The European Union provides a framework for the development of a supranational European identity, since every member state does not comprise only of one nation and every nation is not limited only within the boundaries of one state. The interaction of various peoples in the European neighborhood over time has brought up a variety of identities – ethnic, religious, linguistic, and cultural – that gives us the opportunity to explore the European rich cultural heritage and the valuable experience of learning from different cultural traditions. To counterbalance the challenges, such as the stereotypes and preju-
dices that the unawareness of the Other has provoked, it is important to mobilize the Civil Society. Its involvement in Intercultural Dialogue is essential in highlighting good practices and identifying needs for the achievement of social cohesion, through the establishment of a sense of belonging, the promotion of citizenship and the improvement of communication and understanding towards our better common future. Undoubtedly, the desideratum for the next years in our wider neigh-
borhood is not just having good-neighborly relations, but to have the widest possible collaboration on the part of all parties involved in order to shape a future in which peace and security, economic and social development, as well as the citizens' welfare will be ensured. To ensure prosperity in the region the question of peace and securi-
ty needs to be addressed. The recent NATO Summit in Bucharest exposed the limits of Euro-Atlantic integration in South East Europe. A clear EuroAtlantic perspective based on common Euro-Atlantic aspirations and European values is important for countries, such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, FYROM, and Serbia, which are in the process of integration into the EU and/or NATO. The integration of the South East Europe is a decisive step towards widening the zone of stability in the wider European continent. In this regard, people exchanges have direct repercussions on how we
see things, how we judge diversities and how we conceive ourselves. Having this in mind, we are more than happy to welcome the readers of the
Turkish Daily News who, starting from this issue will join The bridge family. It is our firm belief that The bridge can contribute to the creation of ‘communities of interests’ on both sides of the Aegean. As David Judson, editor in chief in Turkish Daily News, eloquently stated in our previous issue “For confessions or not, the dance is just beginning…”
Letter to the Editors
The Minister for Foreign Affairs
Athens, May 19, 2008 Dear Editors, I would like to congratulate you on your decision to collaborate with the Turkish Daily News. It goes without saying that joint ventures between publishing houses from both sides of the Aegean contribute to our quest for well-informed and politically-active publics. They broaden the channels of communication via which our citizens have access to first-class analyses of the political, social and economic developments in both countries, penned by reputable journalists. They further offer accurate and objective journalism another opportunity to explore and evaluate the dynamics of the rapprochement drive between Greece and Turkey. In an era of increasing global challenges and improving international ties, Greece and Turkey are moving forward. We have chosen to make mutual trust and cooperation the focal point of our bilateral relations. This is a dramatic shift in our perception of our historical bonds; a drastic change in our understanding of our common interest. And I am particularly happy to see this fresh trend of fostering synergies spread to the journalistic world. This partnership will undoubtedly facilitate ongoing dialogue and offer feedback on the progress we are making towards building a promising future for our peoples. My best wishes for every success in this new endeavor. I am sure it will prove to be a fruitful collaboration. Sincerely yours, Dora Bakoyannis
- II -
In the light of The Bridgeâ€™s collaboration with the Turkish Daily News we have received the following letter from the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs.
cover story Together in Diversity A bimonthly review on European integration SE Europe & the SE Mediterranean
What is dialogue for 56 by Lev Kraft
The bridge. is a bimonthly publication of the “Agora Ideon” forum
Promoting intercultural dialogue from Barcelona 57 by Senén Florensa
Project Manager: BusinessOnMedia
A living form of heritage 58 by Mai Metawie
Contact: 118 Kremou Street, Kallithea, 17675 Athens, Greece tel: +30-210.953.3362 fax: +30-210.953.3096 www.bridge-mag.com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher: Stavroula Sourila Publishing and Business Development Director: Kostas Tsaoussis Executive Consultant: Alexia Konachou Project Director: Victor Dhimas Editor in Chief: Dimitris Maziotis Editorial Consultants: Andreas Hardaloupas Kostis Kapopoulos Stavros Kourtalis Editorial Team: Eleni Fotiou Constantinos Angelopoulos Ali Osman Egilmez Alexandra Fiada Antonis Kamaras Maria Katechi Natassa Mastorakou Simos Ververidis Columnist: Gazmend Kapllani Internet Edition Manager Vasilis Loukanidis
Between past and present: Dialogue between cultures in Poland 59 by Katarzyna Gﬁrak-Sosnowska and Arkadiusz Placzek North-South exchange between the Seas 60 by Tuomo Melasuo and Anitta Kynsilehto Trends and challenges for European Higher Education 61-63 by Foteini Asderaki
Promoting social cohesion 66-67 by Agapi Kandylaki
Jan Figel Exploring the benefits of the EU's rich cultural diversity
Energy and the environment What about the pipelines ? 49-50 by Theodore G.Tsakiris Water Infrastructure Security 51-52 by Christos Makropoulos
cover story 54 - 55
Artwork team: Dimitris Stergiou Dimitris Papadimitriou Myrto Altani Vangelis Nikas
Mehmet Ali Birand Karamanlis' bravery...
Turkey: a land of diversity 68-70 by Ayhan Kaya
Montage-Printing: Kathimerini SA
Education in Europe: Is a new approach possible? 64-65 by Rosella Reverdito and Attilio Orecchio
Proof-reading: Elizabeth Gardiner
Advertising Executive Manager: Christy Sotiriou
Mustafa Aydin & Sinem A. Acikmese EU Anchor in Turkish-Greek Rapprochement
The bridge. bimonthly review is distributed along with the International Herald Tribune (IHT) and Kathimerini English Edition newspapers in Greece, Cyprus and Albania free of charge (10 June 2008), and to the subscribers of the Turkish Daily News. After the initial day of publication it can be purchased at news-stands. The content of the magazine does not involve the reporting or the editorial departments of the IHT.
© The bridge.. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of The bridge.. Where opinion is expressed it is that of the authors and does not necessarily coincide with the editorial views of the publisher of The bridge.. All information in this magazine is verified to the best of the authors’ and the publisher’s ability. However, The bridge. does not accept responsibility for any loss arising from reliance on it.
dialogue NATO’s way forward in the region George Vassiliou Opening Ledra Street – the beginning of the end?
Work in Progress 28-29 by Basak Kale On the road to Alliance 36-37 by Daniel Sunter Why should anyone be led by you? 38-39 by Bernd Papenkort
Euro-Atlantic enlargement losing synergy? 40-41 by Jos Boonstra Gazmend Kapllani Holding borders in my trouser pocket
impressions 86 - 87
Jamie Shea NATO’s 21st century challenges after Summit
A Win-Win Game for All 44-46 by Srdjan Gligorijevic
turquoise The bridge to “Turkish Daily News” Pro-European Turks VS Pro-Turkish Europeans 72 by Gerald Knaus Exploring the Cretan Soul of Cunda 73-75 by Damaris Kremidar Interculturalism in Rhodes 76-77 by Thanasis Manis
Constantinos Filis In search for the golden fleece
BSEC holds historic synergy meeting 78-79 by Gul Demir An appeal to Greek Cypriots 80-81 by Nicos A. Rolandis Neighbors sailing on the seas of friendship 82-83 A key factor in Balkan stability 82-83
in Turkish-Greek Rapprochement The long-standing conflictual cycle of Greek-Turkish relations has been fading away since 1999, mostly due to the impact of the EU. The recent discourses on both sides point to this. On May 28, 2004, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared at Oxford University that “If TurcoGreek rapprochement is possible today, it is because we have a common ground through which mutual perceptions are formed. That common ground is the EU” Similarly, in his speech of January 2008 at a Turkish university, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis recalled the Franco-German reconciliation within European integration as a model for Greek-Turkish relations. Following these official discourses, is it the European vision that “tied countries like France and Germany, archenemies from time immemorial” which has also been functioning as an anchor in Turkish-Greek rapprochement? From Eternal Enmity to a Promising Amity Since 1999, Turkey and Greece, who had come to the brink of war on numerous occasions, have embarked on a seemingly sustainable period of easing up. Since the late 1950s, the relationship has been one of suspicion, enmity and caution over the myriad of issues concerning the Aegean Sea as well as the long-lasting stalemate in Cyprus. In
the 1990s, the tension further increased with the eruption of the Kardak/Imia crisis of 1996, the S300 crisis of 1997 and finally the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan while leaving the Greek Embassy in Nairobi in February 1999. Ironically, this final crisis created a momentum for a détente between the two countries and what started as cooperation on international terrorism, speedily expanded into the establishment of six bilateral working groups on areas of low politics. This interaction on issues such as trade, environment, culture, science and technology has been coupled with civil society initiatives after the earthquakes that hit both sides of the Aegean in the summer of 1999, finally pushing policy-makers for further cooperation. However, it was not these talks on low politics that made 1999 a miraculous year in Turkish-Greek relations. When the EU officially declared Turkey’s candidacy for membership at the Helsinki Summit of December 1999 and Greece did not object, the dynamics of EU conditionality began to propel Turkey’s approach on issues of national importance regarding Cyprus and the Aegean Sea to a more constructive and solutionseeking policy. The transformation since then is quite evident in the official visits of
By Mustafa Aydin & Sinem A. Acikmese the prime ministers and ministers of foreign affairs, ongoing ‘exploratory talks’ between foreign ministries since March 2002, talks on confidence-building measures since 2000, regular political consultations and modest but promising progress on the Cyprus predicament. This trend has been accompanied by an up-turn in inter-societal and trade relations. The number of Greek nationals visiting Turkey increased from fewer than 150,000 in 1996 to more than half a million in 2005. Trade boomed from 300 million USD in 1999 to over 1.8 billion USD in 2004. The inauguration of Karacabey-Komotini natural gas pipeline on November 18, 2007 and the agreement on Kipi-Ipsala border-crossing in June 2006 are there to see for visible signs of cooperation on energy and transportation. Also in the context of the positive climate of the post-Helsinki era, Turkey has adopted a ‘win-win approach’ on Cyprus since 1999, leading to an unprecedented change in its position. Instead of consolidating the status quo, Turkey’s position on Cyprus, which had for years both contributed to and hindered Greek-Turkish relations, has been transformed into more
conciliatory and constructive behavior. Thus, in 2004, Turkey supported a ‘yes’ vote on the Annan Plan referendum for the unification of the island. In July 2005, Turkey adopted the Additional Protocol to extend the application of the Turkey-EU Customs Union to the new member states that acceded to the Union in 2004, though still resisted its implementation to allow Greek-Cypriot ships and aircrafts to access Turkish ports. Turkish-Greek rapprochement had been explained by some analysts with reference to close personal relations between the two former foreign ministers, Ismail Cem and George Papandreou; or to the earthquakes of 1999 that brought the two countries together.1 Though these are of considerable importance in early rapprochement, what brought Turkey to the table with the intention to solve the protracted conflicts over Cyprus and the Aegean is almost certainly 1. For different views see M. Aydin and K. Ifantis (eds.), Greek-Turkish Relations; Overcoming the Security Dilemma in the Aegean (Routledge: London, 2004).
the EU accession process. While rapprochement between the two sides appeared inconceivable after the capture of PKK leader while leaving the Greek Embassy in Kenya, the dynamics of conditionality and the pulling affect of EU integration contributed to transformation of Turkey’s response and encouraged it to embark upon such an unprecedented journey. The EU Conditionality as an Anchor of Amity As a concept initially developed for central and eastern European countries, conditionality has become a general framework for understanding the internal shifts in candidate countries towards the EU. In the last round of enlargement in 2004-07, conditionality was formalized through the Copenhagen/Madrid criteria of 1993-95 and stipulated in Accession Partnerships, Regular Reports, Strategy Papers and Negotiating Frameworks. Under the EU’s formal criteria, states wishing to enter the Union have to show stable institutions guaranteeing
democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for protection of minorities; a functioning market economy, the capacity to cope with competition and market forces in the EU; and the capacity to take on the obligations of membership, including adherence to the objectives of political, economic and monetary union and the adoption of the acquis and its effective implementation through appropriate administrative and judicial structures. In the Turkish case, the 2001 and 2003 Accession Partnership Documents called on Turkey, in the context of the political dialogue, to “make every effort to resolve any outstanding border disputes and related issues” by peaceful means as mentioned in point 4 of the Helsinki Conclusions. The 2006 and 2008 Accession Partnerships as well as the Negotiating Framework adopted a similar wording, though they no longer cited the Helsinki Conclusions which set the end of 2004 as the deadline for the submission of unresolved disputes to the jurisdiction of International Court of Justice (ICJ). Instead, they referred to the jurisdiction of the ICJ without mentioning a deadline. Meanwhile, since 2000, every regular or progress report on Turkey has insisted on the resolution of border disputes, almost entirely with Greece, and since 2001 have
dealt with this in a sub-section under the political criteria. The Turkish stance on Cyprus over the last decade has also been heavily accentuated by the EU accession process. Through conditionality, Turkey has been expected to “support efforts to implement …[a] comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem within the UN framework…; implement fully the Protocol adapting the Ankara Agreement to the accession of the new EU Member States…[and] take concrete steps for the normalisation of bilateral relations between Turkey and all EU Member States, including the Republic of Cyprus”.2 Failure to do so would cause delays in the course of negotiations or in the eventual membership, as seen at the end of 2006, when 2. Official Journal of the European Union, L 51/04, 26.2.2008.
eight of the 35 negotiating chapters were suspended. This is a clear indication of the power and use of EU conditionality. Although the port problem has created bitterness in EU-Turkey relations, Turkish policy on Cyprus has evolved from a more nationalist and confrontationist stance to one that open to dialogue, cooperation, and win-win alternatives. This is a novelty, and without the EU accession process and the prospect of membership, no Turkish government could have been in a position to initiate this kind of policy changes on such a sensitive issue. In conclusion, prospects for EU membership triggered Turkey’s constructive approach to the controversial security
problems with Greece. Although this is not a one-sided interaction and what made Greece embark upon a moderate policy towards Turkey is also one of equal importance, Greek intentions are outside the scope of this analysis. However, one can clearly see that the future of the rapprochement is also related to the EU’s good will in Turkey’s accession process. Though the record of Turkish-Greek détente so far is promising, the status quo has not yet been reflected in a fullyfledged escape from the long-lasting security dilemma in the Aegean. If the EU shows Turkey light at the end of the tunnel through a more specific timeframe and an accelerated pace, the EU conditionality will contribute greatly to Turkey’s drive to solve its issues with Greece. Any embroilment in Turkey-EU relations on the other hand might have a negative effect on Turkey’s stances on such fragile issues of foreign policy. Mustafa Aydin is Professor of International Relations at the University of Economics and Technology, Ankara. Sinem A. Acikmese is a Research Assistant at Ankara University.
Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Climate change & human security PUBLI
Greek Chairmanship 2007 - 2008
Human Security Network Chairmanship of Greece May 2007-2008
The Human Security Network On May 18th 2007, Greece succeeded Slovenia in the rotating annual Chairmanship of the Human Security Network (HSN). The HSN is an informal cross-regional forum bringing together governments, international organizations, the academia and civil society. Recognizing that nowadays people are exposed to threats and dangers that cut across national boundaries and have a destabilizing effect on both regional and global levels, even in times of peace, the HSN adopts and promotes a more human-centred concept of security. Since its inception in 1999, the HSN's priorities issues have been, among others, the elimination of anti-personnel landmines, the control of small arms & light weapons, the protection of women and children in armed conflicts, and the promotion of human rights education. Besides Greece, member-states of the HSN, include: Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria, Slovenia, Jordan, Mali, Chile, Costa Rica, Thailand, as well as South Africa with an observer status.
The priority of Greek HSN Chairmanship Each HSN Chair selects and highlights one or more human security issues. Greece has opted for a single priority , focussing on the interplay between human security and climate change. Even with the most optimistic scientific facts, some level of climate change is inevitable, posing threat to the human security, especially to vulnerable groups of people -women, children and people fleeing their homes due to climate change- in the developing world. Populations living already on the edge between poverty and extreme poverty, facing diseases and wars are more vulnerable to phenomena such as drought, desertification, low harvest, lack of arable land and water and extreme weather phenomena (floods, cyclones). With developing countries lacking the know how and the capacity to adapt to climate change and meet the challenge, security and development are at stake. Climate change posing a threat to human, national and regional security, undermining human rights, peace, stability, social cohesion, the rule of law, as well as the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Objectives and the Action Plan of the Greek Chairmanship The objective of the Greek Chairmanship is to address, on a cross regional level, the impact of climate change on human security with special emphasis on vulnerable groups such as women, children and people fleeing their homes, in seriously affected regions of the developing world. In this framework, the Greek Chair took the initiative to organize a series of international meetings and events, with the participation of policy-makers, academia and civil society. Besides raising awareness Greece also aims at contributing, actively and effectively, to the drafting of value-adding proposals and adequate policy planning. To this end: A) The Greek Chairmanship, in cooperation with the think tank Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), compiled and subsequently presented the existing studies on the impact of climate change on human security of vulnerable groups in the developing world B) In collaboration with prominent Greek and International Research Centers, the Chair prepared, three policy papers, one for each vulnerable group. In particular, the policy paper on climate change impact on children was drafted in collaboration with UNICEF, the policy paper on women in collaboration with the leading international NGO Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and the policy paper on persons fleeing their homes due to climate change, in collaboration with the United Nations University. C) It has also prepared, in cooperation with the well known International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and under the supervision of the leading climate change expert Dr. Saleemul Huq, a comprehensive policy paper on Development Cooperation & the Impact of Climate Change on Human Security.
Greece's two main Policy - making positions: A) Adapting development policy to climate change International development assistance and cooperation policy planning, particularly with respect to the Least Developed Countries, should include the climate change dimension. Adaptation programs to climate change in developing countries will greatly contribute to limiting the threats against human security, while increasing the chances for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It is also an imperative that the definition of a country's “fragile situation” is enriched with the dimension of environmental insecurity. In addition, there should be a shift of emphasis in European development assistance so that it addresses climate change's impact on vulnerable regions. This, in turn, should be based on an comprehensive approach on the issue of development, security and human security. Greece has already announced and started setting, in cooperation with international and regional organizations, special trust funds for adaptation programs to climate change in Africa and small island states.
B) A European mechanism to address natural disasters Climate change can put all countries' infrastructure to an unprecedented test. Greece fully supports and promotes the establishment of a European mechanism able to respond to prospective climate change challenges in the near future.
