Archive for January, 2012

Syntagma

Syntagma

Lucas Oldwine’s short film, ‘Syntagma’, explores the protests that gripped Athens in the summer of 2011; a vociferous and cohesive response against social injustices exposed and created by the economic crisis.

Congratulations, Kosovo

Self-congratulatory remarks by the International Civilian Representative for Kosovo juxtaposes oddly with demonstrations on both the Serbian and Kosovar Albanian sides that underscore that the situation is anything but normal.

Kosovo – who does the ISG speak for?

With the ISG saying it plans to leave by the end of 2012, even whilst outstanding issues – including the north – remain, the UN must be prepared to play an essential buffering role between the two sides in the status dispute.

Kosovo – an opportunity for agreement on the north?

The recent “four-point proposal” by Serbia’s president, Boris Tadic, may providethe foundation for a lasting solution; one that could be accommodated within the framework of the Ahtisaari Plan.

Peacebuilding and Bach

Peacebuilding and Bach

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach, particularly his organ music, redresses the balance from a bleak view of human affairs to a saner and more hopeful perspective.

“What is good for Serbia is good for Russia”

Whether or not relations with Russia are an obstacle to Serbia’s EU integration will depend, in part, on the EU’s ability to find a solution that will allow it to integrate both Serbia and Kosovo.

Kosovo – if EULEX leaves, then what?

The departure of EULEX from Kosovo would leave a vacuum in the international framework for rule of law which – in the absence of changes to UN Security Council Resolution 1244 – the UN would be required to fill.

Bosnia – between ethnic-nationalism and Europeanization

The process of ethnic-nationalization witnessed in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina is incompatible with the very norms, values and conditions of European membership.

The former Yugoslavia’s language conundrum

The former Yugoslavia’s language conundrum

Whilst nationalism continues to rear its head in the former Yugoslavia, so language will continue to act as a divisive, as opposed to unifying, force.

Memories, large and small

The term “The West” obscures periodic and sharp changes in the myths and content of Western demands on Balkan, Middle Eastern, and other actors.

Towards reconciliation – dealing with the past or leaving it behind?

Towards reconciliation – dealing with the past or leaving it behind?

A conference in Priština, entitled “How I see it” , provided young Serbs and Albanians from both Kosovo and Serbia, respectively, with an opportunity to discuss issues concerning reconciliation, transitional justice and EU integration.

Kosovo – what 2012 might bring

Though various factors suggest a strong effort to remove north Kosovo as an element of contention between Serbia and the West, the possibility of continued stalemate remains and the danger of renewed conflict cannot be excluded.

Cyprus – the drama unfolds

Cyprus – the drama unfolds

Given the on-going political crisis over hydro-carbon exploitation rights, plus a pending July 2012 deadline by which Greek Cypriots will assume the rotating EU Presidency, the failure of UN-mandated talks over reunification seems inevitable.

Turkey – a welcome return to the Balkans?

Turkey – a welcome return to the Balkans?

Though Turkey – which is seeking to re-build its once flourishing Ottoman-era ties with most Balkan states – is increasingly portrayed as a reliable business partner, rather then an aggressive and neo-imperialist player, further steps are required to ease anxiety towards its policies.