For two decades now, the EU has been trying to promote economic cooperation in the Western Balkans. Has this intensification of economic cooperation stimulated growth and development? Equally importantly, has it initiated a rapprochement between countries and ensured long-term reconciliation between peoples?
In this event, we explored how the EU's hopes for the Western Balkans have so far not been fulfilled - in both economic and political terms. Richard Grieveson, Deputy Director at wiiw, presented the findings of a study that examines the economic effects of the EU's strategy of regional economic cooperation and the reasons for its failure. The study, that was written in the context of a joint project conducted by wiiw and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, argues that the Western Balkan countries would benefit much more from a deeper form of integration into the EU internal market than from all efforts to further advance their intra-regional trade - not least because the basic prerequisites for a functioning regional economic cooperation are still not in place.
Richard Grieveson (@RicGri) is Deputy Director at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) and Research Associate at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. He specialises in the economies of Central, East and Southeast Europe, with a particular focus on Turkey and the Western Balkans. In addition he works on economic history and European integration. He holds degrees from the universities of Cambridge, Vienna and Birkbeck. Previously he worked as a Director in the Emerging Europe Sovereigns team at Fitch Ratings and Regional Manager in the Europe team at the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Dr Will Bartlett (@WillBartlett2) is Visiting Senior Fellow at LSEE Research on South East Europe. He holds the position of Professor and Editor-in-Chief of the refereed journal Economic Annals at the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade. He has a BA (Hons.) and MA in Economics from the University of Cambridge, an MSc in Development Economics from the School for Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a PhD from the University of Liverpool on the economics of institutional change, unemployment and migration in former Yugoslavia (1979). He has been Lecturer in Development Economics and Comparative Economic Systems at the Universities of Southampton, Bath, and Bristol, and Professor of Social Economics at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol. From 1983-1986 he was a Research Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He has acted as President of the International Association for the Economics of Participation (IAFEP, 1998-2000) and President of the European Association for Comparative Economic Studies (EACES, 2006-08). He has been engaged as Senior Economic Advisor to the European Commission in Kosovo, and as a consultant to the British Council, the European Training Foundation, UNDP, UNICEF, and other international organisations on various assignments in South East Europe.
Dr Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic is Senior Research Fellow at LSE Global Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science, specialising in informal economic practice, conflict and post-conflict economic recovery. Together with Dr Denisa Kostovicova, the author co-edited Transnationalism in the Balkans (Routledge, 2008), Persistent State Weakness in the Global Age (Ashgate, 2009) and Civil Society and Transitions in the Western Balkans (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming) with James Ker-Lindsay.
The twitter Hashtag for this event is: #LSEBalkans
A copy of Richard Grieveson's slide presentation is available for download here.
A copy of Dr Will Bartlett's slide presentation is available for download here.
The video from the event is available here.
LSEE (@LSEE_LSE ) was officially launched at the start of the 2009-10 academic year as a research unit established within LSE's European Institute. Over the last several years LSEE has developed the School's expertise on South East Europe, drawing on the strength of existing and new academic expertise at the LSE.