Human Security, Development and Climate Change Climate Change and Developing Countries Developing and Least Developed Countries, despite their minor role in the creation of the greenhouse effect, will pay the heaviest toll. Due to their concentration in the tropics, their heavy dependence on agriculture and their limited capacity to deal with natural disasters, developing and least developed countries are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Climate change's impact can be both direct and indirect. Climate change emerges as a new challenge but also as a factor exacerbating existing problems that undermine development: pre-existing conflicts, poverty and unequal access to resources, weak institutions, food insecurity and spreading of diseases.
Climate Change and Women Climate change will severely and disproportionably affect the lives of poor women that are the majority in the developing world and already suffer from limited access to basic goods and rights. In many poor countries, women are forced to eat less. It is therefore expected that in cases of scarcity of resources or natural disasters caused by climate change, women will suffer from additional malnutrition, an extremely dangerous condition, especially during pregnancy. Women are most vulnerable since they have to protect both themselves and their children. Women are more exposed to dangers when fleeing their homes, due to natural disasters or conflicts, as well as during their resettlement to camps and recipient countries. Girls in particular are most vulnerable to exploitation, human trafficking and other forms of gender-based violence.
Climate change and Children Compared to adults, children are physically more vulnerable to malnutrition, disease and hardships that could affect them through their life. The lives of up to tens of millions of children will be endangered by floods, drought and climate change related diseases over the next decades (malaria, dengue fever etc). In developing countries, where there are just a few adequate warning systems or strategies to limit risk factors, children will not be merely affected by natural disasters and extreme weather phenomena. They will also be affected by disasters with long-term impact such as desertification.
Climate Change and people on the move
The severe effects of climate change on human security will be more acute in parts of the population with high natural resource-dependency in environmentally and socially marginalized regions. Climate change induced migration may be one response, although climate change alone is unlikely to be the sole, or even the most important “push” factor to migrate. Yet, large-scale movements of people may increase the risk of conflicts in host communities.
Events organized by the Greek Chair Athens, November 27th 2007 The launching event on Climate Change and Human Security, in Athens, was organized in cooperation with UNEP/MAP. The Greek Chair presented its priority theme and work plan to the general public. The event hosted a poster exhibition (Melting Ice - A hot topic?) and a children paintings' exhibition on Climate Change. Greek Foreign Minister, Ms. Dora Bakoyannis delivered an address while presentations were also made by UNEP/MAP Coordinator, Mr. Paul Mifsud and the Head of the UNDP Office in Athens, Mr. Giuseppe Belsito, who presented, on this occasion, the UNDP Human Development Report 2007/2008 (Fighting climate change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World. Bali, December 10th 2007 / New York, December 12th 2007 Two events dedicated to Climate Change and Children in cooperation with UNICEF. The event in Bali took place in the sidelines of the International Conference on Climate Change with the participation of the Secretary General for International Economic Relations & Development Cooperation and Special Representative on Climate Change in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Th. Skylakakis. The second event, in New York, took place during the GA Special Session on Children. Both events were organized as panel discussions and media events. UNICEF presented its brochure on climate change and children as well as a special video prepared for and financed by the Greek HSN Chair.
Vienna, March 13th 2008
The event was organized in Vienna in the form of a panel discussion on “Climate Change and Human Security: Women, a most vulnerable group” in cooperation with the Austrian Foreign Ministry. The event highlighted the negative effects of climate change which are felt disproportionately by women, particularly in the developing world and it included addresses by the Secretary General of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Mr. J. Kyrle, the Greek Foreign Ministry's Secretary General for International Economic Relations & Development Cooperation and Special Representative for Climate Change, Mr. Th. Skylakakis, the Greek Secretary General for Equality, Ms. E. Tsoumani, and the Secretary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Ms. R. Christ. Athens, March 31st 2008 During the HSN Senior Officials Meeting, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the member states were briefed by the Chair on its activities and events held in New York, Bali, Geneva, and Vienna, in cooperation with UNICEF, the United Nations University, the International Organization on Migration, and the Austrian Foreign Ministry, respectively. Moreover, representatives of the aforementioned organizations presented draft policy papers on each of the vulnerable population groups, following the priority of the Greek Chair.
Geneva, February 19th 2008
The event was organized in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on “Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration: Addressing Vulnerabilities and Harnessing Opportunities”. Speakers included, among others, IOM Director General Mr. Brunson McKinley, World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Secretary General Mr. Michel Jarraud, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms Kyung-wha Kang, and the Greek Foreign Ministry's Special Representative for Climate Change and Secretary General for International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation Mr. Theodore Skylakakis.
Athens, May 29th & 30th 2008 Following the examples of the last two HSN Chairs, Thailand and Slovenia, Greece is hosting back-to-back to the Ministerial Meeting an International Conference on Climate Change and Human Security. Participants include widely acclaimed personalities, experts, scientists and international organizations representatives.
Opening Ledra Street – the beginning of the end? Ledra Street in Nicosia, historically the main commercial avenue of Cyprus, has been closed for more than 40 years now. Efforts to lift movement restrictions across the Ledra Street divide had hitherto proven fruitless, yet the election of Greek Cypriot President Christofias in February led to a significant change in climate and willingness for progress. As a first and highly symbolic step, all relevant negotiations were completed and the barriers which cut Ledra Street in half were removed within weeks. Its opening was greeted with enthusiasm from both sides. Thousands of Greek and Turkish Cypriots walk through Ledra Street every day. The message from people’s reaction is clear for everyone – It is high time to reunify the island. The favorable atmosphere thus created was significantly strengthened with the start of substantial work on negotiations towards resolving the Cyprus problem. Within three weeks, working groups and technical committees, whose task is to examine all relevant issues, identify all points of agreement and disagreement and prepare thus the ground for the final negotiations between the two leaders, were set up. The two sides agreed on the agenda for the above, appointed more than hundred experts and officials and had started work by April 22. People on both sides of the dividing line now justifiably hope that at long last there are real prospects for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
By George Vassiliou
The omens for the new procedure are good. I believe people realize that the time for finding a solution has nearly run out and that the status quo is not in anybody’s interests. All Cypriots, as well as Turkey and Greece, have a vested interest in the success of the project. They see the potential benefits, but also recognize that they can not afford to be blamed for the failure of the effort: Greek Cypriots see that the number of settlers from mainland Turkey is increasing and the exploitation of illegally occupied Greek land in the north has reached alarming dimensions. At the same time, they understand that if they are held responsible for the lack of progress, partition on the basis of the present dividing lines could become a reality. Turkish Cypriots realize that without a solution there will never be a normal state of affairs. Foreigners are reluctant to invest because they realize that buying and develop-
ing properties on occupied land could lead to trouble at a future date. Furthermore, they cannot exploit the huge potential of tourism and service sectors. At the same time, while the Republic of Cyprus is consolidating its position in the EU they cannot take advantage of it. They also know that if they were to put forward negative slogans, similar to those used in the past by Mr. Denktash, they could lose international sympathy and be further isolated. Turkey is already in conflict with the EU and the UN by insisting on maintaining the embargo on Cypriot ships and airplanes. If,
in addition, it were to be held responsible for the Turkish-Cypriots being unable to progress towards a solution, it could see the EU doors firmly closed and lose the support of other countries. Greece always stated its support for any solution agreed by the government of the Republic. However, such a stand may be inadequate; Greece needs the support and solidarity of the international community in its various open issues with Turkey and other Balkan neighbors, yet the international community also expects Greece to encourage and support those that are struggling to achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem. The prospects for finding a lasting solution are good at this point: The negotiations are being conducted by the Cypriots themselves for the first time; the UN plays only a facilitator’s role. It is Cypriots who must find a solution and they cannot blame others for the lack of progress. Membership in the European Union helps. — Human rights within the EU will be fully respected and Cypriots’ fundamental freedoms guaranteed (following transitional periods that may be agreed upon). Turkish Cypriot fears of being overwhelmed by Greek Cypriots and vice versa
would be unjustified and thus should be considerably reduced. — Reaching agreement on many issues becomes easier. For example, with Cyprus a Euro-zone member, monetary policy is determined in Frankfurt, not Nicosia. The economic benefits of a solution will be so large that they are hard to overestimate. The role of Cyprus as a tourist destination and a service centre will be significantly enhanced. Cyprus will be able to play its role as a bridge between the EU, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Political stability should lead to an increase in foreign investments. The abolition of Turkey’s air and ship embargo will strengthen Cyprus’ role as a shipping centre. Trade with Turkey will be substantially enhanced and businessmen will be better able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Turkey. This is demonstrated by the large increase in trade volumes between Greece and Turkey following normalisation of relations between those two countries. The EU and the wider international community are prepared to support the solution with very significant funds targeted towards specific problems such as compensation for properties, building restoration, infrastructure development and helping settlers return to their home country. The conditions for a solution are favorable. The two sides indicate that they are willing to go forward. The international community is ready to help. Let us not lose this unique opportunity to, at last, reunite our island. George Vassiliou was President of the Republic of Cyprus, 1988-1993.
AMC Albanian Mobile Communications (AMC) launched operations in 1996, being the first mobile telephony company to operate in Albania. Today, AMC is the leading operator in the Albanian market with a customer base that reaches 1.2 million and an estimated market share of approximately 51%. The company has been a subsidiary of COSMOTE since August 2000, when COSMO-HOLDING ALBANIA, COSMOTE’s 97% owned subsidiary, acquired 85% of AMC’s share capital. Committed to responding effectively to the needs of the domestic mobile market, while maintaining its leading position, COSMOTE Group’s Albanian subsidiary is the pioneer in providing innovative products and services, as well as attractive tariff plans and offers, available through an extended commercial network across Albania. AMC continues to enhance its network’s coverage and capacity, in order to address the needs of its growing customer base and achieve increased usage. Currently, the company’s network provides over 98.7% population and 85% geographical coverage. In June 2007 AMC, first in the Albanian mobile market, introduced the advanced EDGE technology, offering up to 4 times faster data transfer rates. AMC, striving for continuous growth on all levels, meets the increasing demands of the local market, as well as international standards, and is constantly expanding and improving the range of its services, with new, competitive offerings. Furthermore, the company, demonstrating active social involvement, has developed a comprehensive CSR programme and implements various social and environmental initiatives, addressing the acknowledged needs of the Albanian society and people.
In 2007, AMC:
ñ Significantly increased its customer base, continuing its strong revenue and EBITDA growth path ñ Subscribers: 1.2 million, enhanced by 20.7% on a yearly basis ñ Revenues: 176.2 million Euro ñ EBITDA: 109.3 million Euro ñ EBITDA margin: 62% ñ Net income: 60.9 million Euro ñ Net income margin: 34.6%
The Dynamics of Norms Social Governance of the EU The 'European social model' has become a metaphor that is often used to describe the uniqueness of the European Union. However, when trying to explore the content of this concept, one seems to be dealing with a phantom. The European Union lacks crucial competences to shape social policies at national level. The member states are the dominant actors. Furthermore, there is no common understanding of what such a European model should look like when it comes to its application in practice, as each member state has developed its own specific social system. Yet, this does not mean that social governance is completely absent at EU level. Rather, a common understanding of social values and norms has already been part of the founding treaties of the Community and has been developed over time. This normative consensus determines national social policy more than it is widely recognised. The Treaty of
By Sarah Seeger
Lisbon, which entails the Treaty on the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and which is envisaged to come into force at the beginning of 2009, takes over the existing aquis of the EU's social policy and gives it a new normative quality. Yet, it leaves some loose ends as the gap between normative claims on the one hand and the lack of adequate institutional and procedural provisions on the other remain in place. For a long time, EU member states have been reluctant to transfer social governance competences to Brussels. Over time, each member state has developed its own social governance system. Shaped by national traditions, values and norms, it is a central reference point for national identity. Any external interference therefore is perceived as a threat to the self-conception of the member states. However, due to the mismatch between a Brussels-regulated, barrier-free internal market which reinforces or even causes serious threats to the national social secu-
rity systems and the lack of competences to cope with the arising challenges, alternative modes of governance have been established on EU level. Most clearly, the open method of co-ordination tries to reconcile the member states' aim of keeping their sovereignty with the need for a co-ordinated European approach. And even if the EU is not able to interfere too deeply into national security systems, it can adopt supporting and complementing measures and minimum requirements. National governments still watch jealously over their sovereignty in social security affairs, even if the Treaty of Lisbon defines social policy as a shared competence between the Union and the member states. Only in a modest way, the position of the European Parliament and the Council regarding public services (the 'services of general economic interest') are strengthened. According to the ordinary legislative procedure, they shall establish
GLOBUL With a subscriber base of 3.9 million, a commercial network of almost 770 stores country wide -the widest in Bulgaria- and a robust telecommunications network offering over 99.7% population and 96.8% geographical coverage, GLOBUL, COSMOTE’s Bulgarian subsidiary, keeps posting significant growth rates and capturing the majority of net new additions in the domestic mobile market despite the highly competitive environment. GLOBUL has been operating in the Bulgarian mobile market since September 2001, initially as a subsidiary of OTE. At the beginning of 2003, the management of the company was handed over to COSMOTE, while in August 2005, COSMOTE Group acquired 100% of the company’s shares. Focusing on a customer centric policy, the company has developed a wide range of end-to-end, high quality mobile services responding to the increasing market needs and trends. In this context, during 2006, GLOBUL introduced i-mode and 3G services making significant inroads into the data services segment. In 2007, the company pioneered the introduction of mobile-fixed solutions for the corporate segment. As in the other countries of joint presence, the COSMOTE-GERMANOS partnership has significantly enhanced GLOBUL’s commercial presence and customer reach. It is noted that GERMANOS store visitability increased by 34% in Bulgaria during 2007. Following the introduction of mobile number portability by all Bulgarian mobile operators as of April 2008, GLOBUL is expected to further enhance its customer reach in the market.
In 2007, GLOBUL:
ñ Continued its strong revenue growth rate at 20.4%, sustaining its market share in a highly competitive market environment ñ Captured again a significant share of post paid market net additions, increasing its post paid customer base by c.46% compared to 2006 ñ Subscriber base: 3.9 million, up by 18.4% vs. 2006 ñ Market share c.40% ñ Revenues: 412.1 million Euro ñ EBITDA: 161.7 million Euro ñ EBITDA margin: 39.2% ñ Net income: 53.2 million Euro ñ Net income margin: 12.9%
principles and conditions 'to provide, to commission and to fund such services.' At the same time, the Treaty emphasises the important role of the national, regional and local level in this respect. Furthermore, qualified majority voting will be extended, but only in a single area, social security for migrant workers. And even here, member states have fought for an emergency break which they can use in case important aspects of their national social security systems are affected. Crucial competences, such as financing public services, remain at the national level. And even if the new Treaty leaves room for manoeuvre in case member states decide to move ahead and transfer certain issues of social policy from unanimity to qualified majority voting, no major integration steps should be expected. As reality has shown, member states so far had no incentive to make use of this instrument, even if it has been provided within the existing legal framework already. However, to estimate the Lisbon Treaty's effect on social governance in the EU, merely looking at decision-making instruments can distort the impact it might unfold. Rather, the normative aspects of the new legal framework are likely to tip the scales. Most obviously, this is expressed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights that has been integrated into the new EU primary law and that is thus given a legally binding status (even if the full text of the Charter is not part of the Treaty as it was originally envisaged with the Constitutional Treaty). Furthermore, both the values on which the Union is founded and the objectives of the EU introduced to the Treaty give the social dimension a new symbolic quality. According to the Treaty on the European Union, the Union aims to promote 'full employment and social progress', 'social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of the child.' It shall 'com-
bat social exclusion and discrimination.' A new horizontal clause on social affairs in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union demands 'a high level of social employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and protection of human health.' Even if these values and norms don't pave the way for new EU competences in social affairs, they are likely to remarkably shape the behaviour of those responsible for social governance. The European Court of Justice will have to take these normative objectives into account when examining European laws and thus might re-interpret the Union's internal market-focused policies. If social governance is not only con-
ceived as shaping a welfare system with instruments such as pension systems, unemployment insurances or health care systems, but more generally as a broad common understanding of values, norms and beliefs which coin the behaviour of different actors and therewith the governance of a policy, its existence at European level becomes obvious. It is enshrined in the Union's legal framework and will be strengthened by the Treaty of Lisbon. The new normative quality of the social values and aims is likely to affect social governance in the EU much more than the relatively weak procedural and institutional provisions. Due to the dynamics of norms, co-ordination between member states will be intensified in future and might even result in a higher level of integration. Sarah Seeger is a researcher at the Center for Applied Policy Research (CoAoP) in Munich email@example.com
COSMOTE ROMANIA COSMOTE Romania, COSMOTE Group’s newest subsidiary, begun its commercial operations in December 2005, almost 10 years after its two main competitors, both members of giant telecom groups controlling over 65% market share, and managed, in only two years, to capture a 16% market share, exceeding 3.6 million customers, thus becoming the fastest growing mobile operator in Romania. With the aim to make mobile telephony accessible to all, COSMOTE’s Romanian subsidiary, expanded in record time its telecommunications network to cover over 98.2% of the Romanian population and developed an extensive retail network, comprising of over 850 stores across the country. The company adopted an aggressive marketing policy towards all market segments. Moreover, it pioneered the introduction of a transparent ‘nosmall print‘ tariff policy and built upon its core voice services, applying flat charges across all networks and offering the most accessible prepaid and postpaid packages. The company has also developed attractive solutions for the corporate customers, while in May 2007 it introduced i-mode exclusively in the Romanian market. Joining forces with Romtelecom, COSMOTE Romania recently launched integrated solutions for its customers. Capitalising on GERMANOS significant market appeal and momentum, COSMOTE dynamically expands its customer base, leading the market in terms of net adds, while steadily improving its financial performance. In 2007, the company’s revenues amounted to 155.6 million, 255.5% higher that a year ago. COSMOTE Romania is expected to be on target to reach EBITDA positive performance in 2008 and net profit in 2009.
