Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.

 

Southeastern Europe: 20 years later

It used to be a place of stagnation, but in the last 20 years no other region on Earth has grown as fast as Southeastern Europe. Yet people there remain surprisingly pessimistic

Which part of the world grew the most since 1990? The Far East? Wrong. Believe it or not, it was Southeastern Europe. According to IMF figures, the ten transitional economies of Southeastern Europe increased their combined GDP by no less than 681 percent – more than Developing Asia (544%) or the transitional economies of Central Europe (561%).

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Kosovo at the Crossroads: Impact of the International Court of Justice Ruling

Q1: What impact will the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding Kosovo’s declaration of independence have on the country’s international standing?

A1 : The ICJ’s advisory opinion that Kosovo's declaration of independence in February 2008 did not violate international law has been acclaimed in Kosovo and criticized by Serbia. Paradoxically, it was Belgrade that actually asked for the Court’s ruling. ICJ statements carry no binding legal weight, and individual states can interpret them as they wish. However, the verdict is likely to unblock new recognitions for Kosovo, especially after the ICJ opinion is presented to the United Nations General Assembly in September. The government in Prishtina wants to expand the current total of 69 bilateral recognitions to more than 100, thus demonstrating the country’s legitimacy and acceptance by the majority of UN members. This would provide a new impetus to Kosovo’s regional cooperation and integration into international organizations.

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Kosovo – Moderation In Mitrovica

Amidst the anticipation of the opinion of the International Court of Justice on whether the declaration of independence of Kosovo was illegal or not, other developments are easily overlooked. One little reported election was the local election in Northern Mitrovica on 30 May 2010, organized by Serbia for the parallel municipal structure.

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Separating History from Myth: An interview

RABIA ALI: The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina has been generally perceived in the West as a civil war or a tribal blood feud­­––the product of centuries-old enmities between the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims. In the media and in the pronouncements of statesmen and political commentators, the conflict is described as a “typical” Balkan convulsion which cannot be understood, much less mediated or settled by any international intervention. One finds much confusion about the war, its causes and likely consequences, even among many  educated, normally well-informed people. As a historian, how would you define the war and its historical roots in Bosnia?

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Serbia and Kosovo's EU future clouded as court rules

PRISTINA, July 20 (Reuters) - Whatever the International Court of Justice rules on Kosovo's independence from Serbia on Thursday, it is clear that both sides need impetus to move beyond posturing towards some kind of reconciliation. When ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo, which most Serbs see as the Jerusalem of their Orthodox religion, declared independence in 2008, Belgrade asked the International Court of Justice to rule whether the action was legal. The ICJ's opinion is only advisory, but the long wait for a ruling has prevented any serious attempt to find an accommodation.

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West Cedes Serbia to Turkish Influence

“One of the most conspicuous things in the last several months is markedly intensified bilateral activity of our authorities with regard to the relations with Turkey. President and Foreign Minister have been meeting more often with [Turkey’s President and Foreign Minister respectively] Abdullah Gul and Ahmet Davutoglu than with any other leaders in the world. This improvement of relations has taken place even at the cost of deterioration of links with the Republika Srpska. Our public has justly wondered what is at stake here so it does not seem a bad idea if the authorities themselves explain the reasons for this intensified cooperation. In the meantime, it remains to us to look for possible reasons for this’, the conservative political analyst Misha Djurkovic writes in the Thursday’s issue of Politika.

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