A panel discussion to promote the regional study, ‘Connectivity for Development – Taking the Highway for Economic Growth’, was organized in Belgrade.
The fraying status quo in the region gives Islamists an opportunity to broaden and deepen their influence.
The last thing the region needs is more “attention” from the European Union.
In the Balkans, the impermanence of borders and states and entrenched social and economic informality work against academic and official theories of formal institution building.
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.
Faced with outstanding conflicts over sovereignty in the Western Balkans, the EU's most efficacious strategy depends upon acknowledging and leveraging its own considerable limitations as an international actor.
Despite its undoubted potential, Albania's fledgling oil industry is being constrained by a lack of domestic capital and political paralysis that is deterring foreign investors and inhibiting growth.
Elections for the mayoralty of Tirana on May 8th will not only have profound ramifications for politics at the local and national level, but will also provide Albania with an important opportunity to prove its democratic credentials and political maturity to an expectant Europe.
Whilst business-related initiatives continue to drive regional and cross-border cooperation, politics and implementation capacity have failed to live-up to the standards expected by the plethora of international bodies engaged in strengthening this key area.
Amidst the threat of further political fragmentation, Albania should launch an independent investigation into the deaths of four protesters and ensure that May's local elections are both free and fair.
This policy report analyzes the challenges that the Western Balkan countries face in their efforts to increase energy efficiency, reduce import dependency and expand renewable energy sources, whilst simultaneously aligning their legislation and policies with the EU's acquis communautaire.
Facilitating a compromise between the respective parties to the name issue requires a better understanding of the multi-layered character of the dispute, the historically conditioned perspectives of the parties, and the main actors and their perceived interests.