Open confrontations in the post-Yugoslav wars gave the advocates of ethno-nationalist ideologies (and their users) plenty of experiences or "proof" which "confirmed" all previous fears and concerns: "they" (another ethnic collective) are "out to get us". The wartime period, as well as post-war years, have been featured by spreading narratives which concretizes the abstract and empty ideology of ethnicity.
On March 8-10, 2017 in Lviv, the V International Gender Workshop took place organized by Heinrich Boell Office in Ukraine in cooperation with hbs offices in Eastern European countries and the Caucasus. Researchers and activists from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Poland, Macedonia, Serbia, Czech Republic and Germany discussed military conflict situations in the region from the perspective of feminist critique. This publication collects texts created on the basis of some of the presentations from the event.
Fostering democracy and upholding human rights, taking action to prevent the destruction of the global ecosystem, advancing equality between women and men, securing peace through conflict prevention in crisis zones, and defending the freedom of individuals against excessive state and economic power – these are the objectives that drive the ideas and actions of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. We maintain close ties to the German Green Party (Alliance 90/The Greens) and as a think tank for green visions and projects, we are part of an international network encompassing partner projects in approximately 60 countries.
This issue of Perspectives deals with the phenomenon of state capture - corruption and nepotism and their impact on the rule of law and the lives of citizens in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It also highlights the practice of allocating jobs to suitable and non-competent people, the influence of politics on education, freedom of the press, nationalism as an instrument of political elites for power conservation, and other issues.
The Policy Paper “Overcoming barriers to business and normalization – Research of the economic and legal framework for doing business between Serbia and Kosovo” was prepared by the Forum for Ethnic Relations (FER) as part of the project “Economic Environment of Serbian Community in North Kosovo“supported by the Heinrich Böll Foundation’ Office for Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo in Belgrade, in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
It seems as though the term citizen does not need a specific explanation. It is an inhabitant of a certain country or a city, a person with legally recognized citizenship, who pays taxes and fulfills their obligations to the community, and enjoys certain rights in return. But how often is that really the case? How many citizens in the world can say that they are true citizens according to this definition? Given the current global situation, not many. In this issue of “Perspectives”, our focus is on citizens and cities in the Western Balkans.
A hard copy of this issue you can order from our Belgrade office.
Housing in Serbia is in crisis. Over the last 25 years, housing has been transferred from collective to private ownership, which has shifted responsibility for the provision of housing to the private sector. Smarter Building was initiated in 2012 by the platform Ko Gradi Grad (“Who Builds the City”) to challenge this model.
Women’s bodies have regularly been – and still are – the central target of conservative and fundamentalist ideology and praxis. Although the individual right to self-determination has always been shaped by social and cultural norms and legal frameworks, it is currently being determined more than ever by reproductive technologies and medical issues.
This essay provides analytical background information for critical and controversial debates, continues the politicisation of seemingly personal issues, aims to open space for the clarification of positions and provide motivation to explore political intervention.
If the country goes through profound systemic changes in the political, economic and ideological sense, its dependence on an international environment can intensify considerably. This is exactly what happened in almost all post-communist states, 25 years ago. The need for internationally established models in systems that have recently introduced the development of a political pluralism and democracy as well as solutions to a functional one, and a general opening of society that goes along with the ideal of freedom, has opened the door to external influences. The articles in this issue of the Perspetcives magazine tell different stories about the current challenges of international interventions in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia.
Universities often teach yesterday’s skills by inertia and their teachers are still compensated generously from the taxpayers’ purse. We live in dynamic times where great syllabi may not be relevant by the time the first graduates that come out of the assembly line. As difficult as it seems, universities should strive to imbue graduates with the skills which will serve them for 40 years of their careers.
Over the course of 2015, an estimated 1.5 million people – the bulk of them refugees from Syria – made their way from Greece to Western Europe via the Balkan route. The shift to this previously marginal route for irregular entry of refugees and migrants into the EU led to the collapse of the EU’s external border in the Aegean and turned the long-standing problem of the EU’s deficient common asylum policy, which disproportionately affected the southern member states, into a full-fledged crisis.