In 2007 COSMOTE Romania:
Continued its impressive performance capturing over half of the total market’s net additions in Q4 ñ Recorded significant boost in customer acquisition, reaching a total of over 3.6 million customers at the end of the year ñ Market share: approx. 16% ñ Revenues: 155.6 million Euro
Grassroots diplomacy in the Southern Balkans Two decades after the onset of Yugoslavia’s disintegration, its aftershocks are still affecting the Balkans. Following Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the ensuing Serbian ire and the reluctance of Greece to recognise it, the new round of inconclusive talks between Macedonia and Greece are just the visible aspects of a much broader conflict-ridden landscape. These disputes are perceived as aspects of intractable conflicts: Kosovar Albanians, victims of Serbian prejudice and repression are not prepared to take Serbian perspectives seriously on the future of Kosovo. Serbs, oblivious to the stark reality of demography on the ground, consider Kosovo an inalienable part of their national territory and the sacred birthplace of their nation and are equally insensitive to Kosovar Albanian voices calling for independence. The assertion of the sovereignty of a Macedonian nation over the territory of FYROM faces competing claims advocating the autonomy of the country’s Albanian community. It also meets a powerful challenge by Greek nationalist discourse claiming ownership of names and symbols that Macedonian nationalism has also constructed as elements of Macedonian nationhood. The international community has attempted to engage the leaderships of the countries and communities involved in these disputes in order to secure viable solutions. In Macedonia, international mediation averted the escalation of the six-month violent intercommunal conflict between the
By Spyros A. Sofos
Albanian National Liberation Army (NLA) and the Macedonian army and security forces. Through negotiations and the services of EU and US mediation the opposing parties concluded the Ochrid agreement of 2001, which envisaged a package of wideranging amendments to the constitution and legislative changes that effectively recognized Macedonian-Albanians as stakeholders in the new state. In Kosovo, the 1999 NATO intervention, the administration of the province by the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the declaration of what is in practice limited independence for the young Republic of Kosova, coupled with an unprecedented EU institutional and overseeing presence there, have been hailed as the only viable way to address the decades of mistrust and conflict that have marred Serbian-Kosovar relations. Finally, the dispute between Macedonia and Greece regarding the name of the former has been the subject of international mediation for the past sixteen years without any substantial progress. On March 3, the latest round of negotiations between the two countries ended with no sign of convergence of positions. And, while further negotiations are planned, it is clear that the current impasse is strengthening hardliners on both sides. Most attempts to settle these disputes have been based on traditional Track I diplomacy, that is, negotiations and solution frameworks handled by government officials and politicians. For a host of rea-
sons, this reliance on Track I diplomacy has failed to yield the desired results. The preferred solutions of government-controlled diplomacy have involved governments or community élites. Their intergovernmental and consociational character has left the societies and communities which have to live with the decisions reached excluded from the process of conflict resolution. And as the emphasis in Track I diplomacy is put on establishing a negative peace (i.e. lack of hostilities) and promoting coercive peacemaking, not enough energies have been directed at more important aspects of the Balkan conflicts. Having said that, alternative approaches to peace, cooperation and reconciliation in the Balkans do exist and have inspired projects that seek to achieve goals through commerce, citizen involvement and mobilization, training and education, media and information exchange and even through religion. In this context of ‘diplomacy from below’, NGOs such as Search for Common Ground (SFCG), the Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT), the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), but also public sector actors such as universities, have developed projects that create spaces of encounter with the ‘others’ and facilitate sharing and exchanging of experiences and pursuing common goals.
Although the bulk of such interventions has primarily targeted Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Southern Balkans have also seen similar initiatives. Some of the most successful include projects that support regional media cooperation across ethnic boundaries, such as projects run by SFCG within Macedonia bringing together local media from different parts of the country encouraging the production of common media output. engage in the crucial fields of education and socialization with projects designed to promote inter-ethnic understanding, tolerance, and trust in shared learning environments, such as (a) the SFCG Mozaik, a bi-lingual pre-school education programme introduced in 2000 in a number of Macedonian schools bringing together Albanian and Macedonian children and teachers in the same classroom, or (b) the Understanding Current History project launched in 2002 by the Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution of the Sts Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, attempting to promote an exchange of views and understanding of the 2001 events in Macedonia among secondary education age students. encourage potential opinion leaders to meet and engage with their counterparts from other communities and ethnic groups. A characteristic example is the Leadership and Community Building Programme organized by UMCOR and ACT in Kosovo for young leaders from all of the ethnic groups in Eastern Kosovo. divert energies into positive projects that benefit people regardless of community affiliation, such as the SFCG Eko Patrols project that brings together secondary level students from different communities and schools of Macedonia
in order to monitor historical and cultural sites and engage in preservation, recycling, and ecological activities and provide opportunities for children to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of those they traditionally perceive as â€˜othersâ€™. The outcomes of this adoption of Track II and III diplomacy by mainly non-governmental actors have been encouraging, but very limited. So far, there have been a few sporadic initiatives that have attempted to mobilize resources beyond the governmental field and engage a variety of actors from the communities concerned in order to advance new understandings of the situation and explore new modes of coexistence. What is more, one of the key problems we face when dealing with conflict in the region is that we do not have the capability to imaginatively articulate multiple efforts at multiple levels to achieve peace and, more
importantly, cooperation, confidence and reconciliation between peoples and communities whose perception of the region and the world is shaped by historically conditioned fears and prejudice. Even imaginative initiatives, such as the Stability Pact, incorporate conflict-handling mechanisms for the Balkans and provide scope for some aspects of grassroots involvement in conflict transformation (such as the encouragement of advocacy), but patently neglect other important aspects, such as citizen-to-citizen interaction, training, and education, religion or communications and the media. Sadly, however, grassroots involvement is the key to overcoming the prejudice and mistrust that lies at the centre of many of the current problems. Spyros A. Sofos is Senior Research Fellow in European and International Studies at the European Research Centre and the Helen Bamber Centre for the Study of Conflict and Human Rights of Kingston University, London, where he also teaches Conflict Management and Resolution.
KOSOVOTo let it be or not? μy Panagiotis Paschalidis
It is hard to find the words best fit to describe the nature of Kosovo’s statehood following the declaration of its independence, adopted by its parliament on February 17, 2008. It’s not only a matter of mastering international law and accurate political terminology; it’s a question beyond appearances and formalities. The declaration of independence and its pending recognition constitute a new context, a more pressing one, for a number of crucial issues, especially those pertaining to the wider Western Balkan region and the process of its European integration. The debate over an independent Kosovo lingers on with contrasting arguments presenting it from a potentially stabilizing factor to, inversely, a hazardous precedent for its regional contour that could find echoes in different parts of the world. Kosovo has indeed been recognized as independent by a number of countries, 38 in total as of early May 2008, including three permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, UK and France) as well as the large majority of EU member states (20 out of 27). Nevertheless, this swift recognition did nothing to appease strong opposition from Serbia, who still regards this inde-
pendence as an illegal act violating the international law. Russia and China, the two remaining permanent members of the Security Council, have clearly demonstrated their disagreement on the same ground. Most of the countries that decided not to recognize Kosovo have put forward the argument of the respect of international law. In less formal discussions of the matter, it is clear that one of the recurrent motives for not doing so is the fear that the recognition could act as a precedent legalizing irredentist claims in parts of the world with a history of interethnic violence. It is observable that the pace of recognition for Kosovo has slowed down and it remains to be seen whether it has already reached a stalemate. How can one explain such a development? In an abstract manner the two positions, in favor and against, seem irreconcilable. On the one hand, those in favor of the recognition put forward the thesis that Kosovo constitutes a sui generis case to be examined in the precise context of the violent dissolution of the former ‘Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’ (1945-1992). In the same line of argumentation, it could be added that in spite of all its ambiguities, legal the least, Kosovo’s passage to independence comes to restore the right of its popula-
tion to self-governance after a long period of state oppression. On the other hand, the arguments against its recognition do not stop on the sole grounds of its non-conformity to international law. It can be argued that, despite its original intentions, UNMIK (United Nations Mission in Kosovo) finally failed to lay the foundations of a well functioning and integrated civil society, based on the principles of tolerance and protection of minorities, notably the Serbs. From this point of view, in the context of an independent Kosovo, the state of interethnic relations could possibly worsen rather than ameliorate, hence the risk of permanent tensions that could have repercussions outside Kosovo, namely Serbia and the wider regional contour. It’s highly likely that the question of Kosovo’s recognition will take more time than expected and it won’t be an easy one to solve. Naturally, its complexities surpass the simplified question of its readiness or its right to exist as a state. Rather, they seem to be in connection to its implications on larger processes and evolutions, where it is often difficult to hold a single angle of analysis. For instance, it is still unclear the effect that the recognition of Kosovo’s independence will have on the possibility of further territorial modifications in the Western
Balkans. Will it calm down or encourage further demands? Secondly, what will be the consequences for the euro-Atlantic integration of the same region and especially for Serbia? How will the emergence of an independent Kosovo reshape the characteristics of international intervention and involvement in south-eastern Europe? Without risking definitive answers to such questions, it is still useful to measure the first ramifications of the declaration of independence in Kosovo itself and Serbia as well as the regional and international level. Quite expectedly, the declaration of Kosovo’s independence and its recognition by a non negligible number of countries did not improve the state of its abeyances. It is encouraging that sporadic tensions and violence that occurred did not culminate into a generalized conflict. However, this could be attributed to the fact that the vast majority of Kosovo’s Serb population (roughly 5% of its total population) already lives barricaded in Mitrovica, its northern part neighboring Serbia. Given that Serbs in this area have inaugurated parallel institutions – with the backing of Serbia – the specter of a de facto partition of Kosovo becomes more haunting for a central administration struggling to affirm its embracing of all of its citizens regardless of their provenance. Besides the immense task that is the reintegration of Kosovo-Serbs into its political and economic environment, Kosovo has to
tackle structural deficiencies such as massive poverty and unemployment not to mention long lasting corruption. Many in favor of its independence have considered the delaying in the agreement on its final status a major impediment for the improvement of the above mentioned discrepancies. How positive could be the effect of independence on all these matters is highly uncertain. The gloomy depiction of Kosovo’s present and future political and economical state does not serve to discredit the right of its population to self- governance or its potential to recreate a multi-ethnic society. The hard question to answer still remains the necessity of its hasty recognition when a number of necessary standards are still far from functioning. It would be illusory to think that Kosovo will be effectively independent or self-reliant as to the handling of all of these questions. Kosovo will continue to demand strong international and European assistance on vital issues. In all, it seems that the issue of Kosovo’s independence is simply a change in the name of the problem but not of its substance. Instead of implying disengagement of the international community and the European Union from the region, it will call for stronger commitment as to the absorption of future turbulences, starting reasonably enough from Serbia. Though the condemnation and refusal to recognize an independent Kosovo was endorsed in unison by Serbia’s political forces, the situation became more problematic in regard to the progress of its negotiations with the EU The question of the approval of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, proposed by the EU, provoked the dissolution of the governing coalition
and the country will hold anticipated legislative elections on May 11, which are seen as a yet another plebiscite for the country’s orientation towards the EU. It is very encouraging that Serbia has already signed the agreement on April 29. Nevertheless, it’s the outcome of the election that holds a more clear answer to this question. Two months after the declaration of Kosovo’s independence and without necessarily endorsing worst case scenarios, one cannot fail but note the emergence of a highly dysfunctional entity as well as the painful effort of a country to find its place in the European construction. In the margins of weighty analyses evoking the danger of fresh troubles in the weary Balkans in the confusion of contrasting international interests, discordant news may still surface. In the middle of one of the seemingly gravest global food crises in recent memory, Kosovo Albanians put aside their joy for independence in order to protest against their poor living conditions. Meanwhile, in Serbia, opinion polls show that a majority of Serbs still favor the European integration of their country, despite the fact that most EU members have recognized the secession of possibly the most precious symbol in their national imaginary. How will such expectations be satisfied? How incompatible are they? Panagiotis Paschalidis is a Phd Candidate at Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle University and a member of CHRIME (Centre d'Histoire des Récits, de l'Information et des Medias en Europe) in Paris.
Action for the Mediterranean The European Commission and the European Investment Bank on April 10 presented their report on potential investments addressing pollution hotspots in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. The report, part of the Commission’s Horizon 2020 initiative, recognized the need for a pollution reduction programme to help the countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean protect the Sea’s environment and by consequence their population’s health and economic viability. The Mediterranean Sea environment, one of the richest in the world, is exposed to a combination of pressures, mainly landbased pollution. Its decline threatens the health and economic well being of the 400 million people who live in the region –particularly the 175 million people living on the coast – and the other 175 million who visit each year. Today, more than half the towns on the Mediterranean with population over 100,000 lack wastewater treatment plants (60% of their wastewater is discharged directly into the sea). In the southern and eastern Mediterranean, more than 80% of landfills remain unmonitored. Agricultural waste, airborne particles and river run-off (carrying pollutants such as pathogens, heavy metals, organic pollutants, oils and radioactive substances) put pressure on the marine environment of the Sea, while the increase of urbanisation and tourism along the coast contribute significantly to the worsening of environmental and health problems. Pollution deriving from industry, shipping and households, the loss of open
By Alexandra Sarmas
areas, and the destruction of coastal ecosystems for construction projects also add to the deterioration of both the marine and the coastal environment. The Mediterranean Hot Spots Investment Programme Faced with this worrying situation, the EU has in recent years called for urgent action and has sought international cooperation to limit the damage and protect the vulnerable Sea. As the European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas pointed out, "It is imperative that the European Union work with its Mediterranean neighbors to safeguard the environment of one of the world's major seas. We must all cooperate to provide the appropriate resources to reserve the degradation of the Mediterranean." In November 2006, the EU launched a timetable of action for the Horizon 2020 initiative, an initiative which aims at financing projects to tackle significant sources of pollution in the Mediterranean, promote research, encourage the creation or reinforcement of national environmental authorities and develop indicators to monitor the initiative’s progress. Within this framework, the Mediterranean Hot Spots Investment Programme (MeHSIP) will provide support to the Horizon 2020 initiative in implementing priority pollution reduction investment projects.1 The European Investment Bank (EIB), responding to the Commission’s call to work 1. More information on the Horizon 2020 Initiative is available on the Commission’s webpage http://ec.europa.eu/environment/enlarg/med/ horizon_2020_en.htm and for the MeHSIP on http://ec.europa.eu/environment/enlarg/med/pdf /mehsip_report.pdf
with donor countries in order to identify projects with the largest impact on Mediterranean pollution levels across the region, and in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), identified priority hot spots’ investments and will soon finalise a list of projects under the MeHSIP based on the 44 projects which have already been identified in seven countries of the Mediterranean coast. Among the criteria used in this process are the projects' importance for the country or the Mediterranean region, how significantly they reduce pollution, the sustainability of the operations, the loan repayment capacity of the projects' promoters and the amounts required from donors. According to the statement of the European Investment Bank’s Vice President, Philippe de Fontaine Vive, who is in charge of FEMIP: "The Hot Spot Investment Programme (MeHSIP) is an important starting point for a joint effort of international and bilateral financing institutions in order to implement the pollution reduction component of the Horizon 2020 initiative. To this end, FEMIP is ready to take action in order to support Mediterranean partner countries with the necessary financial investments." The MeHSIP also aims at encouraging closer collaboration between the EIB and donor countries and to increase initiatives in the region which will enhance the integration of the environment in different sector policies in the Mediterranean.
On the occasion of NATO’s Bucharest Summit in the beginning of April, many issues concerning security in our neighborhood were brought on the table. The Summit revealed the future orientation of the organization, as well as confirming the switch of its member states’ priorities from ‘hard security’ threats to new security challenges, such as energy security, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and cyber crime. The turn of attention from NATO brings the organization closer to the European Union’s goals of stability and democracy. However, it raises queries on the overlapping of the two organizations’ activities, accession procedures and further enlargement towards the South and the East. In this issue of The bridge, in an attempt to draw NATO’s new profile, prominent figures have contributed to the evaluation of the Bucharest Summit; to a better comprehension of NATO’s new dynamics, and have helped us assess the question of the future direction of NATO, its relations with the European Union and its role in the Western Balkans.
