2nd Intl Conference on European Studies:“Political, Economic and Social Challenges of the Balkan C (2nd ICES)

Venue: Epoka University

Location: Tirana, Albania

Event Date/Time: Nov 06, 2009 End Date/Time: Nov 07, 2009
Registration Date: Oct 06, 2009
Early Registration Date: Sep 06, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Sep 06, 2009
Paper Submission Date: Sep 27, 2009
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Description

The enlargement of the EU and NATO during the last decade principally towards Central and Eastern Europe has constituted one of the most important developments in the region since the fall of the Communism. The process of accession to the EU and to a lesser extent to NATO has served as a catalyser for the conduct of substantial political, economic, administrative and structural reforms by the aspiring countries. At the same time, NATO membership has meant for the new members becoming part of a large security area and cementing their status as mature, vibrant democracies and market economies.

On the other hand, 90’s have come to be seen in the Western Balkans as a lost decade, characterised by violent ethnic conflicts and serious political instability. However, since the launching of the Stabilisation and Association Process in the Zagreb summit of 24 November 2000 and the recognition of the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries by the EU in the Thessaloniki summit of 21 June 2003, the countries of the region have experienced a faster path towards EU accession. At the same time, during this period Croatia, Albania have become a NATO member country and Macedonia has come closer to NATO membership, whereas Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro have become members of the Partnership for Peace programme, which is considered as a first step towards accession to NATO.

This process of EU and NATO accession has been accompanied by the transition of the region’s countries towards becoming fully-fledged liberal democracies and open market economies. Despite the tangible progress attained in this regard, substantial challenges still remain in the path of the Western Balkan countries to meet the Copenhagen criteria for EU membership as well as to complete all the Membership Action Plan cycles for accession to NATO.

On the other hand, the recent EU member countries have faced different difficulties deriving from possibly the not right timing of their EU accession which means that the criteria fulfilled have not been enough to give them the best comfort ability of being member of “a big family”.

The Conference will focus on the economic, political, social and security aspects of Western Balkan countries, as well as on the impact of eventual EU and NATO membership in the transition process.

Conference TopicsThe enlargement policy of EU towards the region;
The effects of eventual EU and NATO membership on the political and economic stability in the region;
The strength of EU and NATO conditionality and its impact in the process of Europeanization of the countries of the region (impact on laws, institutions and policies);
Public administration issues in transition;
Europe and the Balkans, the contribution of the Balkans for the realization of the European Idea.

Venue

Rruga e Durrësit
Tirana
Albania
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