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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Beyond Wait-and-See: The way forward for EU Balkan Policy

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Date added: 06/08/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 382.67 kB
Downloads: 542
Heather Grabbe, Gerald Knaus and Daniel Korski

In the midst of a huge economic crisis, European Union leaders may be tempted to put off any further decisions on enlargement. However, now that some of the Western Balkan countries have tested the EU’s commitment by formally applying for membership, the wait-and-see approach is unsustainable. The EU has kept six of the countries of the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – waiting for a decade. The EU has asked them to take on difficult and ambitious reforms to prepare them for membership. However, Balkan leaders are no longer even sure that the EU members really want them in the club.
As a result, the EU’s credibility is fading in the region. If it continues to hesitate about the next step, its leverage could fade too. The EU should respond to these  membership applications in a positive way while reinforcing its accession conditionality. The most realistic way to do this is to employ the EU’s existing tools more fully and more effectively, and to better sequence the next steps towards accession. This would support reformers in the region without imposing any additional costs on the EU. The aim is to set out a clear, realistic and motivational programme to help the Balkan countries to get in shape for membership – which could take many years to achieve. This will strengthen governance and provide political momentum to help the region get through the current economic crisis and its
political fallout.

Financial Times Kosovo report

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Date added: 06/16/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 69.3 kB
Downloads: 963

Sovereignty chafes at outside supervision

By Neil MacDonald

Published: June 8 2010

When Hashim Thaci emerged as the leader of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian secession movement in the mid-1990s, he had three aspirations for his homeland: “First, liberation; second, independence; and third, to belong to Nato,” he says.

However, Kosovo’s 42 year old prime minister admits that his programme is incomplete.

Peja/Pec: Local efforts have been key to rebuilding

By Kester Eddy

Published: June 8 2010

The snow-topped Albanian Alps, known locally as the  “Cursed Mountains”, form a majestic backdrop to Peja, the principal city of western Kosovo (known as Pec in Serbian).

Governance: EU’s justice mission pursues corruption at the highest level

By Neil MacDonald

Published: June 8 2010

Even to its creator, the new road network around Pristina, Kosovo’s capital, looks like a mess for now.

Stretches of divided highway suddenly narrow to single lanes of loose gravel. Driving time between Pristina and Peja to the west, previously less than an hour and a half, can now take more than two hours, even without traffic jams. Some of the worst sections are at the main junctions for the capital city.

Youth culture: A vibrant night without fights or drunkenness

By Kester Eddy

Published: June 8 2010

Cars and pedestrians pick their way around the puddles and potholes in Pejton, a short walk from the centre of Pristina.

In this way, it is like any part of the Kosovo capital, although the trees look healthier and the buildings more upmarket, and it bizarrely bears the name of the 1960s American soap opera, Peyton Place, which was popular in the former Yugoslavia, although the younger generation has forgotten its origin.

Retail: Keen to keep the customers satisfied in three languages

By Neil MacDonald

Published: June 8 2010

On Friday afternoons, cashiers at the ABI Center supermarket in Prizren have their chance to greet customers with a friendly dobar dan. The Serbian for “good day”, along with the numbers from one to 10, are a basic job requirement at the store, says Alajdin Fusha, its general manager.

 

EULEX Programme Report 2010

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Date added: 06/16/2010
Date modified: 07/06/2010
Filesize: 639.77 kB
Downloads: 600
The latest EULEX Programme report. Its publication marks another important milestone – giving opportunity to people to track monitoring, mentoring, and advising (MMA) progress in assisting Kosovo’s rule of law. This work has sought to build upon the work culminated in the release of the EULEX Programme Report in July 2009 by preparing detailed plans to address areas of weakness in Kosovo’s police, judiciary and customs. Planning the necessary changes has been a joint effort of EULEX staff and their counterparts throughout the Rule of Law components. EULEX staff provides assistance in and actively monitored the process of implementation, which has been the sole responsibility of professionals in Kosovo’s police, judiciary and customs.

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
Downloads: 622

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.

Srebrenica: Reconstruction, background, consequences and analyses of the fall of a ‘safe’ area

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Date added: 07/20/2010
Date modified: 07/20/2010
Filesize: 25.63 MB
Downloads: 514
In November 1996, the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) was instructed by the Dutch Government to carry out a study of 'the events prior to, during and after the fall of Srebrenica'. For the purposes of this independent historical analytical research, the Government undertook to do everything in its power to grant the NIOD researchers access to the source material at its disposal. On 10 April 2002, this report was made public with the presentation of the first copy to the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, L.M.L.H.A. Hermans M.A., as representative of the Government.