Work in Progress By Basak Kale
The latest NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania on April 3, 2008 exposed the limits of Euro-Atlantic integration in South East Europe (SEE) while providing a strong stance for Russia. The most evident outcome of the summit was the invitation made to Albania and Croatia to become members of the Alliance. They have both been in the Membership Action Plan (MAP) process in the last couple of years. However, exclusion of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1 (FYROM) from this invitation and the debate over whether or not to grant the MAPs to Georgia and Ukraine for fear of provoking Russia, overshadowed the importance of Albania’s and Croatia’s invitations. Both NATO and the EU’s strong commitment will be crucial in sending the message of solidarity and support to the region. The ultimate security guarantee of Article 5 the Washington Treaty provides an attractive security umbrella for countries in the wider geography of Europe. In order to be included in the Euro-Atlantic integration countries have to go through an intensive political and military reform process. For them, different frameworks, such as the Partnership for Peace (PfP), MAP, and the European Union (EU) Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) with the possibility of the future EU and NATO memberships, 1. Among NATO members, Bulgaria, Canada, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, the UK and the USA recognise the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name. The UN is using the term ‘the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’, but it agrees to accept any final agreement resulting from negotiations between two countries.
have proven to be a catalyst to implementing comprehensive political, economic, institutional and military reforms.2 Integration into NATO provides a security framework and integration into the EU provides a political and economic framework to the countries in SEE. They are considered separate but not separable aspects. A clear vision of EU membership proved to be a strong catalyst for reforms in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and it will be achieve a similar effect in SEE. Invitations to Albania and Croatia represent the outcomes of NATO’s ‘open door’ policy. Despite the formal NATO recognition of the commitment and hard work demonstrated by FYROM and the United States’ big push to grant a membership invitation, this was not viable at the summit. The Greek veto remained on the name issue with the rejection of the UN-brokered compromise for 2. Requirements to become a member of NATO apart from the military component are parallel with the requirements to become a member of the EU. Achieving good neighborly relations, rule of law, respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, a functioning democracy, market economy, and democratic state institutions are all requirements which bring these countries closer to memberships both to the EU and NATO.
proposed names. Membership will have to wait until a solution on the name issue is reached. One has to be careful on the urgency of reaching a compromise on this as Kosovo’s independence exposes FYROM to a vulnerable security environment. If FYROM is excluded from the integration process, in the long run this might have wide-ranging security implications in the region. It may give rise to nationalism and anti-Western tendencies in FYROM, resulting in a loss of incentive to continue with reforms. If the EU supports any non-compromising position, this may also jeopardize the country’s relations with the EU while giving a misleading message to the region in terms of integra-
tion, stability and security. Adding to the disagreements, divergent security interests over enlargement – Kosovo and the missile defense – were discussed by Russia and the US. Russia is not content with the NATO expansion into the formerSoviet territories. However, in the last fifteen years it has not been successful in preventing the enlargement. Moscow’s stance was clear that Ukraine and Georgia should not be given MAPs. Receiving a MAP is significant as it is a formal commitment of NATO to the applicant country for its eventual inclusion to the Alliance. The intense lobbying of the US with the support of the new EU members from CEE was opposed by Germany and France, which did not want to create any unnecessary tensions with Russia. Germany is especially cautious as the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany will transport natural gas from Russia to Europe. The opposing side put forward the arguments on the grounds that Georgia did not present sufficient developments in the political field as it is still dealing with the separatist movements within (Abkhazia and South Ossetia) and public support in the Ukraine for NATO membership is not evident. The compromised solution was simply not to grant MAPs to Georgia and Ukraine, but to explic3. Bucharest Summit Declaration states that "NATO welcomes Ukraine's and Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO." This is a political commitment and it officially grants the promise of future membership without starting the official process.
itly declare their future acceptance to the Alliance.3 Without receiving MAPs these countries were formally invited to become members of NATO in the future. For the Ukrainian and the Georgian Presidents, this was better that what they were expecting. For Russia, rejecting MAP allocations was a clear acceptance of their concerns. In that respect, this move can be interpreted as a step back in NATO’s enlargement process to avoid a possible provocation to Russia. In relation to Kosovo and the future role of the UN-mandated NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), the member states agreed on the indispensable role of KFOR for regional peace and stability. It is reaffirmed that KFOR will remain in Kosovo on “the basis of UNSCR 1244 to ensure a safe and secure environment, including freedom of movement, for all people in Kosovo unless the Security Council decides otherwise.” 4 A strong working relationship between KFOR and the UN and the EU is accepted to be as 4. NATO Bucharest Summit Declaration, http:// www.nato.int/docu/pr/2008/p08-049e.html 5. Quoting from the keynote speech of the NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at the Croatia Summit on the 6th July 2007.
critical as ever for the stability of the country and for avoiding possible nationalistic based violence. The debate and the outcome of the NATO Bucharest summit demonstrated that South East Europe is still work in progress 5. A clear Euro-Atlantic perspective based on common Euro-Atlantic aspirations and European values is important for the countries, such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, the FYROM, and Serbia, which are in the process of integration into the EU and/or NATO. The integration of the South East Europe is a decisive step towards widening the zone of stability in the wider European continent. The integration process also acts as a catalyst and a strong impetus for domestic reforms and democratic development in the countries concerned. It is important to keep these countries enthusiastic, involved and on track as stability, security and good neighborly relations in the region require collaboration. This means clear and strong commitment from the EU with clearly defined, achievable political goals with a target of membership maintained by a concrete financial support. The same is true for NATO; it has to keep its door open to these countries for its own benefit. Conflicts in the SEE have shaped NATO’s own evolution and now its time for NATO to show its commitment to shaping the future of the region. Basak Kale is Dphil Candidate and Research Associate at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford University, and Research Assistant at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara.
NATO’s 21st century Jamie Shea Interviewed by Dimitris Maziotis and Eleni Fotiou
In the light of the recent Bucharest Summit, what are the main achievements? Dr. Jamie Shea is Director of Policy Planning in the Private Office of the Secretary General responsible for advising and assisting the Secretary General, senior NATO management, and the Council to address strategic issues facing the Alliance. He has been working in NATO since 1980, in several positions, such as Deputy Assistant Secretary General for External Relations in the Public Diplomacy Division, Director of Information and Press, Deputy Head and Senior Planning Officer in the Policy Planning Unit and Multilateral Affairs Section of the Political Directorate of NATO, Assistant to the Secretary General of NATO for Special Projects, Head of External Relations, Conferences and Seminars, Head of Youth Programmes, Administrator in Council Operations Section of Executive Secretariat. He is Professor of Collège d’Europe (Bruges), Lecturer at Brussels School of International Studies at the University of Kent, Associate Professor of International Relations in the American University (Washington DC), Director of the Brussels Overseas Study Programme, and Adjunct Associate Professor of International Relations in the James Madison College at the Michigan State University, as well as Director of the MSU Summer School in Brussels.
There are four broad achievements from NATO’s Summit this April: The first one is the continuing process of Euro-Atlantic Integration that started after the Cold War in the 1990s, and which builds partnerships and close relations with NATO’S neighbors in Europe and offers those countries the possibility of NATO membership. In this respect, in Bucharest we invited two countries, Albania and Croatia, to join the alliance. They have now begun the implementation of Protocols of Accession with NATO, which should be completed in early July. It’s my hope that both Albania and Croatia will be able to take their places at NATO’s next summit, next year in Strasburg as future members of alliance. That means that NATO will go from 26 to 28 members. In Greece there is also interest in the candidacy of FYROM. But because the bilateral issue between Greece and Skopje concerning the name of FYROM wasn’t resolved, allies showed solidarity with Greece and agreed that FYROM can be invited to join NATO only on resolution of the name issue. Of course, it would be fair to say that the Allies are very much hoping that the momentum in the bilateral negotiations between Athens and Skopje will be maintained, based around the efforts of ambassador Nimic, the Special Intermediary. It would be good for stability in the broader Balkan Area, if FYROM – the country in which NATO has invested heavily in the Ochrid Peace Framework over the past few years – can be part of that process. So let’ s keep our fingers crossed on that score. At the same time, we offered the first stage on the road to integration, the Individual Dialogue, to Bosnia-Herzegovina and to Montenegro. We also offered Serbia the possibility of membership in the future. The current tensions in the Balkans, particularly regarding the status of Kosovo and the electoral campaign currently underway
challenges after Summit in Serbia, make it difficult for Serbia to contemplate a future in NATO at the moment, and we have a history that we both need to overcome. But I think that the decisions in Bucharest were a very important sign of a long-term confidence in the fact that Serbia has also a place in the Euro-Atlantic community. So, if it so chooses, we would certainly continue to engage with Serbia, which of course is also a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace. The other part of the Euro-Atlantic integration dossier was that we gave a perspective on eventual membership in the alliance to Georgia and Ukraine. We did not invite those countries in Bucharest to join the Membership Action Plan, which is the pre-condition for membership in the long run, so we now have to decide upon the reforms they have to carry out, and that is to be debated by our Foreign Ministers in December. The second achievement in Bucharest was a very good meeting on Afghanistan, which is NATO’s number-one operation. This brought NATO’s countries together with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, Javier Solana, the EU High Representative, the World Bank and 13 non-NATO countries, such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand, which contributed to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. This meeting was important first as a gesture of a broader coalition of solidarity to provide
security for Afghanistan. Those countries together with NATO members endorsed a political military strategy which sets clear objectives and clear benchmarks, so that we can monitor our progress in Afghanistan and understand better whether we are succeeding or not. The third element in Bucharest was the meeting with Vladimir Putin, the outgoing President of Russia. This was only his second NATO Summit, while the previous was in 2002. It is very important to continue the high-level dialogue with Russia. We have our differences with Russia, and Russia has its differences with us. This is not anything new. But now, we were able to have a very rational dialogue with Russia, and progress in areas like Afghanistan, where we have common interests. For instance, we were able to sign an agreement with President Putin, whereby NATO can use Russia’s land transit of non-military supplies for Afghanistan. Finally, in terms of Bucharest achievements, we got the green light from our member states to begin dealing with some new security challenges: proliferation, missile defense, energy security, defense of our cyber systems against hackers and attacks. These issues are just as important as Afghanistan, because they are issues of the every day security in terms of our societies and our citizens. All in all, I think that Bucharest was from NATO’s point of view, a successful Summit that pushes in a new direction as well.
What are the limits of Euro-Atlantic integration in South-East Europe? The European Union, at its meeting in Thessaloniki in Greece in 2003, gave all of the countries of the Balkans an Euro-Atlantic perspective. NATO has done the same. Already Slovenia has joined the alliance, Croatia and Albania have been invited to join, the FYROM will join the process – I hope sooner rather than later – and Montenegro and Bosnia have expressed the long-term aspiration. As I already mentioned, relations with Serbia are more complicated, but I personally don’t believe that Serbia will want to stay outside a process which all of its neighbors in the region are leading towards. Indeed, last week at the EU meeting in Luxemburg, Serbia signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union. So, despite the present tensions, the long-term trend is towards Euro-Atlantic integration for all of the countries in the region. NATO is not imposing anything, but they see the benefits of that integration process to their stability, and domestic reform is what the overwhelming majority of their citizens want.
In relation to Kosovo and the role of the UN mandated NATO-led Kosovo Force – KFOR, what will be NATO’s role in the future? Is disengagement an option? No, there is no time limit to the role of KFOR in Kosovo. We will keep it there as long as it is needed to protect all of the inhabitants of Kosovo, whether they are Kosovar-Albanians, or Kosovar-Serbs, or any other community, as long as the shape of Kosovo’s role in the region and its ultimate status are still in a situation of flux. Obviously, we take account of the Declaration of Independence of the Kosovar-Albanians in Pristina, some time ago. We will work closely with the EU, which is deploying the EULEX Police Mission and opening up and Office of the International Civilian Representative, Pieter Feith. We take note of the role that UNMIK continues to play in Kosovo and we seek the closest possible cooperation with other international organizations during the period of uncertainty and turbulence. We all regret the riots in Mitrovica on March 17, but now, in terms of the police and the military, we are able to provide security, and we will deal effectively with anybody who tries to make trouble, no matter which ethnic community they may come from.
Looking beyond the Balkans, will NATO enlarge further, and if so, will this happen in parallel win the European Union? What about Georgia and Ukraine The easy answer is to say “yes”. NATO will enlarge further. I already mentioned the prospect of FYROM and the clear commitment given to Ukraine and Georgia in
Bucharest. NATO always says that the doors remain open: Article 10 of the Treaty of Washington says “any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic” may be invited to join if it so wishes. So, there are still plenty of potential candidates in Europe who may wish to join, may be not today, but in the future. Of course, the Washington Treaty talks about European countries, so I am not anticipating that NATO will be a global organization or a Mini-United Nations. Obviously, there will be a final limit in the process of enlargement. Until now, we have enlarged in a way that has been good for NATO and for security in Europe. The new members have shown all willingness to become good and dependable allies. I do not believe that consensus within NATO will be at stake if we get bigger. Clearly, we will need to make certain that the new members have been through the reform process and that they recognize the obligations, and not just the benefits of NATO membership. The Membership Action Plan will continue to be a very demanding exercise, but those countries that have passed through that, in good faith, should become members. I do not believe that NATO will ask them to tick all the boxes and pass all of the tests, and at the end of the process, deny them the reward of membership. We have to be consistent in keeping our promises as well.
Will NATO move in parallel with the EU in terms of enlargement or act on its own? The two processes are independent. The EU has enlarged to countries such as Cyprus, which have not wanted to join NATO. NATO has been enlarged to countries that have not so far wanted to join the EU, but having said that, there is a de-
gree of overlap in the processes. Particularly, since the end of the Cold War, most of the countries in the Central and Eastern Europe have wanted to join both organizations. For example, Slovenia had one single referendum to join both organizations on the same day. So, the processes although not strictly coordinated, they have been largely compatible and coherent. I would hope that process will continue; that countries joining the EU will – one day – wish to join NATO, to have a link with the US and a seat at the NATO table. Those countries that have joined NATO and aspired also to join the EU, like Turkey, should be able to have that perspective applied to them, not just in words, but also in concrete reality. Despite the high degree of overlap, the two processes will not be formally linked. The EU and NATO are independent organizations. They make their own decisions according to their own criteria. NATO and EU work on different aspects of a candidate country. NATO works on the security institutions largely, whereas the EU is much more intrusive in terms of all of these sectors of a country, which seeks to reform: the judiciary, the banking sector, institutions, economy, infrastructure, etc. Clearly, countries that have been through both processes are probably much more solidly democratic and economically successful. Of course, nobody would say that the so-called neutral countries, like Sweden, Finland or Austria, are less democratic, less secure or less capable of action. My feeling is that it would be good for Euro-Atlantic stability that countries at least have the choice, even if they are not considering NATO membership in the near future. The important thing is for the choice to be there if that is where countries
wish to go. We cannot have a solid Europe if countries do not have the right to exercise their free choice of whether or not they want to belong to an alliance or to an international organization.
Why is the Western Balkan region of special concern to the EuroAtlantic Alliance? Let’ s be frank. We have unfinished business of the 1990s in truly putting the region back together again politically, economically and in terms of restoring the old trading links between the constituent parts of Former Yugoslavia, which are now independent countries. We still have the issue of Kosovo to be fully resolved. We still have to make sure that certain states, like FYROM or Bosnia, which have fragile characteristics are fully stabilized. We need to ensure that the process of EuroAtlantic integration is open, because it is an important carrot in driving reconciliation among peoples. We have to have frontiers, but we have to make those frontiers open once again. There is a lot of unfinished business, and it won’ t happen naturally, as much as we would wish. It will continue to require help, advice, economic assistance, and vigilance when it comes to human rights, and to the respect of elections and democratic processes. The other aspect is that this area is gradually joining NATO and the EU, and these countries will be allies in the future. We obviously have an interest in making sure that they are the most performing and capable allies that add to and do not detract from the effectiveness of the alliance. I am sure that applies to the EU as well.
What is the current situation, and in which direction in the future will the alliance move with regards to the contributions of new member states in peacekeeping operations such as Afghanistan? Obviously, this is a very good question. A few years ago, nobody in NATO, or preparing to join NATO would have considered that one of the consequences of membership could be finding yourself with troops in Afghanistan. Of course, in the old days, NATO’s role was to defend its own territory, but times change, the concept of security changes, threat and risks change. NATO to be relevant cannot stay in the 1950s position of waiting to be attacked by a non-existent enemy. We won’t survive for very long if we continue to do that. We have to go where the threats are, where our citizens need to be protected, and today that means Afghanistan. If you take a more objective long-term perspective, we have gone through a remarkable transformation. For example, in the 1990s I recall working for the German Secretary General of NATO, Manfred Werner, who never believed that Germany would be willing to send soldiers outside Germany. Today, if he were alive, he would have pleasantly surprised to see that Germans have 3,500 troops in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo, and troops with the EU in Zaire and other places in Africa. So, if one looks at how far we have come in the last ten years, (if one thinks of the old mandate of NATO to only defend its borders: a very static, territorial defense concept, and now the way which allies are moving to expeditionary operations, deploying sustaining forces thousands of kilometers away from their territory), he would agree that it has been a real revolution.
That said, we have to judge not just by how far we have come, but also by where we need to be, and we are not quite where we need to be today. We need more allies who have well-trained, well-equipped expeditionary forces and are able to sustain them. We need more enablers, like strategic transport, helicopters, communications, and engineering forces. It is not just a question of troops on the ground; you need to be able to move these troops around. We need to put more emphasis on training, for example for local Afghan forces. We may not have as many forces in Afghanistan today as we would like to have, but the trend moving up progressively. More and more countries are putting more and more troops into Afghanistan despite the budgetary constraints and the demands of other operations like those of the EU and the UN in Afghanistan. Of course, Afghanistan is not the only operation. We have to remind ourselves of that. One positive thing is that military transformation is a reality in NATO today
NATO afraid of destabilization in the Western Balkan region? You can’t afford to take your eye off the bull, even if I do not believe that the wars of 1990s, the mass ethnic cleansing and all those terrible things are going to come back. Still, there is always the possibility of backsliding. There is a great deal of nationalism, ethnic separation, and mutual suspicion. People may not want to fight each other again, but that does not mean
they are prepared to live with each other or love each other. That is going to take time, economic prosperity, and education, coming to terms with war crimes, apologizing for war crimes and for mistakes. This is a region, which needs Nelson Mandelas and does not always have them. We have to be vigilant because major conflicts are not possible, but small clashes certainly are. When we have riots in Mitrovica, as on March 17, parallel structures, places where there are awful loads of guns still in circulation, organized crime, corruption, then, yes, even if NATO is not necessarily the leading organization to deal with all of these phenomena, we have to stay residently engaged. The job is not done simply because of an absence of mass violence. I believe that we will be involved in the Balkans for many years to come. The good news is to be able to switch the emphasis of NATO from heavy military intervention and the sort of presence that you see in Kosovo today increasingly towards partnership, training, security sector reform, mentoring advisory-type activities; from the hard stuff through the soft stuff. That is the sign of progress.
What is the approval rate of NATO in the public opinion of the states in the area I do not have a list of public opinion poll statistics for each individual NATO country at my fingertips today. If you are talking about the Balkans in particular, we see differences from one country to the next. Albanians, for historical reasons are very enthusiastic about joining NATO. Other countries are obviously less enthusiastic; the Kosovo air campaign, of course, has left its legacy.
Will NATO apply any benchmarks in case post-accession momentum for reforms in the new member states drop considerably? However, I believe that there is an upward trend. For example, Croatia has now a higher degree of popular support of NATO membership than a few years ago. I think that is also linked with the greater sense of assurance to membership; the fact that could really happen. Also, Serbia, which is not, thinking of NATO membership at the moment, has the legacy of confrontation with NATO in the past; I do not expect that NATO is very popular in Belgrade and we have to live with that. The EU is not very popular in Serbia too, particularly because of the perceived positions that the organization is taking in dealing with the Kosovo issue. I think that we have to work harder on it, but also local leaders have to work harder at clearing up myths about what NATO is or it is not. Loving NATO or hating NATO, at least has to be a result of objective and accurate information. We have to do our best to make sure we present the right information, but I think, also the leaders of countries have an obligation not to distort NATO’s image for party political domestic politics, but to ensure that they also explain objectively to their populations what NATO is and what NATO membership could entail. In places where we used to have a fairly negative rating, such as in Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and FYROM, there has been an encouraging trend upwards in recent times. We obviously have to build upon that basis.
