Following the show, Prof. Salih Özcan, head of the Department of Political Science and International Relations remarked: “As the head of PIR department, I am extremely fortunate to work with such a wonderful group of students who have common goals and commitments to improve the Albanian society and mankind at large. We are also very appreciative of the generous support of Head of the Media and Public Relations Office at Epoka University”.
The Bugajski Hour for the month of April was sponsored by Epoka University.