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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How to revitalize the dialogue between NATO and the Maghreb countries

Date added: 01/25/2011
Date modified: 01/25/2011
Filesize: 1.64 MB
Downloads: 592
by Pierre RAZOUX

Following the recent Lisbon Summit and the adoption of the Atlantic Alliance's new Strategic Concept, which acknowledges the importance of close cooperation with partners, it is worth asking a few questions about ways of giving fresh impetus to the Mediterranean Dialogue, especially with the Maghreb countries.

NATO and the Maghreb countries do have some common interests in facing certain challenges they share: providing for the stability of the region, ensuring that political and religious extremism do not spread any further, combating terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, fostering energy security between the two sides and the two ends of the Mediterranean, and lastly reinforcing security in the Sahel region, which is rapidly becoming a vast area of lawlessness where terrorism and trafficking of all kinds flourish. The importance and far-reaching implications of such issues should convince both the leaders of NATO member countries and their opposite numbers in the Maghreb countries of the need to give fresh impetus to the Mediterranean Dialogue.

This Research Paper reflects the findings of the Round Table on this topic organized in Rome on 17th September 2010 by the NATO Defense College.

Russia: supporting non-democratic tendencies in the post-soviet space?

Date added: 01/18/2011
Date modified: 01/18/2011
Filesize: 455.9 kB
Downloads: 676
by Antje Kästner | German Development Institute Briefing Paper 2/2010
Over the last decade, Russia has not only adopted a more authoritarian form of government, but has also become more active in the former USSR. Russia's growing engagement in its "near abroad" has been paralleled by the rise of illiberal regimes in the region, a development precipitated by active Russian policy action constraining the rise of Western democracy and reinforced by interests shared by the various governments. To react effectively to these trends, the governments of established democracies need to adjust their political strategies by integrating Russia into the international aid architecture, by reflecting on the comparative advantages they have over Russia in terms of development tools and by conducting an active but determined dialogue.

Deciphering Egypt's Transition: What do Egypt's botched elections mean for the EU?

Date added: 01/18/2011
Date modified: 01/18/2011
Filesize: Empty
Downloads: 24

Egypt has entered a critical transition process. With President Mubarak’s health reportedly deteriorating, the stage is set for a transfer of power during next year’s presidential elections. The outcome of this transition will be crucial for the region.


Recent parliamentary elections have been a political farce, turning the country into a one-party state. While they show the regime’s determination to closely control the transition process, they have also demonstrated its inherent weakness and divisions.


With the main opposition candidates unable to run in next year’s presidential contest, the choice is likely to be between Mubarak’s son Gamal and another regime insider.


Irrespective of who succeeds Mubarak, Egypt’s next President will lack popular legitimacy and will have to assert his authority against domestic challengers. This will make Egypt an unpredictable and potentially volatile partner for the West.


In the short run, the EU will be forced to walk a tight-rope between encouraging more democracy in Egypt and preventing a slide to instability. When doing so, it ought to signal to the regime that any further democratic transgressions carry a price.


In the long run, the EU has to get used to the idea of dealing with a very different Egypt. This means that it needs to reconsider the role of Egypt in its Mediterranean and Middle East policies and adapt its bilateral relations to the new political realities.

The same old modernisation game? Russian interpretations of modernisation

Date added: 12/27/2010
Date modified: 12/27/2010
Filesize: 178.27 kB
Downloads: 513

By Félix Krawatzek & Roderick Kefferpütz

The modernisation of Russia has been a topic of vigorous debate for centuries. It has also been an intensely divisive issue among Russia’s elite, and since President Dmitry Medvedev came to power, modernisation has become the leitmotif of the presidency. The global economic crisis hit Russia hard, meaning that the status quo in political, economic and social terms is no longer acceptable. However, there are a number of competing visions on modernisation within the Russian political elite and society as a whole. This Working Document aims to illustrate the diversity of and competition for the dominance of views on Russia’s future. In a second step, authors Félix Krawatzek, Visiting Researcher at CEPS and Roderick Kefferpütz, Associate Research Fellow, analyse the obstacles to a successful realisation of the ambitious modernisation agenda and outline the implications for the new EU-Russia modernisation partnership.

A New World Economic Order

Date added: 12/06/2010
Date modified: 12/06/2010
Filesize: 822.29 kB
Downloads: 1474

Overhauling the Global Economic Governance as a Result of the Financial Crisis, 2008–2009
By Tapani Paavonen

The recent economic crisis, 2008–2009,1 is commonly characterized as the worst since the Great Depression of 1929–1933. This recent crisis, called also the Great Recession, seems to form a turning-point in the global economic governance and the development of the world economy.
Two critical points of view dominate the developments since Autumn 2008: Firstly, governments and central banks in different countries, under the leadership of the Group of Twenty (G-20) (see pp. 37–39), were capable of taking prompt action against depression. Not only did the political decision makers react to the actual situation but the G-20 undertook to design an ambitious long-term programme to bring the very phenomenon of the business cycle under control at last. The G-20 managed to evoke wide-based international cooperation not only among its twenty members but also among existing international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a number of more specific bodies. This is even more astonishing since deregulations have been the recent trend in economic policy. Secondly, the developments since Autumn 2008 have revealed the increasing weight and significance of the emerging and developing economies in the world economy. It has been a gradual, even incremental process, lasting for decades, but during the recent couple of years, a sudden shift seems to have taken place in the apparent “power relations” within the world economy.