Yes, of course. NATO membership is demanding and candidates have to reform to be ready for that membership, not only by developing military forces, but also by political reforms; judiciary, election processes, etc.. We still expect those countries, which have been invited to join NATO, such as Croatia and Albania, to continue the process of reform right up until the time that they are members and also not suspend that process once they are members. The membership of NATO is a kind of consecration as it is with the EU, and not a kind of seal of approval that the moment you join NATO you are perfect. It is like getting a driver’s license. Once you get a driver’s license, you are qualified to go on the road, but this does not make you a perfect driver. We all know that the process of being a perfect driver continues long after you have got the license. Jeremy Bentham, a famous 19th century British liberal political scientist said, “The price of democracy is its own vigilance. Reform is not a one-off process, and modern education is a continuing process of improving the way you run your politics and your society, and even the oldest democracies can do still with a great deal of improvement”.
Thank you very much I hope I have answered all your questions; at least I have tried to do so. I thank you for this opportunity and I wish you all the best. Goodbye from Brussels.
On the road to Alliance Following a decade of armed conflicts and ethnic tension, the peoples of the Western Balkans have managed to replace their misunderstandings with their common desire to achieve a better life and integrate into Euro-Atlantic institutions. Euro-Atlantic integration has proved at the start of the 21st century, for a third time, that they are the best method of stabilization and prosperity in Europe. This is the same model which led to the uniting of western Europe after World War II and the uniting of eastern and western Europe once the Cold War ended. The peoples of the Western Balkan shared an identical foreign policy orientation which allowed them to renew regional links on new foundations. On their road to Euro-Atlantic integration they are facing a variety of challenges which require added efforts by both the states of the region and the international community as a whole. Macedonia, for example, still has not managed to resolve the dispute over the name of the state with its neighbor Greece, while Serbia as the largest state of the Western Balkans has not achieved full political and social consensus on Euro-Atlantic integration because of the crisis of national identity and the Kosovo status issue. NATO and the European Union have been present in the Western Balkans since the 1990s when they tried to mediate and end the conflict between the warring peoples of the Balkans. Peace missions initiated
in that decade are still current. In BosniaHerzegovina, the EU mission Althea has successfully taken over from the international stabilization force under NATO command, while in Kosovo NATO continues to be the guarantee of peace and security as the leader in the international military mission KFOR. In Macedonia, NATO and EU engagement stopped an ethnic conflict which threatened to cause an all out civil war. Despite the challenges and problems, the peoples of the Western Balkans have shown that they have democratic potential and that they want to integrate into the family of nations which rallies most of the peoples in Europe. That was shown by the popular uprising in October 2000, which lead to the toppling of the autocratic Milosevic regime and the replacement of the nationalist Tudjman regime at parliamentary elections in Croatia. The common orientation of the countries of the Western Balkans towards the EU and NATO has proved to be the foundation to rebuild previously destroyed bridges of trust and cooperation among the nations of the region. With the background of war, it might seem unusual that military cooperation in the Western Balkans is one of the strongest bridges of renewed links. NATO deserves major credit for that because it was under its auspices that the reforms of the armed forces were launched in all the coun-
By Daniel Sunter
tries of the region along with a variety of regional cooperation initatives. That is true of Serbia as well although the memory of the 1999 air strikes means that public opinion in the country is less inclined in favor of the Atlantic aspect of integration. Belgrade managed to resolve the security problem of guerilla groups operating in the belt along the administrative boundary of Kosovo thanks to cooperation with NATO, the EU and OSCE just one year after the Milosevic regime fell. The buffer zone along the boundary line is the site of the most direct practical cooperation between the Serbian army and NATO forces. Joint exercises are organized in a spirit of partnership and joint patrols on both sides of the administrative boundary have significantly contributed to stability and suppressing crime in Kosovo, southern Serbia and the entire region. Serbia and all the other countries of the Western Balkans have worked closely with NATO and have successfully conducted the reorganization of the armed forces by adopting Alliance standards. Thanks to their Euro-Atlantic orientation, the military in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania started working together on a daily basis. The intro-
duction of NATO standards and the reorganization of the military holds special importance in reconciliation of the people in Bosnia-Herzegovina because that country now has multi-ethnic, professional armed forces. Euro-Atlantic orientation and successful military reform have led the countries of the Western Balkans into a position in which they are no longer consumers of security, but are also providers who send their military contingents on international missions such as those in Afghanistan and even in the Balkans. The extent to which Euro-Atlantic orientation affects the security and stability of the Western Balkans was shown by this yearâ€™s NATO summit in Bucharest and the previous summit in Riga in 2006. In Riga, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro were invited to join the Partnership for Peace program and in Romania, the NATO leaders invited Croatia and Albania to join the Alliance. The invitation to Macedonia, although expected, did not come because of the unresolved dispute over the name of the country with Greece. That decision caused great disappointment in Skoplje because Macedonia sees membership in the Alliance as the top priority of its foreign policy. Although the problem has not been resolved yet, the EuroAtlantic forums in which both countries participate offer a possibility to continue the dialogue to find an acceptable solution. Skoplje, Zagreb and Tirana have been preparing together to join NATO. In diplomatic circles they have been called the Big MAC countries (Macedonia, Albania, Croatia) which is synonymous for the new circle of NATO expansion following the so-called big bang of 2004 when seven European coun-
tries joined the Alliance. Despite differences in the levels of economic advancement, reforms and institutional capacities, those three Balkan countries invested great effort in the past few years to meet the conditions to join the Alliance. As members of Partnership for Peace they joined the Membership Action Plan (MAP). That plan helps partner countries meet all the criteria required for full membership in NATO. The three countries achieved close defense cooperation through the Adriatic Charter, a regional initiative under the auspices of the United States which provides added help in meet the criteria for NATO and EU membership. Since Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro also harbor ambitions of joining NATO, the Alliance called them to join in an intensified dialogue. This is an expert arrangement which will help them implement defense system reforms and prepare for the implementation of MAP. So while Croatia, Albania, BosniaHerzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia continue down their chosen path towards Euro-Atlantic integration, Serbia is faced with internal dilemmas. Although the political elite in Serbia unequivocally opted for Euro-Atlantic integration in the first years after the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, it is divided today on both the question of membership in NATO and membership in the EU. That mood in Serbia is linked to the greatest challenge in the region today â€“ the status issue for Kosovo, a province of Serbia
which has been under the management of the UN and international military mission under NATO command. Following the negotiations which did not lead to a mutually acceptable solution, Pristina declared independence which Serbia does not recognize. Although there is no consensus among the EU and NATO states nor the Balkan countries on the Kosovo question, the long-term presence of Euro-Atlantic institutions in Kosovo and the integration of Serbia into the EU and NATO seem to be the only sustainable solutions which will secure a better life for the peoples in the region who will not see state borders as being of major importance today. That is why it is very important for the people of Serbia to feel that they are welcome in the family of Euro-Atlantic people and should continue down the road they chose in 2000. The EU decision to sign the Stabilization and Association Agreement with Serbia in April this year and the NATO offer to Belgrade to join the Intensive Dialogue program are steps which could encourage proEuropean parties and the pro-European option in the state as well as the integration of the entire Western Balkans into Euro-Atlantic institutions. Daniel Sunter is Belgrade editor for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR).
Why should anyone be led by you? To write about leadership means to write about skills, visions, principles and values of senior level officials who are performing key functions in politics, government and business; about individuals who take challenges and burdens to shoulder the responsibility for their countries, governments and companies; about officials who work in different areas and in various functions but share the same values, principles and common objectives; about a group of people, who are open-minded, with profound depth in their own profession, great diversity in mind and opinions. Individuals, who have the willingness to look forward in the fog of future and to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead in order to shape the destiny of corporations or nations. Such a Strategic Community is still missing in many countries of South East Europe and its creation is a sine qua non for every accession effort. Leadership in Today’s World Leadership under the conditions of globalization has become very complex, and honestly, very stressful. It is driven by high speed technological developments on the business front and desperate struggling on the political and governmental front to cope with consequences of such rapid developments. The speed of technology and related developments sometimes press us to our limits.
By Bernd Papenkort
not end up in the backyards of social and economic poverty. How should we cope with this from our leadership stance? This is true both for our families and our private lives. In our families, our kids are accustomed to PCs, for our parents it is a strange machine, and our grandparents cannot handle it. In our own families, we face the consequences of the digital divide! Our world has become very foggy – many things are under constant pressure to change – Heraclites has become reality in the true sense of words “everything flows and nothing stays fixed…” Globalization makes the world smaller and more interconnected – that is true. Optimists told us some years ago that in the good world to come we would all live in a global village. But, this remains theory and hope because – like all times in history – the change will create winners and losers. And it is our task to do everything possible so that we do not belong to the losers and do
In an increasingly interdependent world where nation states are becoming more and more plural, positive coexistence is probably the Call of the Time even if this is very difficult in practice. Political and business leaders who continue to focus only on their own country or entity, or corporations, or even worse, on their own power, will become increasingly obsolete in the decades to come. Leadership of the future must be glocal – capable of serving and seeing the needs of all groups within their states or corporations – while simultaneously ensuring the global linkages which will enable both the power and the potentials of nations and corporations to flourish in a world where finance, economy, development, health, trade and communications are becoming increasingly transnational. Leaders who go back to a dream of their place only for and within their own people alone, and excluding all others, run the risk of enormous suffering of their people and ensuring their irrelevance in the globalizing world of today.
It is a great irony – but those leaders who want to do the best for their interest group, in reality are the ones leading their people sooner or later into the backyards of developments. We still have many of those in South East Europe. Some Essentials for Modern Leadership I believe that we need to be aware of some leadership capabilities. Those capabilities are the necessary starting capital for any leader in order to design the future in respective areas. I call the first asset The Readiness to Shape the Future. We must have the capability to make a reasonable forecast about things to come. To look into the fog of uncertainty and acquire information, and to make good decisions based on this. We cannot afford to sit on the Titanic and wait to see whether we hit the iceberg. The difference to the old steam liner is obvious – it is the speed. Today, we are sitting in a fast moving patrol boat of developments and the crash can come very quickly. Leaders in politics, governments and business must be aware of this high speed in all areas of life and society. The other asset is The Courage to Make the Necessary Decisions, based on our sound assessment. We all know that this requires energy, power and will. It includes the readiness to come under fire from ‘placeholders of the comfortable status quo’ in politics, government and business.
However, the courage to press for changes must be combined with the Wisdom – How to Orchestrate Changes – the knowledge what is reasonable, affordable, acceptable, and timely is a cornerstone of success. There is a nice saying related to various aspects of change management. “Those, who are too early are disliked, but afterwards all like to drink their milk…” Leaders need to have their own Moral Compass. We need to think how we can handle all these changes and developments and on which moral ground to base our decisions. This is not only the question of right strategies and tools, but rather the question of having the right – moral – and having an own moral compass, which helps to guide us in this uncertainty. One side of this Moral Compass is one’s own values and virtues, which will guide us and enable us to define our purpose and role in a positive and constructive way in this fast changing world. Linked to this is the capability to play a ‘piano of skills, strategies and tools’ in order to be flexible enough to adjust to the future challenges, to see options and choices and make the best of it. The will to change for the better In this fast changing globalized world, I believe we must change the way we think. We need to challenge ourselves to specialize in the uncertainty, to be ready to look into the impossible. To be prepared for the unprepared. To expect the unexpected. It often takes only a handful of people in politics, government and business – the right ones – to be catalysts to real and
meaningful change. We have achieved a lot in many countries of South East Europe. But, after many years of shuttle diplomacy by numerous officials, the whole region needs now real own and local statesmanship and a decisive strategy for pending problems. This will require further and sustainable commitment from NATO as well as the EU and other international organizations. But, only a Strategic Community which is built around leaders from politics, business and governments of the countries involved can provide the right direction and impetus on the way ahead. Such a Strategic Community Group could answer the question raised above and, hopefully, this will be posed to leaders in South East Europe in upcoming elections: “Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?” To help build and facilitate such strategic community building effort is in our own national interests, and the peoples of these countries deserve it, too. Bernd Papenkort is Fellow and Regional Coordinator of the Oxford Leadership Academy, South East Europe. Bernd is a former senior military officer with top training in the German General Staff and the British Army Staff College. He had command functions within national and multinational military formations in peace support operations of NATO and UN.
Euro-Atlantic enlargement losing synergy? The European Union and NATO have enlarged almost in parallel. In 2004, the EU welcomed ten new members of which eight were Balkan, Central and Eastern Europe states, and three years later Bulgaria and Romania also joined the Union. NATO preceded the EU by enlarging to include three former Warsaw Pact countries in 1999, and in 2004 an additional seven states joined. NATO assisted applicant countries to reform their security structures while the EU simultaneously took a broader approach to democratic and economic reform. In this way the EU could tick the defence reform box on which it had limited experience itself. The NATO Bucharest Summit that was held last month welcomed another two Balkan members, Albania and Croatia, which are likely to be joined by (New) Macedonia before long. Will these countries also be EU members within a few years? And looking beyond the Balkans, will NATO further enlarge? And if so, will this happen in parallel with the EU? Four developments suggest that EU and NATO enlargement will run less in parallel, and will lose synergy as a result. First, Western enthusiasm for spreading democratic reform has partly diminished over the last few years. US democracy promotion rhetoric has been less vocal since the invasion of Iraq, and the EU also seems to have softened on democratic credentials where energy interests are at stake. The synergy between the EU promoting general democratization, good governance and human rights while NATO assists partner
By Jos Boonstra
countries to engage in democratic defence reform is hampered by internal doubts over democracy promotion and external resistance to these efforts. Energy rich countries such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan want good ties with the EU and NATO, but are reluctant to embark on practical democratic reform. The Euro-Atlantic institutions lack the membership carrot that worked well closer to home in the past. Second, Russia is back as a confident and independent player on the world stage and has found its own formula of governance in the managed or sovereign democracy; a system that is homegrown and includes most democratic institutions such as a Parliament and an elected President, but lacks transparency and accountability. Russia has set out to regain influence, not only in former Soviet republics but also beyond, for instance, in the Balkans, where it champions international law in the case of Kosovo while it expands its influence in Serbia’s economy. Russian assertiveness has resulted in increased influence in some neighboring countries, but has backfired in others, as was the case in Georgia and Ukraine which have both developed, to differing extents, anti-Russian policies. Meanwhile some EU
and NATO member states feel that Russia is the main actor to be considered and have thereby lost the stomach for further Eastern enlargements. Third, the mood on enlargement within the EU and NATO has changed in such a way that the term Euro-Atlantic integration might be used less in the future. The EU suffers from enlargement fatigue and doubts have arisen over Europe’s absorption capacity, especially with Turkey’s membership now on the agenda,. NATO has not lost enthusiasm for enlargement – as was shown in the Western Balkans – although questions of a strategic nature arise over Georgia’s and Ukraine’s applications for membership. While NATO stated at the Bucharest Summit that both will join, many members where reluctant to offer a Membership Action Plan (MAP). In the case of Ukraine the current government might be in favour of membership but public support is extremely low at around 25 percent. In Georgia internal stability and the issue of the two “frozen conflicts” on its territory – Abkhazia and South-Ossetia – might turn out to be problematic with regard to membership. Meanwhile some NATO allies claim that the inclusion of both is important due to energy security considerations and the contributions that the two countries made to high-risk missions. Whereas NATO will be weighing strategic interests against friendship with Russia, the EU, through its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), is
not considering granting accession talks any time soon. Disappointment in the EU and eagerness to obtain NATO membership might impinge negatively on the beneficial synergy between NATO and EU reform assistance efforts. Turning to the Balkans, Euro-Atlantic integration may also here not run fully in parallel anymore. Whereas Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, (New) Macedonia and Montenegro are still likely to obtain NATO membership at different stages before joining the EU, Kosovo and Serbia are expected to take a different route. Both pose serious questions for the EU and NATO. Brussels would be ill-advised to try to influence the Serbian elections of May 11. Serbian politics are in turmoil and Belgrade is barely receptive to positive voices from Brussels. Signing a Stability and Association Agreement (SAA) is unlikely to remedy this and might be better concluded when the dust has settled after the elections. Serbia will need time to come to terms with its war-torn past and adapt to the current situation. It can only do so itself. NATO membership for this key Western Balkan country remains a distant prospect, not so much
from a military or democracy point of view, but more from the stance of popular support for membership. After all, NATO and Serbia have been at war, and the Alliance still gives rise to understandable resentment among large sectors of the population. Enthusiasm for the EU is likely to be higher than for NATO in the coming years. Kosovo will be looking for membership in both organisations, but will need to be patient. Further international recognition, building relations with Serbia and avoidance of a long-term frozen conflict over Mitrovica are crucial for the newborn country. The 17,000 KFOR troops will remain for some time to come but arrangements have to be made with the EU, which is currently planning its EULEX mission. Partnership ties with NATO need to be discussed soon, al-
though Kosovo lacks genuine armed forces. For this reason the sequence of NATO first and the EU later might be lost. The EU and NATO have lost some of the comparative advantages of parallel enlargement and reform assistance in Eastern Europe and beyond, but the Western Balkans are still largely on track. The region should be regarded by Brussels as a â€˜first things firstâ€™ issue in the enlargement area. Only intense engagement by a unified EU and NATO will be able to avert increased tensions and backsliding. This means that the interaction between domestic reforms in these countries and outside assistance and guidance should be increased. A clear perspective on NATO and then EU membership will help these countries to take the large steps that are necessary. Jos Boonstra, is Senior Researcher at FRIDE, a European think tank for global action, Spain
A Win-Win Game for All One of the main issues discussed at the NATO Summit in Bucharest in April, was the membership enlargement and enhancing of the Alliance’s relations with certain countries. In that scope, the Western Balkan region occupies a special place. As expected, Croatia and Albania have got the invitation to join the Alliance, while Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will continue its steps towards membership as soon as it agrees with Greece on the country’s name. Moreover, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro have been offered a more intensified dialogue with NATO. Serbia has been addressed by an assertion of the Alliance’s readiness to further develop an ‘ambitious and substantive relationship’ with this vitally important country in the region. Anyhow, all Western Balkans countries, at this moment, have an institutionalized relationship with NATO, either through the Membership Action Plan, or just through the participation in the Partnership for Peace programme and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Beyond question, it is a firm legacy for any further steps forward. Beyond doubt, Euro-Atlantic Integration is a win-win game for all in the Western Balkans. In fact, it would be the best (and only) way for everyone in the region to en-
