Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.

 

Balkans

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Kosovo, law and order - Balancing rule of law principles after the president’s resignation

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Date added: 10/06/2010
Date modified: 10/06/2010
Filesize: 584.78 kB
Downloads: 536

Dr. Tanja Tamminen

Researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

The President of Kosovo resigned this week after the Constitutional Court ruled that he had breached the Constitution. This event can be considered as a step towards strengthening rule of law. It is also linked to fierce power struggles and reflects foreign policy tactics just before the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue was due to get underway.

Re-linking the Western Balkans: The Energy Dimension

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Date added: 10/11/2010
Date modified: 10/11/2010
Filesize: 887.82 kB
Downloads: 522

Hellenic Centre for European Studies (EKEM - Greece)

The West Balkan region consists of Albania and the former states of Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo). Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. To this date it has been recognized by 70 states, including the United States. Five EU member states, including Greece, have not recognized Kosovo’s independence.
The wars of Yugoslav succession that dominated the first post-Cold War decade of Southeast Europe’s political and economic development have had structurally negative repercussions for the energy industry and infrastructure in most West Balkan states. It was only after the establishment of the Energy Community Treaty in 2005 that a robust regulatory framework was established with the purpose of streamlining the region’s economies with EU transparency and liberalization norms so as to prepare the West Balkan region for a massive inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) that could rejuvenate the energy infrastructure and more effectively utilize each country’s energy resources.

Despite the fact that the EU and the West Balkan states face the common challenges of increasing energy efficiency, reducing import dependency, and expanding renewable energy sources (RES), the current state of affairs in the region is inadequate or sub-standard, with the sole exception of Croatia, which has advanced significantly in aligning its legislation and policies with the EU acquis communautaire. The West Balkan countries are at differing positions along the path of European integration and they each hold varying energy and environmental standards and targets. The pace of alignment with EU practices and legislation within the region, especially at the level of electricity/gas market liberalization and interconnectivity and regulatory/market transformations, leaves much to be desired.

Symmetric or Asymmetric Interest Rate Adjustments? Evidence from Greece, Bulgaria and Slovenia

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
Filesize: 278.3 kB
Downloads: 537

Stelios Karagiannis, Yannis Panagopoulos and Prodromos Vlamis

The purpose of this paper is to examine how effectively the wholesale interest rates are transmitted to the retail rates, and whether the interest rate pass-through is symmetric or asymmetric in Greece, Bulgaria and Slovenia. The disaggregated general-to-specific methodology is applied for testing the symmetry hypothesis in these economies. It is evident from our results that across the countries examined there exist variations regarding the monetary transmission process and the symmetry hypothesis alike. This can be interpreted as an indication of a different level of competition, development and liberalization among the banking systems in these South Eastern European economies.

Effects of Migration on Sending Countries: lessons from Bulgaria

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
Filesize: 279.19 kB
Downloads: 433

Eugenia Markova

Research on Bulgarian migration has been rather sketchy often based on small purposive samples in selected host countries or on macro data of unreliable quality from Bulgaria itself. A thorough understanding of the impacts of migration for Bulgaria is needed to heighten the possibility for policy makers in both sending and receiving countries to help optimise the benefits of migration. This paper aims to enhance this understanding by offering an historical overview of migration dynamics and showing that in recent years there has been a growing trend towards temporary and seasonal migration rather than permanent settlement, the preferred destinations being Greece, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Germany and Netherlands. Seasonal and circular migration is becoming more ethnically and regionally specific. The paper shows that current emigration trends have substantial economic and demographic consequences, both positively (the contribution to loosening of labour market pressures, poverty alleviation, and an increase of small businesses through remittances) and negatively (the danger of brain drain and depopulation of peripheral regions of the country).

When Foreign Direct Investment is Good for Development: Bulgaria’s accession, industrial restructuri

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Date added: 10/12/2010
Date modified: 10/12/2010
Filesize: 404.54 kB
Downloads: 798

Diana Bozhilova

This article examines the dynamic between the process of Bulgaria’s European Union accession and the flow of Foreign Direct Investments to the country in its industrial base. A critical differentiation between speculative and non-speculative FDI is drawn while determining that the geographic origin of investments matters. Greek FDI, in particular, emerges as a major source of strategic regional investments in Bulgaria’s industry highlighting the significance of regional trade and cooperation for the long-term economic outlook not only for the host country but also for the region by enhancing the area of economic progress and development.