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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Between Enlargement-led Europeanisation and Balkan Exceptionalism

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
Filesize: 243.66 kB
Downloads: 584

Dimitris Papadimitriou# and Eli Gateva

The accession of Bulgaria and Romania into the European Union (EU) in 2007 offers significant theoretical and empirical insights into the way in which the EU has deployed and realised its enlargement strategy/strategies over the past 15 years. Borrowing from the literature on enlargement-led Europeanisation and EU conditionality, this article discusses how the EU has sought to influence domestic reform in the two countries through a mix of threats and rewards. What emerges from Bulgaria’s and Romania’s trajectory towards EU membership is the evolutionary and contested nature of EU conditionality as well as the considerable EU discretion in the manner of its implementation. In that sense Bulgaria and Romania, as ‘outliers’ of the 2004-7 EU enlargement, offer us critical tests of the enlargement-led Europeanisation thesis. Thus, their study provides useful conceptual insights into the transformative power of the EU in Eastern Europe and highlights important policy legacies affecting the current EU enlargement strategy in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

Local Sustainable Development and Spatial Cohesion in the Post-transition Balkans

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
Filesize: 235.81 kB
Downloads: 610

Vassilis Monastiriotis and George Petrakos

The transition process that started in the Balkans some twenty years ago, and the European association process to which it has been inexorably connected, has led to a radical transformation of the Balkan economic space across local, regional, national and trans-national levels. Amongst the other effects that this have had, was the emergence of new and acute socio-economic dichotomies (polarisation) and problems of persistent underdevelopment, peripherality-rurality and economic dependence. In this paper we review the policies that have been applied to address these issues and examine the relevance of contemporary concepts of local economic development for the mobilisation of cohesive and sustainable development in the Balkans. We examine how the main elements of the new regionalist developmental strategy relate to the basic dimensions of socio-spatial infrastructure in the Balkans and identify the key weaknesses of the latter. We conclude by proposing a wider regional strategy that will be able to resolve the existing deficiencies by means of a regional cooperation approach that will seek to maximise intra-regional synergies and develop local and regional comparative advantages and the provision of similar public goods.

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
Filesize: 404.54 kB
Downloads: 787

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.

Effects of Migration on Sending Countries: lessons from Bulgaria

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
Filesize: 279.19 kB
Downloads: 422

Eugenia Markova

Research on Bulgarian migration has been rather sketchy often based on small purposive samples in selected host countries or on macro data of unreliable quality from Bulgaria itself. A thorough understanding of the impacts of migration for Bulgaria is needed to heighten the possibility for policy makers in both sending and receiving countries to help optimise the benefits of migration. This paper aims to enhance this understanding by offering an historical overview of migration dynamics and showing that in recent years there has been a growing trend towards temporary and seasonal migration rather than permanent settlement, the preferred destinations being Greece, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Germany and Netherlands. Seasonal and circular migration is becoming more ethnically and regionally specific. The paper shows that current emigration trends have substantial economic and demographic consequences, both positively (the contribution to loosening of labour market pressures, poverty alleviation, and an increase of small businesses through remittances) and negatively (the danger of brain drain and depopulation of peripheral regions of the country).

Symmetric or Asymmetric Interest Rate Adjustments? Evidence from Greece, Bulgaria and Slovenia

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
Filesize: 278.3 kB
Downloads: 526

Stelios Karagiannis, Yannis Panagopoulos and Prodromos Vlamis

The purpose of this paper is to examine how effectively the wholesale interest rates are transmitted to the retail rates, and whether the interest rate pass-through is symmetric or asymmetric in Greece, Bulgaria and Slovenia. The disaggregated general-to-specific methodology is applied for testing the symmetry hypothesis in these economies. It is evident from our results that across the countries examined there exist variations regarding the monetary transmission process and the symmetry hypothesis alike. This can be interpreted as an indication of a different level of competition, development and liberalization among the banking systems in these South Eastern European economies.