By Srdjan Gligorijevic
hance and pursue their national interests. It is hard to believe that there would be longlasting stability in the Balkans, without inclusion of all countries from the Western Balkan region into the Euro-Atlantic structures. In other words, until the moment when all Western Balkan countries become a part of an overarching Euro-Atlantic security community. For the time being, there is only one formal way to achieve that aim: through a comprehensive integration of the whole region into NATO and the EU. It is a historic fact that Euro-Atlantic integration fostered peace and security in a war-ravished Europe after the Second World War, bringing the former warring countries into a peaceful co-existence, mak-
ing a successful security community, in which armed conflict has been rejected forever as a means of resolving mutual problems. Euro-Atlantic integration put aside historically inherited hatreds, bringing mental frontiers down, transforming relations between nations, helping to spread democracy, wealth, and security across the huge Euro-Atlantic area. If it proved to be successful in the case of all these nations, it should be successful in the case of the Western Balkans, too. In the heart of the Euro-Atlantic integration lies a set of common values, norms and principles, as well as a feeling of the common destiny and threat perception. Extending the norms, rules, and constraints of the Euro-Atlantic area to the Western Balkans will decisively make instability and conflict in this region less likely. The Western Balkans represents a region of special concern for the Euro-Atlantic community. Having a bad record of the past conflict, and keeping alive all substantial causes that provoked atrocities throughout the 90s, the Western Balkans is still a considerably fragile area, from the security aspect. None
can deny that though absence of war and large-scale outbreak of violence is evident, the Western Balkans is still regarded as a powder keg. All the basic causes that have provoked wars and clashes in the recent past are still present beneath the surface, nurturing mutual mistrust and unreconciled ethnic and religious tensions. Petrified for centuries, prejudices and negative stereotypes of immediate neighboring nations are still haunting the region. There is a general lack of confidence among peoples in the region, which prevents a significant fostering of the security, stability and, finally, overall prosperity. Despite apparently vivid regional cooperation, the Western Balkans still needs a genuine feeling of the same regional destiny. Moreover, they lack in defining a common threat. If there is agreement and understanding in the region on this issue, genuine cooperation will easily develop the collective ability to address common threats. Common threat assessments are the best basis for common actions, emphasizes the European Security Strategy. For many in the Western Balkans, the EU and NATO accession are usually seen as a chance to escape from the region, rather than an incentive to rebuild cooperation with neighbors. An unavoidable feature of Balkan politics in the
last two centuries has been the demonstration of differences, by proving that each of them is better and more advanced than others, searching for the support of a great power. It is up to NATO and the EU to avoid any selective protectionist approach to any particular Balkan country. Such competition between Balkan countries would be the continuation of the common Balkan politics, which has brought only misfortune to everyone. In accordance with this, the
Western Balkans should be approached by NATO and the EU, to the largest possible extent, as a single security partner. Countries in the Western Balkans are different in a political, economic and cultural sense, but when security is at stake, making prominent differences could be detrimental, and even fatal for the stability of the region. Security of the Western Balkans is indivisible. Making such a prominent difference in terms of security, among the Western Balkan countries, would be a wrong step which could appear to be backing up the abovementioned bad practice in the politics of the Balkan states in 19th and 20th centuries. Therefore, one of the risks that have to be actively and duly prevented is an isolation or self-isolation of any country in the Western Balkans, in the course of the Euro-Atlantic integration. It was the conflict in the Western Balkans, throughout 90s that crucially urged the
transformation process of NATO, as well as the development of Common Foreign and Security Policy and the birth of European Security and Defence Policy. NATO and the EU have been considerably engaged in the stability process in the Western Balkans, through their consistent support to reforms, notably security sector reform, development, active preventive political engagement, and crisis management operations. Distinct from the new Central and East European member states of NATO and EU, which perceived NATO as the principle guarantor of security concerns that were arising in their region, the role of NATO in the Western Balkans has predominantly been recognized as a binding element in internal regional security and stability. There is no doubt that the large majority of joint efforts of both EU and NATO, in the Western Balkans, are complementary, not competitive. In fact, NATO and the EU outlined the main principles of their common commitment to the security and stability of the region, in the statement headlined EU and NATO agree concerted approach for the Western Balkans, issued on July 29, 2003, stating that “NATO and the EU share a common vision for the future of the Western Balkans: self-sustaining stability based on democratic and effective government structures and a viable free market economy, leading to further rapprochement towards European and Euro-Atlantic structures.” Many people in the region are still traumatized by wars, isolation and poverty and distrust of neighbors. Furthermore, in regard to Euro-Atlantic integration, there is a
visible predominance of ideological, emotional, irrational thinking throughout the region. Proper, accurate and available information on the Euro-Atlantic integration is close to zero. All these features raise a chance of setting different paces in the course of the Euro-Atlantic integration, among countries from the region, which would bring new uncertainties and leave room for possible instability. Therefore, a steadfast, well-thought, and well-intentioned approach by the whole Euro-Atlantic community, for all countries of the Western Balkans will ultimately bring the desirable stability to the region. Whatever happens, the region can not escape from its Euro-Atlantic future. It can only go slower or faster. Yet there are still so many things on the agenda to be done by the Western Balkan peoples themselves: overcoming the ghosts of past, along with the fundamental changes in the political, economic and cultural concepts, positive attitude towards human rights and human diversities, as well as abandoning any na-
tional and religious exclusion. Euro-Atlantic integration is the best framework to pursue regional political and military cooperation, which could lead to the harmonization of their foreign and security policies. There is no better way to enhance stability and confidence building in the Western Balkans than to extend values, norms and practices of a Euro-Atlantic community. Taking into consideration all persistent challenges, a decisive effort must be made to build a long-lasting security community in the Western Balkans, in the framework of NATO and EU, preventing the region from becoming once again a stage for the great powers’ competition, and affirming, once and for all, a common brighter future for everyone in the region. Srdjan Gligorijevic, is Director of Analysis, ISAC Fund – International and Security Affairs Centre, Belgrade, Serbia.
In search for the golden fleece In 2007, the groundwork was put in place for the implementation of three energy projects that are of major importance to Greece: the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline; the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI), construction of a section of which was inaugurated recently by Greek and Turkish prime ministers Messrs. Karamanlis and Erdogan; and the South Stream natural gas pipeline. If these projects see completion, Greece will emerge as an oil and natural gas conduit – another link in the European hydrocarbon supply chain originating in the Caspian basin, if not a Southeast European energy hub – and will enjoy a correspondingly enhanced geostrategic role. Greece’s national security will also be bolstered, as will its energy security – depending on the quantities of energy that can be secured for supplying the domestic market – and, over time, (assuming that sustainable solutions are found for issues on the order of Kosovo) the stability of the wider region. By contributing to the diversification of European and Western energy supplies and supply routes, Greece will strengthen its voice in Europe and the wider region on issues concerning energy and potentially trade in general. At the same time, the horizontal supply network that is taking shape and will involve the greater part of Southeast Europe – with a number of projects traversing countries in the region – will create development opportunities and potential for further investment in the region as a whole. The bulk of the jobs created initially in Thrace, a region in Greece in need of development, will concern only the construction phase of the pipeline, but investment in further energy-related infrastructure projects (storage facilities and possibly refineries) can sustain and broaden development prospects. The environmental impact of
By Constantinos Filis
these activities – particularly the BurgasAlexandroupoli pipeline – must be taken under serious consideration, but the security of the politically sensitive region of Thrace will be strengthened, and cooperation on a local level will be facilitated. Pending issues and walking the tightrope of Russian-Western tensions Whether Greece will participate in the South Stream project will become clear in the coming weeks1. The outlook for Greek involvement is promising, given that the other two alternatives Moscow has for the southern branch run through either FYROM and Albania or Serbia and Montenegro2. It must be noted, though, that the Kremlin has recently made it clear that Greece and Serbia are not mutually exclusive options, particularly since the Russian side is considering diverting the route of the northern axis through Serbia (see map), in reciprocation for the impending buyout by Gazprom of the Serbia’s state-owned energy company, which enjoys a monopoly. Of these options, that of Greece is the only one that qualifies as a dependable transport route, offering stability, security, reliability and predictability. It is therefore reasonable to expect that Moscow will see Greece as the most attractive partner. However, bearing in mind 1. This article was written before PM Kararmanlis visit to Moscow on April 29. 2. The prospect of Serbia’s participation in South Stream was discussed in a December 2007 meeting between the Russian ambassador to Belgrade and the Serbian Energy Minister, and this prospect will certainly gain momentum if Russia obtains a majority in Serbia’s state energy company, NIS. Such an agreement would enable Moscow to control a major share of refining in Southeast Europe.
that the Kremlin may leave all options open for a time in order to pique the interest of prospective partners, within the year, Greece will have to clarify the extent to which it wants to be involved, the conditions under which it will participate, and – for its Western partners – why it wants to participate. In any case, all projects3, with the exception of Blue Stream which is already in place, will not be operating before 2012-2016 (even if there are no delays in the negotiations). It should be underscored that Greece must broaden the extroverted energy policy it has been implementing in recent years if it is to avoid being caught up in the tug-of-war between Russian and the West, who aren’t exactly jousting for Athens’ hand. If Greece is to secure elbow room and put itself into a position to benefit commercially from the quantities of energy transiting its territory in the future, it needs to communicate and negotiate directly with hydrocarbon-rich countries (whether in the Caspian basin, the Middle East, or North Africa). If it does this, while also creating the necessary storage facilities and infrastructure, its economic gains will not be limited to transit duties, but might well extend to resale of natural gas and petroleum products. Within this framework, Athens would do well to follow the example of Ankara, which is moving ahead with bilateral agreements securing quantities of energy not only for its domestic market, but also for resale to third parties. Turkey has secured quantities of natural gas not only from Russia and Azerbaijan, but also from Iran, so that should the latter emerge from its international isolation, Turkey 3. Nat gas projects such as South Stream, ITGI, Nabucco.
will have the upper hand. Athens’ difficulties lie in the contractual obligations arising from its position in the Western community, which limit – without precluding – its potential for pursuing agreements with states that are out of favor with its Western partners. In the months to follow, Greece – bowing to certain objective realities4 – will broaden its channels of communication with emerging powers, such as Russia, whose negotiating clout is growing. That being said, it must be noted that the Kremlin is negotiating on free-market terms and will not in any way subsidise even its closest allies (or satellites, as in the case of Belarus). The rub is that in a free market, prices fluctuate based on competition, while Greece – like its European partners – is unable to diversify its options with regard to supplier states, with all that this entails for consumers. On the other hand, it is clear that Moscow is pursuing Athens’ involvement in as many projects as possible on the grounds that Greece will be a more predictable transit state (as compared to Ukraine or Poland, for example). Moreover, Greece’s involvement would further Moscow’s efforts to return the Mediterranean and – given Greece’s traditionally Western orientation – lend the necessary credibility to Russia’s plans. Thus, in 2008 we ought to see an increase in Greek diplomatic overtures to hydrocarbon-rich countries aimed at energy-supplier diversification that would strengthen the prospects for competition and keeping domestic prices down for citizens.5 In this direction, Greece could, in an initial stage – through commercial agreements and the subsequent broadening of these into the en4. Russia is the only real option, given Azerbaijan’s energy production shortfall; Moscow’s control over the majority of Kazakhstan’s energy exports and, to an even greater extent, those of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; ongoing instability in the Middle East and Iraq’s inability to export the bulk of its vast reserves; the lack of viable African or Latin American partners; and the isolation of energy-rich Iran. 5. They can’t compete with major producers quantitatively, but for Greece’s domestic market, smaller quantities suffice.
ergy sector – develop or strengthen its relations with states such as Algeria, Qatar, under specific circumstances Iraq and Nigeria (in both cases stability is a given), Egypt, and even Libya. What is more, the Greek government should require preferential tariff for the quantities it will secure for the internal market6; and as for Greek energy companies they need to pursue agreements with their foreign counterparts who control or distribute oil and gas, thus gaining directs access to the source. This would result in Greece’s ‘having its own oil and gas’, a state of affairs that – in combination with a change in legislation that would undo the energy oligopoly in Greece – would probably lower domestic energy prices. Goal for 2008 Growing energy interdependence and the Russian-Western energy tug-of-war have a more complex dimension beyond the pitfalls and opportunities they present for Greece’s national interests.7 They render imperative the building of predictable, long-term and viable 6. This will serve as an ample gain from its recently improved relationship with Russia. 7. Although at the present stage the interplay between its energy policy and national interests is not starkly apparent, Greece must ready itself to avert extensive fallout from any untoward developments, particularly at a time when Greek diplomacy is dealing with problems on so many fronts.
cooperation based on rules adhered to by all sides, ongoing political consultation, and mutual investments. It will be in Greece’s interest if the foundations are laid in 2008 – despite appraisals to the contrary8 – for Moscow and the West to arrive at a common definition of energy security, while also seeking a functional compromise on most of the intractable issues straining their relations. 8. The recent presidential elections in Russia and the upcoming in the U.S. may, at least for a time, bring clashing views (e.g., human rights and democracy high on the Democrats’ agenda, most Republicans appearing less flexible than Bush on the Russia issue) to the fore, along with voices in favor of less moderate positions (rise of nationalism in Russia within the framework of the creation by a camp within the elite of a virtual external enemy). Dr. Constantinos Filis is Head of the Russia & Eurasia Centre (www.cere.gr) at the Institute of International Relations, Athens and Senior Associate Member, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.
What about the By Theodore G.Tsakiris
As tensions seem to be climaxing along the Turkish-Iraqi frontier, with 100,000 troops amassing on the northern side of the border line, a series of theories regarding Turkish intentions and incentives have resurfaced in order to explain Ankara’s decision to attack PKK’s bases militarily within the Northern Iraqi enclave. It is not the first time that such an operation has appeared to be in the works. During the 1990s, Turkish incursions have been a recurrent phenomenon with few apparent military results. None of these operations threatened the region’s political capital Arbil nor did they expand substantially into the Kurdish enclave. In some cases, they were even supported by the combating factions of the then divided Kurdish entity. The American occupation of Iraq and Turkey’s decision not to participate in the opening of a northern front in March 2003 may not have changed the geographical boundaries, but have culminated the risks of any military undertaking on Turkey’s part. Regardless of Ankara’s historic claims on the former Ottoman province of Mosul, Iraqi Kurds constitute the strongest, sincerest and probably sole American ally in the post-Saddam cauldron. That by itself suffices to explain why Turkey may be rattling a saber it might prove reluctant to use, especially if it
attempted to create a ‘security zone’ that would emulate Israel’s occupation of Southern Lebanon. The operations in the 1990s were hit and run ‘cleaning sweeps’ not a sustained military control of a greater area. How will this influence Iraq’s own stability, the sine qua non prerequisite for any serious oil development to take place? How would this reflect upon Turkey’s carefully cultivated image as a strategic energy transit hub, which would facilitate Europe’s hydrocarbon import diversification? If Ankara finally intervenes with the purpose of establishing a security buffer zone in Kurdish Iraq, it will not do so in order to control Mosul’s and Kirkuk’s oil deposits, but to impose severe economic constraints on a de facto independent entity. The Kurdish provinces of Iraq hold around 1/3 of Iraqi known reserves, centered on the Kirkuk area. If Arbil succeeds in expanding its administrative control in Kirkuk by the referendum which was scheduled for November 2007, and at the same time secures the right of issuing licenses for petroleum prospecting of any new fields, it would have secured the economic underpinnings of an independent state. The referendum has been postponed, but this postponement cannot be extended for ever. More ominously for Turkey, it would
have done so with the blessing of Iraqi Shi’a who covet analogous plans for the southern half of the country. Therefore, if Turkey actually occupies part of Kurdish Iraq it is more likely to increase Shi’a political dependence on the Kurdish votes, a development which would further weaken Iraq’s diluted central government. It will also make Iraqi Kurds more restless and aggressive in the pursuit of their claims in Kirkuk, which is what Turkey wants to avoid in the first place. Maybe all this saber-rattling aims secure special rights for the Turkomen minority, but whatever the case, it will certainly strike a serious blow to Turkey’s image as a secure transit state for European oil & gas imports from the Caspian and the Middle East. Already the border tensions are contributing to the rise in the price of oil worldwide by further burdening an already aggravated geopolitical ‘premium’ all consumer-states have to shoulder, including Turkey itself. In addition to that, the success of Turkey’s role as a strategic energy hub depends upon its ability to secure export volumes from places like Iraq. How is it possible to imagine the normal operation of the 1-1,5 million barrels per day Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline without the establishment of a modus operandi between Ankara and Arbil?
Kirkuk-Ceyhan is vital for a series of reasons. It not only bypasses Syria and Lebanon, thereby making it attractive in American eyes, it – more importantly – bypasses the already congested Straits of Hormuz, the world largest oil artery ‘servicing’ on a daily basis more than 20% of global oil demand. If there is a showdown between Iran and the US in the Gulf any non-Hormuz bound export outlet will worth its weight in gold. Currently, apart from the East-West Crude Oil Pipeline (EWCOP) and the Iraqi Pipeline in Saudi Arabia (IPSA) that connect the Kingdom’s oil capital province of alHasa, to the Red Sea port of Yanbu, the currently ‘defunct’ Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline is the only oil outlet that bypasses the Gulf. Lest we forget, in the long-term Iraq is also counted upon by European consumers as a serious gas exporter, which could tap into Nabucco, thereby lessening E.U.’s gas dependence on Russia. Yet any extended Turkish incursion in Kurdish Iraq may also hurt the Nabucco project, as well as its southern competitors, namely the Turkey-Greece-Italy Intercon-
nector and the Trans-Adriatic-Pipeline in a much more serious way. The Iranians, which are the only ones – by merit of reserves and prospective production – who can ‘threaten’ Russia’s EU market shares, have heavily invested on the Kurdish-Shi’a political axis. Tehran wants a loose Iraqi co-federation that would consolidate Shi’a control over at least the southern half of the country, thereby making it exceedingly difficult for the Americans to use Iraqi soil as a springboard for attack against Iran. Iraq to the Iranians is what Poland was to the Soviets. In order to achieve that, both the Iranians as well as the Iraqi Shi’a need Kurdish votes. It is not likely that Iran will acquiesce to the establishment of a ‘Southern Lebanon’type security zone in Kurdish Iraq. Since the mid-1970s Ayiatollahs and Shahs never ceased to play a proxy war with both Turkey and Saddam in Northern Iraq. If the US will not protect the Kurds from yet another Turkish incursion they are most likely to turn to Tehran and its Iraqi supporters. One imme-
diate ‘collateral damage’ may be Iran’s decision not to proceed with a major deal it signed with Ankara last August according to which Turkey would act as a transit venue for more than 30 billion m3 per year of Iranian natural gas. Already Turkey is facing very serious problems with its gas imports from Iran as it is. Last January, the Iranians cut most of their gas exports to Turkey in order to balance off the loss of Turkmen exports they badly need to cover the domestic demand in the northern densely populated part of the country. Turkey in turn cut even its minimal exports to Greece, via the recently inaugurated (November 2007) Greek-Turkish Interconnector, thereby severely damaging the enthusiasm regarding the project’s long-term survivability. Any Turkish-Iranian showdown over Iraq will only aggravate this already volatile situation. Theodore G. Tsakiris is a Senior Research Fellow at IENE (Institute of Energy for S.E. Europe) and the Assistant Editor of its Periodic Publications.
