Blueprint Prespa? Lessons learned from the Greece-North Macedonia agreement

In February 2019, Macedonia received new name boards on its border crossings, and a new logo on the Government website. The country is now officially known as the Republic of North Macedonia. The process getting to the Prespa Agreement, which resulted in the name change, was wearisome, politically exhausting and at times highly controversial; but ultimately it was a process that proved successful, despite encountering opposition or even hostility on both sides. Could the Prespa Agreement be used as a blueprint for resolving other bilateral disputes in the region?

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Policy Paper: Solidarity-based approach to integrating Western Balkans in a stronger European Union

Critical of the status quo approach to enlargement, Florent Marciacq offers a strategic alternative by proposing “robust solidarity” as a new guiding principle that focuses on the EU’s foundational visions and values. Only with renewed attention to the EU’s founding principle of solidarity, he argues, can the resurfaced debate around “widening vs deepening” of the EU’s reach be overcome.

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Policy Paper: The Situation of Youth in the WB6 Countries

In recent years, considerable attention has been devoted by scholars and policy-makers to youth in the Western Balkans‘ six (WB6) countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. While young people in these countries are often seen as a possible ray of hope in terms of democratization and Europeanisation, empirical studies tend to paint a rather unfavorable picture in this regard. Youth in the region live under conditions of political economy of insecurity which drives their economic and political behavior.



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Political Culture in Southeast Europe: Navigating between Democratic and Authoritarian Beliefs and Practices

Any process of political and wider social and political changes strongly depends on the quality of political culture. The failure of the countries of Southeast Europe (often called the Western Balkans) in the last three decades to initiate deep political and societal change that would lead them towards the goal of liberal democracy cannot be explained only by the reference to wars and internal conflicts or external factors due to their the peripheral position in Europe.

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Youth Study Southeast Europe 2018 - 2019

The challenges confronting youth in Southeast Europe have been receiving increased international attention in the past few years. Addressing the evident lack of channels giving young people a say in policy-making, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) commissioned representative surveys canvassing more than 10,000 respondents aged 14 – 29 in ten countries of Southeast Europe in early 2018.

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Political Trends and Dynamics: Romania and Bulgaria’s Membership in the EU: Progress, Challenges, Prospects

Our first Political Trends & Dynamics issue of 2019 focuses and serves also as the first part of a two-part series examining the linkages between corruption, democratic back-sliding, civil society mobilization and political participation in southeastern Europe. Our interest in these topics — much as with the linkages we are drawing between the respective pillars of these debates — comes from a growing recognition that existing democratic practices and institutions in much of Europe are in the midst of an existential transformation and, very likely, crisis.

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International Parliamentarian Conference Cavtat: Newsletter

After the accession of Croatia into the EU in 2013, six Western Balkans countries were left at Europe’s front door – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegowina, Kosovo, Mazedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The social democratic argument has to stay focused on championing the combined policies of deepening and widening the EU in order to keep the Western Balkans on the accession path. Social democratic ideas such as solidarity, equality and tolerance must become the cornerstones of a future, reformed European enlargement policy.


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Political Trends and Dynamics: Ecology and Justice in Southeast Europe

Though rarely a topic of public debate, addressing the challenges of climate change is a particular issue for Southeastern Europe, owing to the region’s combination of post-communist and post-conflict governance concerns. Policy regimes which do not address the region’s specific needs — in particular those rooted in ongoing concerns about unemployment, poverty, inequality, and social justice more broadly threaten to exacerbate the region’s already pronounced social malaise.

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