As the EU’s focus has shifted away from the region, the situation in the Western Balkans has deteriorated. In addition to Russia and China, the Western press has frequently highlighted Turkey being particularly interested in exerting its influence, which could potentially disrupt the EU’s approach in the region. But how much, in reality, is Turkey willing, ready and able to influence the countries of the Western Balkans? This paper will try to provide a summary of relevant issues regarding Turkey’s position in the Western Balkans as a baseline for discussion at the upcoming November 6th roundtable in Belgrade.
The “Strategy Group for a political, societal and economic European integration of the
Western Balkans Six” is a group of legal, historical and political researches from all WB6
countries organized by Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s Belgrade, Sarajevo and Berlin offices.
Its aim is to credibly advocate for a more effective European integration of the Balkans
in European as well as Balkan capitals.
This brochure introduces a resident-driven approach that can help a substantial segment of the population to address these housing needs. Based on the “smarter building” approach developed by Ko Gradi Grad (Who Builds the City), a flagship building is being prepared to prove the concept.
In the landscape of Montenegrin higher education institutions, which are not leading the way in any segment of contemporary education, the lack of transparency is an additional cause for concern, especially taking into account an increasing trend of “raising walls” around universities.
A decade ago, the elected representatives of the people of Kosovo gathered in an extraordinary session to declare the country independent and sovereign. One of the main arguments, which was continuously repeated throughout the process of resolving Kosovo’s political status, was that the country represented a unique case in world politics. What is the story of Kosovo’s statehood, ten years after independence? Starting from this very question, D4D has compiled this report that seeks to review the statehood with the help of hindsight.
The problem of civic, legal and political emancipation of Jews in 19th century European societies is one of the critical processes in modern European history. What was the status of Jews in 19th-century Principality of Serbia, and how does it compare to other countries in the broader European perspective? This brochure attempts to provide a concise answer to this question, emphasizing the singular position and role that the citizens of a town in Serbia played in the process of Jewish emancipation at one point in history.
The richness of the multilayered historical reality, the authentic multicultural context of everyday life and the specific regional peculiarities of Albanian-Serbian relations in Kosovo have been unjustly simplified for decades by being reduced to episodes of intense interethnic violence. Even a casual conversation with people from both ethnic communities in Kamenica, Gnjilane, Šilovo and Ranilug reveals a more complex picture of mutual relations. From the perspective of ordinary people, the memory of coexistence and a common life together, mutual respect and tolerance in socialist Yugoslavia and in the aftermath of the 1999 war in Kosovo prevails over the notions about ethnic distrust and ethnically motivated violence.
Twenty years on from the Kosovo War, the collective memory of both parties in the conflict remains burdened by myths and incontestable truths about what actually took place. The process of reconciliation and building longstanding peace is being undermined, primarily, by political elites in both countries, whose populist policies amplify the prejudices between Kosovar Albanians and Serbs. In this issue of Perspectives we aim to highlight the fact that Kosovo is not just a toponym, but a country burdened by its recent violent history, where common people are struggling to rebuild the broken societies that the conflict has left behind.
In the region, patriarchal, homophobic and exclusive tendencies are dominating, shaping a climate of intolerance, of exclusion, of the radical negation of all things humane and rational. The consequences are rigid defence mechanisms against progressive and secular approaches. Instead of modernity, instead of establishing welfare for all, the citizens are kept in a perpetual combat zone, from which hundreds of thousands are fleeing – without war – in order to find their happiness in work and life elsewhere, beyond the continuing radicalisation.
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 report Chapter 27 in Serbia: Money talks is the 6th annual report that tackles important developments in the area of environmental protection and climate change in detail. This Coalition 27 report covers the period between March 2018 and February 2019 and as such it follows the annual report publication of the European Commission.
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.
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.