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.




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Re-linking the Western Balkans: The Energy Dimension

Date added: 10/11/2010
Date modified: 10/11/2010
Filesize: 887.82 kB
Downloads: 578

Hellenic Centre for European Studies (EKEM - Greece)

The West Balkan region consists of Albania and the former states of Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo). Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. To this date it has been recognized by 70 states, including the United States. Five EU member states, including Greece, have not recognized Kosovo’s independence.
The wars of Yugoslav succession that dominated the first post-Cold War decade of Southeast Europe’s political and economic development have had structurally negative repercussions for the energy industry and infrastructure in most West Balkan states. It was only after the establishment of the Energy Community Treaty in 2005 that a robust regulatory framework was established with the purpose of streamlining the region’s economies with EU transparency and liberalization norms so as to prepare the West Balkan region for a massive inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) that could rejuvenate the energy infrastructure and more effectively utilize each country’s energy resources.

Despite the fact that the EU and the West Balkan states face the common challenges of increasing energy efficiency, reducing import dependency, and expanding renewable energy sources (RES), the current state of affairs in the region is inadequate or sub-standard, with the sole exception of Croatia, which has advanced significantly in aligning its legislation and policies with the EU acquis communautaire. The West Balkan countries are at differing positions along the path of European integration and they each hold varying energy and environmental standards and targets. The pace of alignment with EU practices and legislation within the region, especially at the level of electricity/gas market liberalization and interconnectivity and regulatory/market transformations, leaves much to be desired.

Kosovo, law and order - Balancing rule of law principles after the president’s resignation

Date added: 10/06/2010
Date modified: 10/06/2010
Filesize: 584.78 kB
Downloads: 594

Dr. Tanja Tamminen

Researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

The President of Kosovo resigned this week after the Constitutional Court ruled that he had breached the Constitution. This event can be considered as a step towards strengthening rule of law. It is also linked to fierce power struggles and reflects foreign policy tactics just before the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue was due to get underway.

Seizing momentum in Bosnia

Date added: 09/23/2010
Date modified: 09/23/2010
Filesize: 153.81 kB
Downloads: 565

10/09/2010 By Sofia Sebastián

 AFP/Getty Images Following the collapse of the so-called Butmir process, an initiative led by the US and the EU to change the Dayton constitution in the fall of 2009, the EU’s policy in Bosnia has stagnated. While many view EU integration as the solution to stabilisation in the Balkans, few now believe the EU capable of delivering tangible results. It has become evident that prevailing sticks and carrots are largely ineffective, leading many protagonists to express increasing frustration.
Ahead of the upcoming general elections in October, EU policy-makers must consider the key challenges, evaluate potential risks and opportunities, and develop a new strategic plan jointly with the US and other international actors.

In this Policy Brief, Sofia Sebastian examines possible scenarios for a revised international presence that could help promote the EU reform agenda in Bosnia.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The Fragile Triangle

Date added: 09/15/2010
Date modified: 09/15/2010
Filesize: 270.54 kB
Downloads: 698

Police, judges and prosecutors coordination during criminal proceedings response in Kosovo

Prepared by: Krenar Gashi
Contributions: Betim Musliu and Ariana Qosaj Mustafa

Rule of law remains the weakest area of governance in Kosovo and one of the biggest challenges for the full consolidation of country’s statehood. The UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) did not succeed on establishing an efficient justice system, which would be able to fight crime and to ensure a safe and secure environment. UNMIK’s Department of Justice (DOJ) that administered the justice system until Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February 2008 has been the most criticised pillar of the UN mission, by media, civil society and also international organisations. UNMIK prosecutors and judges were part of a political and administrative mission, further lacking clear division between legislative, executive and judicial powers. In terms of efficiency, an UNMIK judge has resolved averagely 1.5 cases a year.

Decentralization in Kosovo II: Challenges of Serb majority municipalities

Date added: 09/15/2010
Date modified: 09/15/2010
Filesize: 234.9 kB
Downloads: 562

Prepared by: Ilir Deda and Krenar Gashi


Following the successful local elections of November 15, 2009, the dynamic of decentralization and funcitonalization of new Serb majority municipalities will increase. Graçanicë/Gra?anica, Kllokot/Vrbovac and Ranilug, are three new created and legitimized municipalities. These municipalities have their legal and legitimate leaderships which match or surpass the parallel ones. Further, for the first time in two decades interethnic issues and problems between Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians are passing into a genuine platform of institutional divergence.