Only one in ten women in Kosovo are employed, and another one in ten would like to get a job. The other eight are neither employed nor looking to get a job – discouraged to do so because they are already busy taking care of children and the elderly or for a host of their reasons. This paper asks the extent to which Kosovo’s growth rate would increase if more women were seeking work.
Perspectives Southeastern Europe (SEE) is a publication series produced in cooperation between the SEE branches of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. With this series, we aim to provide, primarily for the foreign readership, better insight into specific Southeastern European perspectives, as well as to analyze global societal and political trends reflected through the prism of our region. The focus of Perspectives SEE shall remain mainly on the countries in SEE where the Foundation has established its offices and/or where our activities are being carried out: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia.
The first issue of Perspectives Southeastern Europe is dedicated to the specific status of young adults in the Balkans, given the fact that they are featured by a different form of transition to adulthood as compared to their Western European peers. Namely, the countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe are characterized by a transition to adulthood that has been very much standardized in the tradition of communist government systems.
A hard copy of this issue you can order from our Belgrade office.
Visions of how cities should be built or transformed reflect the diversity of views and perspectives on how people will and should live in cities, since planning in any form always also pursues normative goals.
Human rights activists have made significant efforts in intervening and resisting the dominant politics of exclusion, discrimination and inequality by means of practicing a variety of strategies and methodologies of action.
In the words of the Polish journalist and dissident, Adam Michnik, 1989 was Europe’s annus mirabilis. The peaceful revolution of that year was a miracle effected by the people in central and eastern Europe. Hardly any one (and certainly no western head of state or politician) had foreseen that a popular movement active in different countries would, in just a few months, topple socialist regimes and force the mighty Soviet Union to retreat behind the borders of Russia.
The education system in Kosovo has been subject to continuous change during the transition that emerged in the aftermath of the war in 1999. In recent years it has become increasingly evident that although it’s young population, the youngest in Europe, is indeed a great asset to the country, it simultaneously places an extremely heavy burden on both the education system and the labour market in Kosovo.
The purpose of this paper is to account for how local governments and citizens perceive sustainable development in Kosovo and explore bottlenecks and opportunities they face in this regard. A combination of document analysis and information gained through public debates shows that local governments are in a favorable position to respond to and address today’s local development challenges in Kosovo. Findings indicate that local governments can play a vital role in educating, mobilizing, and responding to citizens to promote overall sustainable development in the longer term, albeit a relatively new concept in Kosovo.
This issue of Perspectives is dedicated to climate change mitigation in the Western Balkans, because of both the global need to limit global warming but also because mitigating climate change, as the articles show, goes hand in hand with development both in terms of economic growth and in terms of health, wellbeing and societal development. With this context in mind, the articles before you shed light upon some of the commonly overlooked aspects of it but also point to solutions which are good starting points for any future changes in how we think of energy, development, and public good more broadly.
The report Chapter 27 in Serbia: No-Progress Report deals with the key events in the areas of environment and climate change (Chapter 27 in the EU accession negotiations) in the Republic of Serbia in the period from November 2017 to February 2018. The report assesses those events and makes recommendations for strengthening the process of transposition and implementation of the EU legislation covered by this chapter.
The European Energy Atlas shows a clear alternative: It not only provides a compass on the different energy discussions in different Member States but also reveals how a Europeanization of the energy transition will be the more efficient and cost-effective option for all Europeans.
Coalition 27's analysis of environmental and climate change policy in the Republic of Serbia highlights a wide range of serious challenges in all areas - horizontal legislation, air quality, water quality, nature protection, industrial pollution, chemicals management, climate change and financing of environmental protection.
Overfishing, the loss of biodiversity, and an immense pollution – the seas are under stress. The Ocean Atlas 2017 delivers in more than 40 infographics and articles all the relevant data, facts and contexts.
A study undertaken to try to assess the environmental and economic consequences of a shift to “sustainable” agriculture in the four Western Balkan countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. The study aims to help policy makers and other stakeholders in the Western Balkan countries understand the potential positive impacts which could occur by investing in and designing sustainable policies for the agriculture sector.
Although it increasingly perceives itself as an important pillar in international relations, Turkey’s policy in the Western Balkans is in line with the NATO priorities of stability in the Western Balkans.