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.

 

Balkans

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When Foreign Direct Investment is Good for Development: Bulgaria’s accession, industrial restructuri

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
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Diana Bozhilova

This article examines the dynamic between the process of Bulgaria’s European Union accession and the flow of Foreign Direct Investments to the country in its industrial base. A critical differentiation between speculative and non-speculative FDI is drawn while determining that the geographic origin of investments matters. Greek FDI, in particular, emerges as a major source of strategic regional investments in Bulgaria’s industry highlighting the significance of regional trade and cooperation for the long-term economic outlook not only for the host country but also for the region by enhancing the area of economic progress and development.

Western Balkans Policy Review 2010

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Date added: 12/06/2010
Date modified: 12/06/2010
Filesize: 1.46 MB
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A Report of the CSIS Lavrentis Lavrentiadis Chair in Southeast European Studies

The Western Balkans Policy Review is planned as an annual publication to monitor and assess developments in the eastern part of Europe and provide recommendations for policy initiatives by Western governments and multinational institutions. The talented authors recruited for this initial volume have differing perspectives and prescriptions for the region; their opinions are as diverse as Balkan achievements and problems. Of note, the views they express are entirely their own and not necessarily those of any employer, organization, or group with which they may be affiliated.

Washington, D.C.
August 2010

Untying the Knot: The Political Economy of Corruption and Accountability in Kosovo

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Date added: 06/30/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 2.45 MB
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Untying the Knot: The Political Economy of Corruption and Accountability in Kosovo

Kosovar Stability Initiative (IKS), June 29, 2010

Corruption is a key yardstick by which the international community evaluates the challenges of peace and stability in Kosovo. In its last Progress Report, the European Commission concluded that ‘corruption remains widespread in many areas in Kosovo and it remains an issue of serious concern.’1 The U.S. Department of State in its 2009 Human Rights Report for Kosovo, emphasized that the ‘lack of effective oversight and general weakness in the rule of law contributed to corruption in the government.’2 The topic of corruption has also become an important part of Kosovo’s internal political discourse, with political parties accusing each other of corruption to gain support and discredit their opponents. However, despite regular invocations of corruption by Kosovars and internationals alike, details about its scope and structure remain sketchy, limiting the understanding of its consequences for political and economic development.

Unleashing Change: Voices of Kosovo’s Youth 2010

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Date added: 12/06/2010
Date modified: 12/06/2010
Filesize: 2.38 MB
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IKS

About one-fourth of the world's population comprises of young people between the ages 10 to 24. With 50% of its population under the age of 25 Kosovo is known for having the youngest population in Europe. However, young people's participation in the decision making processes in all areas remains a major challenge. The fact that the young largely feel excluded from public debates has prompted UNICEF to address their participation by engaging different stakeholders and ministries in conceiving and implementing better social inclusion policies, giving priority to young persons. The participation of youth in decision making processes and the associated societal shifts can form an integral part of shaping Kosovo's future prospective. Yet, at central or local levels, young people's voices fade prior to reaching the right ear. Their mobilization and
empowerment has to become a priority for Kosovan institutions, civil society and
stakeholders to realise the full potential that a young population represents in Europe and beyond.

The Politics of Differentiated Integration: the case of the Balkans

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
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Spyros pyros Economides

Most studies of differentiated integration are confined within the framework of the European Union (EU). The EU-Balkan relationship provides an opportunity to apply differentiated integration to links between the EU and a cluster of external states. Differentiated integration is at play in the relationship between the EU and the Balkans, especially in terms of time and space. Different states, at different times, have entered into binding contractual agreements with the EU, intended to enhance their ‘European perspective’. Objectives are seemingly common, there is a sequencing of commitments, and territorially we seek to prepare states so we can redraw our boundaries and include them within. Functionally differentiated integration as a concept faces a greater challenge as the Balkans are not part of the EU. Variable geometry and á la carte choices are not readily available to the Balkan states and as such their fate is decided by the existing membership and not by their own choices.