Water Infrastructure Security The word ‘security’ is as much a household word now as it has ever been – and nothing good can come of this. Or can it? The release of anthrax in the US shortly after September 11, 2001 brought about considerable change in people's perception of the risk of bioterrorism. The worldwide impact was guaranteed not only by the real threats to public health, but also by the intensification of the effect in the media. Admittedly, within the high stake game of security, areas like transport, with its visibility and ‘media-friendliness’ and electricity due to its potential for trans-national impact (after all the EU electricity grid is not really a grid - yet) attract attention away from poorer relatives, such as water infrastructure. Intentional water security and contamination incidents are rare. But not as rare as one would hope: In 2000 in Walkerton (CA), an E.coli contamination in the water supply system killed 7 and infected 2,300. In 1988, in Camelford (UK), 20 tn of aluminium sulphate poured into the wrong tank at a treatment works, affected 20,000 people – even in Denmark – a country with impeccable environmental and safety credentials, a local water supply with 7,000 consumers was recently contaminated because the municipal sewage treatment plant pumped sewage back into the water distribution system for 2 days: More than 100 households were infected. When a plane crashes on a high rise building (or two) you can see it (and even better film it for the 9 o’clock News). Water contamination is not visible. An intruder may never manage to put enough
By Christos Makropoulos
contaminants in the water supply system to actually do damage to health – at least at a large scale. But how much does it take to damage the public’s sense of trust of the water that comes out of the tap? There is a more subtle fear factor at play here – the theory of social amplification of risk is quite insistent on that… EU and Security What is Europe doing about all this? The EU seems to have two key targets on the area of Security: Coordinate security research and development to avoid (costly) overlap and (most importantly) use its combined defence budgets to create a niche security market to rival its larger cousins across the pond. A proposal for a Directive on the identification and designation of European Critical Infrastructure (ECI) and its protection is already in place. ECI is the infrastructure that if disrupted or destroyed affects more than one Member State and therefore includes areas such as Energy, Nuclear industry, Transport and Telecommunications. Water infrastructure is not ECI by this definition, but is certainly National Critical Infrastructure and should be treated similarly. How critical is critical? The costs of down time and product fallout in Europe, as a result of problems with water quality, are estimated at 10 - 20 billion euros per year (decontamination takes time – it’s not a matter that can be resolved by replacing a burned component
as a failure in an electricity network might). The Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (an EU research forum), calls for better water quality monitoring tools, including early warning systems for pollution and pathogen detection. The question then arises: when concerned with security of water systems, should we be talking about all hazards (from earthquakes to accidents) or only terrorism? One could argue that when considering the impacts of an event, the cause is largely irrelevant: disruption is what matters. Clearly, however, to setup protection measures the nature of the threat needs to be taken into account. In Western Europe, given the greater experience of dealing with natural hazards and component failure, the protection measures are likely to focus on terrorism. In South and South-eastern Europe, the brief needs to be much less brief. Crisis Management and Horizon Scanning The standard response to security concerns in water networks is the development of ‘crisis management’ approaches which include: Prevention (e.g. appropriate system design and operation, risk analysis, information management), Preparedness (e.g. improved organization), Warning and Alarm (e.g. warnings from clinical centres and surveillance systems), Response (e.g. control of the system to identify the source
of and isolate the incident) and finally Recovery (e.g. decontamination). But perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of the problem is Horizon Scanning: Let’s build new sensors. But to detect what? Who knows what exotic substances the labs will produce in 60 years time, or even in 5 for that matter? Horizon Scanning is the systematic examination of potential threats, opportunities and likely future developments, including, but not restricted to, those at the margins of current thinking and planning. It benefits from scenario approaches more often associated with film studios than research labs. Yet, it forms part of a growing trend in policy making also known as Foresight – in the scientific meaning of the word, not entailing (for the most part) any gazing into crystal balls. An example of such a Foresight activity was the UK Government’s Foresight work into flooding, where a team of experts and policy makers was asked to think ahead into the next 100 years of the UK’s flooding future and helped shaped current policy. Security considerations require, par excellence, such formal thinking-ahead. More so because they are linked to issues close to the heart of civil society, such as privacy, civil protection and protection of customer data but also because they require extensive institutional rethinking: a drastic change on how companies (water companies in this case) operate – not their systems, but their people. As the recent,
spectacular security breaches in HSBC (a large international bank) and the UK Department of Treasury painfully remind us, systems are often more vulnerable from ‘legitimate’ users than outsiders. If anything, this is also a case for caution and legislative and procedural standardisation across the EU. Security and SEE: Opportunity or Threat? There is no question that the new focus on security carries with it new market opportunities for the EU and individual Member States, including Greece. This is particularly true if security is considered a ‘service’ rather than a set of technological ‘fixes’. The new markets open for such a security service, for Greece, extend beyond the obvious South Eastern Europe and the Balkans, particularly in view of the new Directives (including the Critical Infrastructure Directive) which are ante portas – with
limited knowledge available within the EU – although certainly with lessons to be learned (both positive and negative) from the other side of the Atlantic. Even more importantly however, there are additional benefits, from implementing rigorous security and crisis management oriented thinking and practice in the day-to-day operation of water systems. Benefits that stem from the ‘security mission’ bringing along with it real time control of water networks, optimisation of operations, reorganization of institutions as well as improved network rehabilitation and surveillance, which are wanted, but for the time being still wanting in practice in South Eastern Europe. Dr. Christos Makropoulos is a Lecturer in the Centre for Water Systems of the University of Exeter, UK and an Associate Editor of the Urban Water Journal. firstname.lastname@example.org
2008 was designated the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. In light of the enlargement of the European Union, the deliberation of the movement of people, the rising trends of globalization and the consequent increase in the incidence of migration, there is a need for a new and a more inclusive approach towards multiculturalism, for which the involvement of Civil Society is of utmost importance. In this issue of The bridge, we decided to provide NGOs, prominent academics and specialists with the platform to present their different cases, and taking into account that Intercultural Dialogue begins in schools, to lay emphasis on intercultural education. It goes without saying that the valuable contribution of the European Commission and the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures could not be excluded.
Exploring the benefits
of the EU's rich cultural diversity The European Union is based on unity in diversity. With its 27 Member States, the EU is truly multicultural, truly diverse. Milan Kundera, the French author of Czech origin, once wrote that "Europe is a maximum diversity in a minimum of living space". Over recent years the multicultural character of many countries has increased significantly, adding to the number of languages, religions, ethnic and cultural backgrounds in Europe. However, it is important to realise that the EU is not a 'melting pot' – it is not about eradicating differences by assimilation. To face the challenges of our changing societies, I believe that the right answer is to move actively towards being an inter-cultural rather than multi-cultural society. A multi-cultural society relies on tolerance, but I submit that mere tolerance is not enough any more. An inter-cultural society is one in which peoples of differing backgrounds communicate and enrich each other, living together in understanding and shared responsibility. I would argue that this continent's diversity is one of our greatest assets, because it can stimulate creativity and innovation, which are both engines for growth and jobs in the longer term. Europe's diversity is an antidote to uniformity, stagnancy and torpor. It's an opportunity to be curious, to learn, to confront, and to appreciate. Of course, in many areas of the EU, the
By Jan Figel
picture is far from rosy. This seems to be particularly so in some urban areas, where ethnic, religious or language differences have given rise to serious social problems, such as was revealed by the rioting in some of the suburbs of Paris, for example. I am nevertheless encouraged by the results of a Europe-wide public opinion poll in December 2007, which revealed that almost three quarters of Europeans – 72% – believe that people with different backgrounds, in terms of ethnicity, religion or nationality, enrich the cultural life of their country. However, around one quarter of Europeans – 23% – did not think this was so, so there is clearly no room for complacency. The Commission is promoting intercultural dialogue as a valuable tool to help Europeans get to grips with the growing diversity in European societies. This is why we are celebrating 2008 as the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. By promoting mutual understanding among Europeans from all walks of life, the
Year encourages all those living in Europe to explore the benefits of our rich cultural diversity and learn from, and respect, the different cultural traditions that exist in the EU today. This is vital for the EU if our society is to take a peaceful and dignified path through the 21st Century. The soil is fertile for a fruitful harvest in the future. The same public opinion poll that I mentioned above also revealed that a very high proportion of Europeans – 83% – agrees that intercultural dialogue is beneficial, particularly for the young generation. Enterprises that embrace cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, for example, benefit from an open and stimulating atmosphere that can contribute to productivity and profitability, whereas enterprises that allow frictions or hostilities to fester among staff because of cultural differences tend to be less stimulating and effective. But the value of intercultural dialogue is not limited to the economic benefits it can bring. At a grander level, ignorance about the 'other' is in my view a fundamental threat to the future development of the European Union. Intercultural dialogue is a vital way to break down such barriers of ignorance and
prejudice between people, to reveal that deep down we have common values that unite us in our diversity. The European Year is marked by a series of local, national and Europe-wide activities financed from a budget of 10 million euros from the EU, to which the Member States are all adding additional resources. For example, there is the project "Diversidad!", co-financed by the Commission, which promotes dialogue and exchange through hip hop and 'urban' music and culture. Or there is the project "Alter Ego", also co-financed by the Commission, which uses art projects to work with young people (aged 14 â€“ 18) from at least 48,000 schools in cities throughout Europe to make them reach beyond their normal social circles. These are examples of the type of projects that have been selected to be 'flagship', EU-level projects, of which there are seven in total. But they are only the tip of the iceberg. The European Year emphasises a 'bottom up' approach, and civil society organisations are playing a major role. At national level too, the Member States are organising events for the Year, and the European Commission has been able to help finance at least one project per Member State. There is also a dedicated website, at www.dialogue2008.eu which gives details of all these activities, as well as offering a space for discussion and for networking. Our work to promote intercultural dialogue is being given a great boost by the
help of 15 'European ambassadors for intercultural dialogue'. These are well-known artists and writers, such as singer Charles Aznavour, musician Jordi Savall and author Paolo Coelho, who are using their personal and professional experience at events throughout the Year to promote dialogue between cultures. We are privileged to be working with them, as they are real 'intercultural innovators' who act as bridges between various cultural worlds. Promoting intercultural dialogue is a long-term policy, since attitudes generally do not change over night. Once the European Year comes to an end, we must keep the momentum going. That is why the European Commission is committed to continuing its work in this area, by pursuing a sustainable strategy for intercultural dialogue for the years to come. Intercultural dialogue should not be considered an 'event' but rather should be treated as a feature of life in Europe's societies. In policy terms at the EU level, the importance of intercultural dialogue was formally recognised in May 2007, when it was
adopted as one of the three objectives in the first ever European Agenda for Culture. This European Agenda affirms the central role of culture in the process of European integration and for its relations with third countries, and the Member States are now working out mechanisms for collaboration with the Commission to make this a workable reality. In a more practical way, 'intercultural dialogue' will continue to receive financial support through the existing funding mechanisms of programmes run by the European Commission â€“ the Lifelong Learning, Culture, Youth in Action and the Europe for Citizens programmes. These funding programmes have a combined budget of 8.5 billion euros for the seven years to 2013, allowing the Commission to provide useful Community support for projects featuring intercultural dialogue for years to come. I am convinced that if we in Europe strengthen our culture of dialogue, then an important step will have been taken in building a tolerant, peaceful and prosperous society, which will be an inspiration for other parts of the world. Europe can gain more respect and trust and can share a lot of universal human values via a culture of dialogue, via a culture of responsibility. Jan Figel is European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth.
What is dialogue for? Slovenia has been an independent state for 17 years now. Through the ten-day war for independence in June 1991, it escaped the fatal consequences which devastated some of other former republics of Yugoslavia. With people united against aggression, and almost no support for the Yugoslav People's Army among inhabitants, this struggle cannot be compared with armed military and para-military violence, ethnic cleansing or destruction of each other's culture in other Western Balkan theatres of war. The unity of Slovenian people, and lack of belligerence on the Yugoslav Army side, however, can be explained by the predominant ethnic Slovenian structure of Slovenia, quite different from the other republics which had to fight for independence against Yugoslav Army and many of its own inhabitants and citizens. Ethnic homogeneity, with two relatively small recognized minorities (Hungarian and Italian) and special constitutional status of Roma community, seems to be one of the cornerstones of Slovenian nation-state. In reality, however, all minority groups formed during life in
By Lev Kraft
common Yugoslav state exist in Slovenia, each of them bigger than any of the recognized minorities, and all of them without any constitutional or legal protection which would recognized them as different, numerous and culturally specific groups. Cultural dialogue between integrated and unitarian cultural bodies seems to be more or less a question of polite contacts between well educated entities, which exchange their own cultural goods between themselves without any threat for presupposed strong cultural identity of each side: they are involved in a dialogue, but their cultural positions and identities do not change because of such an exchange. Exchange and mutual recognition, however, are not what dialogue means. Dialogue is a process of change of all involved with it. To be able to change in the dialogue, you have to change yourself before the dialogue starts. As for all the others involved, it goes for Slovenia as well: dialogue has to begin at home, if you want to enter dialogue on a bigger international scale. What use can come from a cultural dialogue with new
Western Balkan states if you do not admit that their cultures, from language to religion, are part of your own cultural body? What use can come from a cultural dialogue with Islam, when you are unable to cope with a fact that tens of thousands of your own citizens belong to Islam? And how can you exchange cultural goods with others if you are not able to admit that what you call â€˜national cultureâ€™ is not a uniform ethnic monolith but a hybridity developed from a cultural dialogue which has already been going on for centuries? The real aim of a cultural dialogue, in the case of Slovenia as well as anywhere else, is not to see the others and to listen to them. It is to see yourself as you really are, a result of on-going dialogue and not of a pure spring of national culture, and to listen to the otherness which belongs to you at least as much as pre-supposed national identity. Lev Kraft is Director of the Peace Institute, Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies, Ljubljana, which is the Head of the Slovenian Network of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures.
Promoting intercultural dialogue from Barcelona The growing internal diversity in Europe and the continuous growth in economic, social and political relations between groups, communities and nations in the globalized world has lead the European Union to choose 2008 as the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. This is a symbolic action, which seeks to promote intercultural dialogue as a means of fostering mutual awareness among citizens and improving coexistence in a milieu with different cultural identities and confessions. It takes on particular significance in the relations between the North and South Mediterranean and, therefore, the 9th Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Lisbon at the end of the year, echoed the EU’ s initiative and declared 2008 the Euro-Mediterranean Year of Dialogue between Cultures. It is true that globalization, and also the fear and distrust that emerged after the 9/11 attacks, sometimes lend strength to attitudes advocating a return to collective symbolic references or affirmations of identity that are often interpreted as resistance or even rejection of other groups or peoples.
By Senén Florensa
However, the intense contact existing between cultures and religions both within the European Union and in the Mediterranean provide a resource for counteracting extremist reactions and seeking, through dialogue, shared values and references that can provide a foundation for building a common future, above and beyond the legitimate diversity of our different cultural heritages. The declaration of 2008 as the European and Mediterranean year devoted to intercultural dialogue is to be seen as an initiative to lay the foundations for fluid communication between communities and confessions and between both sides of the Mediterranean, with the goal of neutralising the risk of friction between religions and cultures. At the summit held in November 2005 in Barcelona on the 10th anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Process, it was already firmly resolved as a priority to activate dia-
logue and exchange in the social, cultural and human sphere with a view to strengthening communication channels between the North and South Mediterranean. It was observed that the third pillar of the Process – cultural dialogue – had not been sufficiently developed in the face of the challenges posed by new realities. Indeed, this need was already expressed in 2002, when the Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Valencia approved the creation of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures, which started operating in 2005. Together with many other organisations and institutions, the IEMed hopes that the cultural activities we have prepared from Barcelona will contribute to the cooperation and dialogue between both shores of the Mediterranean during this EuroMediterranean Year 2008. Ambassador Senén Florensa is General Director of the Institut Europeu de la Mediterrània (IEMed), Barcelona, which is the Head of the Spanish Network of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures.
A living form of heritage On the November 27, 1995, Barcelona witnessed the catalyst of a remarkable entity, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Barcelona Process). Formed during the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Barcelona Process is a unique initiative designed to promote the political, economic and social relations between member states of the European Union and Partners of the Southern Mediterranean. Consisting of 27 EU member states and 10 Mediterranean Partners, the Barcelona Process represents the further cementing of a remarkable regional relationship, as well as introducing a new twist to Euro-Mediterranean relations. When approaching the Alex-Med concerning writing an article, The Bridge had asked in particular as to the perception of the significance and advantages of developing and maintaining a dialogue between the cultures of each of the member states of the Barcelona Process. In addressing this topic, one must understand two important keywords, ‘dialogue’ and ‘culture’. How do these two words factor into a relationship created through the Barcelona Process, and how important are the ideas, which are imbued within? First, culture, in a broad sense of the word, refers to a system of principles, be-
By Mai Metawie
liefs and norms, which dictate how people interact – an adaptive process extending beyond definitions of ethnicity, cultural diversity includes gender, socio-economic status, religion and sexuality. In regard to such factors, it is important to realize that cultural diversity is a living form of heritage, an otherness that must be acknowledged by individuals and their plural societies. It is vital that an identity can be placed amongst a geography of other identities and then researched how, despite any differences, such identities can overlap with each other through a system which can be navigated over incorporation, recollection, deliberate forgetfulness and conflict. The Barcelona Process seeks to accomplish this, to acknowledge the cultures apparent between its member states and to build a solid foundation from which to implement a variety of actions, which promote and celebrate such uniqueness. Second, dialogue, is a form of a reciprocal conversation between two or more parties. To be successful, community participation is paramount. It is necessary for the participation process to be legitimate; democratic principles of fairness and equality attended to at all times; common
values and goals encouraged; equal power distribution amongst member states; and that responsible leadership is cultivated. Relying on persuasion and education rather than mandatory rules, the Barcelona Process must be relevant to the people they serve, both current and future generations, with each community participating in all aspects of its work. By endowing equal power to each member state, intercultural dialogue should be utilized effectively in communicating issues of cross-cultural understanding. As similar entities throughout the world continue to democratize their efforts in becoming more socially relevant, such practices involving cultural development will continue to grow in importance. Of concern however, is how each memberstate in varying cultural and national contexts, will aim to influence the protection and management of their culture, as well as the cultures of others who overlap. The member states of the Barcelona Process must take advantage of their relationship and continually assess it from every facet, in order to advance and benefit equally each member state, as well as conserve the unique regional relationship found within.
