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The Balkans and the Challenge of Economic Integration

Regional and European Perspectives

edited by: Stefano Bianchini and Milica Uvalić
published by: Longo Editore 
pp: 222
ISBN: 88-8063-148-9 
price: € 15.49

Book's frontpage

Europe's current perceptions of Balkan economies, and the policies applied in recent years, need to be analysed and assessed within the general framework of EU policies towards all former socialist countries in Central and South Eastern Europe. Following the revolutionary changes that took place in these countries in 1989, marking the beginning of the transition to multi-party democracies and market economies, the EU undertook a series of measures to sustain the transition. However, different approaches have been adopted towards different groups of countries and these have, to a large extent, been shaped by the perceptions of EU policy-makers regarding their progress in implementing the transition. The result have been very different policy measures on aid, trade access, and accession to the EU.

With this collection of essays, the Economics Research group of the International Network "Europe and the Balkans" has tried to contribute to a better understanding of the perceptions and images the European Union and Balkan countries have of each other, and of their present and future relations. The underlying assumption is that misconceptions exists on both sides, and that they can only be overcome if both parties increase their understanding of the most significant issues. Members of the Economics Group have focused primarily on the economic dimension of relations between the EU and the Balkans, although economic problems, particularly in this region, cannot be studied outside the more general context of political, historical and other realities.

The focus of the project and the main aim of the book is to analyse the mutual perceptions of Europe and the Balkans - which can be grouped into three main areas:
1)  EU perceptions of Balkan states and policies towards the region in recent years;
2)  Balkan countries' perceptions of future integration into Europe;
3) prospects for the future.
Within such broad issues, there are notable differences in the way Europe and the European integration processes are perceived in the various Balkan states, as well as within each country.
The authors hope to have shed some light on the difficult solution to the Balkan tragedy.



Acknowledgements by the Co-Editors

Foreword, Stefano Bianchini and Milica Uvalić

Milica Uvalič, Introduction. European economic integration: what role for the Balkans ?

Part One - European policies
Daniel Daianu, Inter-european trade-offs and dilemmas. The integration challenge
Jelica Minić, European Union and prospects of economic reconstruction and cooperation in the Balkans
William Bartlett, European economic assistance to the post-socialist Balkan states
Andrea Segrè, Agricultural integration between Eastern and Western Europe. Issues, status and prospects with special reference to the Balkans
Part Two - National Perspectives
Štefan Bojnec, Slovenian transition after five years of indipendence, 1991-1996
Višnja Samaržija, Economic integration with the EU and regional cooperation: the case of Croatia.
Clarissa de Waal, Socio-Economic trends in post-communist Albania
Vesna Bojičić, Bosnia-Herzegovina: an extreme case of transition in the Balkans

Part Three - Regional cooperation
Milica Uvalić, Economic problems and prospects of the successor states of Former Yugoslavia
Marta Muço and Luljeta Minxhozi, Some issues and possibilities of future economic cooperation in the Balkan region: a comparative view
Žarko Papić, Economic reconstruction of Bosnia-Herzegovina and cooperation in the Balkans

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