Mai Metawie, is Senior External Relations Specialist at the Alexandria & Mediterranean Research Center based in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), which is the Head of the Egyptian Network of the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures.
Between past and present: Dialogue between cultures in Poland The history of Poland is filled with military conquests and international unions. Since its beginning in the 10th-11th centuries, Poland has expanded its area eastward and southward. Starting from Kiev, which was conquered in 1018, until its loss of independence in 1795 in the last stage of the Republic of Both Nations, Poland was a multicultural country with Poles, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Russians, Lithuanians and Tatars living together. The Occupation from 1795 through 1918 brought other ethnic minorities of Germans, Jews, Czechs and Hungarian. After gaining independence in 1918 and establishing new border lines, Polish society was still multicultural. Due to post World War II border changes and displacements, Poland became a monolith both in ethnic and religious terms. Nowadays, over 90% of the population are of native Polish ethnicity while 90-95% is Catholic. This makes the Polish case very unique compared to other EU states. There are no problems with ethnic, national or religious minorities as hardly anyone belongs to a minority. However one shall not forget about the
By Katarzyna Gﬁrak-Sosnowska and Arkadiusz Placzek
darker side of the coin. A perceived lack of Others hinders the need for dialogue between cultures. Certainly, it is much more difficult to enter into a dialogue about the Other that is not present. One cannot point to any good practices, nor aspire to get to know the Other. Introducing different customs, cultures, traditions seems to be like building castles in the air. They are still treated as something exotic and far away, rather than a part of the local reality (that which is, in fact, the truth through the eyes of an average Pole). Even so, the case of Poland can be also promising for intercultural dialogue. As mentioned, there is a tradition of integration and respect for ethnic and national minorities in Poland. Today, the only place one can see Silesia or Kashubia as separate entities are maps showing the diversity of Europe, presented on some Euro-Med training seminars. This good practice could be transferred to the ‘new’ minorities – those of immigrants coming to Poland from far away. What is more, the members of different cultures have integrated
very well with the mainstream society – they speak the language and often belong to the middle class. One cannot point to any examples of missed integration, social or economic problems caused by immigrants – as there are none. If used properly, the combination of these two factors – history and integration – might become an essential tool for intercultural dialogue. In the age of global migrations, one can only hope this will be the end result for Poland both as a host for immigrants and as a country which many are emigrating from. Katarzyna Gﬁrak-Sosnowska and Arkadiusz Placzek, are members of the Arabia.Pl Association and the Middle Eastern and North African Studies Department respectively, which are member-organisations of the Polish Network of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures.
between the Seas Finland has been very multicultural during the centuries of Swedish reign and when it was an autonomous part of the Russian Empire. This heritage has given Finland two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Moreover, this heritage has made Finland a crossroads between the East and the West, as well as between the Catholic, Lutheran and the Greek Orthodox churches. In the 20th century, Finland was for a long time a country of emigration, with an important part of the population migrating to the US and to Sweden. This emigration created transnational links so as to claim that the shared memory of most Finnish families has a story of those family members who have moved abroad. The end of the Second World War brought changes to the national landscape: the re-drawing of borders made people from the area of Karelia, brought under the Soviet rule in the peace accords, need to find new home on the ‘mainland’. The dismantling of the Soviet Union opening the ‘ethnic emigration’ and a different refugee crisis around the globe turned Finland from a country of emigration to that of immigration during the 1990s. The realization of this has engendered much of debate and research focussing on the ‘new’ multicultural face of Finland, thereby rendering also elder national minorities – the indigenous Sami, the Roma, the Tatars and the Jews – more visible. Intercultural dialogue in Finland has been two-fold, focusing on one hand on the folklore and arts (classical and popular
music, visual arts) and, on the other hand, on the politics of multi-culturalism, of which inter-religious dialogue is an important element especially in the 21st century. This has been demonstrated by the increasing interest in Islam in Finland, both as the religion of the Tatar minority, of the new migrant groups (especially the Somalis, but also people from Southern Mediterranean countries, the Middle East and Iran, among others), and of Finnish converts to Islam. For several reasons, cultural dialogue with the Mediterranean world has been essential for Finland during last millenaries and centuries. Almost everything we have – from Latin letters and Arabic numbers through all Middle Eastern monotheism – comes from the Mediterranean. In the Middle Ages, there were very few, but still some known direct contacts between Finland and the Mediterranean. Our relations accelerated from the second half of the 18th century until the 1950s. Finnish scientists and artists traveled to the Mediterranean world, the birth of Finnish sociology in Morocco, for instance, and numerous Finnish painters from that period are good examples of this interface. The first ever Finnish cultural institute was created in Rome in the early 1950s and then the second established in Athens much later. Finnish cultural relations with the Mediterranean developed slowly until the 1990s. The joining of the European Union created new possibilities for Finland to develop her cultural interaction with the Mediterranean. Today we have a multitude
By Tuomo Melasuo & Anitta Kynsilehto
of different forums and activities within the cultural events, forums and festivals in the Mediterranean and in the North. To give a couple of examples, The Tampere Film Festival has invited many guests from the Arab world, and many Raï concerts are held in Helsinki. The performance of Finnish opera in Cairo is other side of the same coin. The Euromed intercultural dialogue concerns, first of all, ordinary Finns and our everyday life. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Finns spend a few weeks in the Mediterranean as tourists. This is a very important method of communication, the cultural importance of which is not really known, and which remains rather controversial. Besides, migration from the Mediterranean world to Finland is important when creating concrete family ties between the South and Extreme North.: The number of Finns whose grandparents are living on the Southern shore of the Mediterranean is increasing rapidly. All in all, the importance of this concrete cultural exchange can be seen, for instance, in culinary evolution and you might be offered a ‘reindeer couscous’, which is competing with the National Pizza of Finland (ham and pineapple, what an invention!). Dr. Tuomo Melasuo is Docent and Member of the Anna Lindh Foundation Advisory Council, and Anitta Kynsilehto is Research Fellow. They are Coordinator and Vice-Coordinator respectively, of the Tampere Peace Research Institute, TAPRI Mediterranean Studies Project, at the University of Tampere, which is the Head of the Finnish Network of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures.
Trends and challenges
for European Higher Education The daily life and mission of universities is by definition linked with intercultural dialogue, since ‘its constant care is to attain universal knowledge; to fulfill its vocation it transcends geographical and political frontiers, and affirms the vital need for different cultures to know and influence each other’ (Magna Charta Universitatum, 1988). Since Antiquity and the Middle Ages, mobility of academics and students redound to exchange of ideas and cultural influence between civilizations. Nowadays, scientific advance is carried out through interaction, the transfer of knowledge and communication of individuals, international scientific communities and networks. Universities need to respond to new trends and challenges that have emerged. The gloomy Clash of Civilizations scenarios revived through the ethnic conflicts in early 90s, the events of 9/11, Arab-Israel conflicts, the Iraqi war and the Madrid bombings, to name but a few, stressed the need for the development of intercultural dialogue between nations and religions, as an 1. See the Proposals from the Group of Intellectuals for Intercultural Dialogue set up at the initiative of the European Commission, A Rewarding ChallengeHow the Multiplicity of Languages Could Strengthen Europe, Brussels 2008.
By Foteini Asderaki
element for peace, stability, conflict prevention as well as post-conflict symbiosis. In addition, European societies are currently facing sweeping changes in their social structures due to migration and enlargement. Europe’s diversity – 23 official languages, around 60 regional and minority languages – highlights the necessity for intercultural dialogue within local communities in order to achieve social cohesion and economic development. Moreover, students and researchers should be prepared to live and work in a multicultural reality, meaning that they need to share common values and ethos as well as to acquire intercultural skills. Respect of cultural, religious and linguistic diversity as well as the national identities of the member states is a fundamental principle for the European Union, as declared by the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. As far as higher education is concerned, the EU applies several policies, within and outside its borders, which encourage higher education cooperation in order to promote academic values and intercultural understanding. Several European programmes and in particular Erasmus, which has had a successive course for twenty years, give impetus to academic, staff and student mobility
across Europe; accordingly, Lingua promotes multilingualism as a key element of enhancing communication among Europeans, thus creating a pathway to greater solidarity and mutual understanding, as well as free movement and employability;1 both programmes are part of the new Life Long Learning Programme (2007-2013). Since 1999, the establishment of the Bologna Process, which now involves 46 European member states, has created a fertile ground for stable and constructive cooperation between governments, the European Commission, international organizations (CoE, Unesco), universities, students and stakeholders aiming to establish an open European Higher Education Area (EHEA), where knowledge, ideas, academics and students will freely circulate. Key figures of the EHEA are academic and democratic values, variety of cultures and languages and the diversity of the higher education systems (Prague Communiqué, 2001). Bologna Process has also an external brand which is realized through ‘A Strategy for the External Dimension of the Bologna Process’ (London Communiqué, 2007). This strategy relies on a balanced mix of institutional, national and European policies. It responds to the need for coop2. See the document European Higher Education in a Global Setting. A Strategy for the External Dimension of the Bologna Process submitted by the Bologna Follow Up Group to the Ministers responsible for higher education in London Ministerial Conference, available at http://www.dfes.gov.uk/londonbologna/uploads/documents/ExternalDimension-finalforconference.doc [15.04.2008].
eration with other regions of the world, covering highly developed, emerging and developing countries alike, in a spirit of partnership and solidarity, aiming at mutual benefit on all levels and covering the full range of higher education programmes, including lifelong learning.2 In parallel, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), built upon a mutual commitment to common values like democracy and human rights, the rule of law, good governance and sustainable development gives emphasis to the Civil Society Dimension. Higher education can play a vital role in strengthening democratization and active citizenship, while transuniversity cooperation contributes ‘in promoting peace, mutual understanding and tolerance, and in creating mutual confidence among peoples and nations’ (Lisbon Convention, 1997). The main instrument for higher education within ENP is Tempus Programme (Trans-European Mobility Scheme for University Studies), established in 1990, initially for Central-East European countries, in order to serve this two-fold mission: to fund the national reforms in higher education system through Structural Measures and to encourage cooperation, network-building and mobility through Joint European Projects and Individual Mobility Grants. Gradually, Tempus has developed as the EU flagship programme for higher education cooperation between member states and neighboring countries and was put under the support of three European Commissioners, responsible for External Relations, Education, Training, Culture and Youth and Enlargement. Tempus nowadays is covering the Western Balkans (Tempus CARDS), Central Asia (Tempus TACIS) and the Mediter-
ranean basin (Tempus MEDA) placing emphasis on Bologna reforms. Additionally, the ENP supports research and education networks within regional cooperation initiatives like Euro-Mediterranean Partnership or Black Sea Synergy. Furthermore, the Erasmus Mundus Programme funds top-quality Joint Master Programmes and provides scholarships for post-graduate studies in the EU as well as scholarships for EU students for studying at partner universities throughout the world. Supplementary, the Erasmus Mundus External Co-operation Window has a wide geographic coverage for mobility of staff and undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral students. Following a European Parliament initiative, students from ENP countries received scholarships for the College of Europe (2007/08) in order to study and familiarize with the European integration effort, while Jean Monet Chairs has been established in universities of third countries.3 There are also other programmes and projects that reinforce cooperation, mobility and networking between European universities and universities from other regions of the world like Latin America (Alfa programme, Alban, Tuning Project), Asia (Asia Link, ASEAN), AfricanCaribbean and Pacific States (Edu-Link), or between countries like the USA (Atlantis Programme), Canada and China. Recently, 3. Commission of the European Communities, Commission Staff Working Paper Accompanying the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament ‘Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007’ Brussels, 3 April 2008, SEC(2008) 403.
the European Commission has established a new project with Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Republic of Korea which funds the creation of consortia by institutions from EU and a partner country. Apart from international trends, universities also face local and internal challenges. They have to form an intellectual, intercultural and tolerant environment within the campus, not only for foreign students but also for students originating from minorities which exist in the local community taking into consideration their diverse cultural, historical, national and linguistic backgrounds. This presupposes
the broadening of university horizons, including intercultural values, dialogue and respect for diversity as well as cooperation with local authorities, NGOs, social and ethnic groups, multinational and local enterprises.. It also includes the development of new teaching methods, cross-cultural curricula, research on other cultures, administrative and linguistic support.4 Moreover, universities have to educate and train future citizens and professionals. Post modern individuals should acquire the appropriate knowledge and skills in order to live and work in a globalised world.5 Inter4. Poglia, E., M. Mauri-Brusa, T. Fumasoli, Intercultural dialogue in higher education in Europe, University of Lugano, November 2007.
cultural literacy, problem-solving capacity, communication, linguistics and ICT skills constitute such competences. 2008, the Year of Intercultural Dialogue in Europe, enables higher education to bridge the differences between cultures and civilizations, to promote active citizenship and pave the way towards social cohesion and prosperous societies. 5. See, Kaivola, T & Melen-Paaso, M. (eds.), Education for Global Responsibility-Finnish Perspective, Ministry of Education, Helsinki, 2007. Foteini Asderaki, holds a Phd, University of Athens email@example.com
Education in Europe:
Is a new approach possible?
The theme of interculturality is the order of the day in all of the European Union school systems. Therefore, it is not surprising that a myriad of community programmes and projects, both national and local (first among them, the Lifelong Learning Integrated Community Programme) are actually dedicated to reinforcing the multiethnic and intercultural nature of study programmes. The world of culture, civil society, and institutions are waiting for schools to become a permanent laboratory of cohabitation between children and young people belonging to different social and linguistic groups, and thus facilitating, the average – a long period, the trials of mixing and integrating on a social level. 1 The Community institutions put into place Interpersonal, Intercultural and Social Competences within the ‘package’ of the 8 Key Competences that all citizens must possess in order to be the protagonists of the ‘knowledge society’. These skills “cover all forms of behaviour that equip individuals to participate in an effective and constructive way in social and working life, and particularly in increasingly diverse societies, and to resolve conflict where necessary”.2 1. It’s enough to quote, inside an endless literature, E. Morin, Les sept savoirs nécessaires à l’éducation du futur , issued by UNESCO, Paris, France, 1999. 2. Proposal for a Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning, Brussels, 10.11.2005 (COM (2005) 548 final - 2005/0221(COD).
By Rosella Reverdito and Attilio Orecchio
This is not simply a passing fad. The success of interculturality has two serious and structural reasons. First, at the end of the Second World War, but in some cases the phenomenon has origins much older, many linguistic groups found themselves to be the ‘minority’ within national states where others were the linguistic majority. Often, along with their language, these minorities were carriers and witnesses of another religion, and had deep historic ties recognised by different states than where they currently lived. Now, the same challenge of European integration makes stronger politics necessary to recognise these groups and their rights. The second reason lies in the migratory phenomenon that has hit both Northern and Central Europe since the second half of the last century, and that of the last 10 years, which has hit the Mediterranean area above all. Considering the ‘native’ demographic growth is equal to or less than zero, in some European countries the school classrooms are literally filling up with students that come from Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.3 Even if immigration is a typical phenomenon of human existence, one tends to consider it a state of underlying ‘emer3. For example, in Italy, foreign students numbered almost 6,000 twenty years ago, but today they number 230,000: according to statistics, they will number more than 700,000 in fifteen years. (Source: http://www.stranieriinitalia.it/news/ scuola4feb2004.htm)
gency’. This often happens in schools as well, where voluntary service and personal initiative must face a lack of policy and adequate resources. In fact, European schools are experimenting with a wide range of practises that can be put into two large categories: Those that aim to facilitate the introduction in the school of young foreigners or minority groups (starting with effective teaching of the majority language used by the teacher); And those that instead aim to further positive relations between students belonging to diverse cultural and linguistic groups, and more general favor the culture of the host community, in the face of, and in cohabitation with the other. So these experiences aim to improve attitudes through collaboration and intercultural communication. Pupils are expected to know and recognise diversity, respect others, overcome prejudices and be open to compromise. Generally speaking, recent studies on interculturality show that cooperation among different groups allows mutual enrichment. Thus, a strong supranational feeling is expected, as well as the set of skills and atti-
tudes ‘requested’ by the EU. But at the same time this cooperation stresses the need to preserve and to give value to linguistic, cultural and historical resources and differences. Only in appearance this is a contradiction. In reality, the more diverse identities feel valued and recognised, the more they are predisposed to exchanges with other identities. Worldwide the three most recurrent ‘models’ of policies for minorities are assimilation, integration and autonomy. The first tends to incorporate members of minorities into the majority culture, eliminating all differences. Integration aims to guarantee the participation of minorities in the majority’s institutions, so that minority groups can preserve their own identity, but at the same time allow them to participate in the cultural development and change that involves the whole society. With autonomy, minorities maintain separate structures, so that they can keep permanent control of their own community. Of course, school systems and policies are the mirror of the general model used by each country. The rigidness of each of these three models – above all, the first and the third – doesn’t seem to aid the process of social inclusion, nor the reduction of the phenomenon of discomfort and conflict, or even the claim of equal opportunity for all young people. The revolt in the Paris banlieus is the most extraordinary demonstration of the failure of the assimilation method. But also the second and third models reveal ineffi-
ciencies when applied in a rigid way. Therefore, it is useful to wonder, if the single individual members of the minorities agree with the adopted model, or if (and to what extent) the same adhesion depends on some kind of constraint. In effect, when young people belonging to a minority group are not forced to assimilate to the customs, dress and language of the majority, or to protect their diversity at every cost, they seem naturally oriented to adopt the practice of the alternation between diverse models. So they opt to live certain aspects of the majority group’s social life while keeping their original identity for others, just living in a condition of alternation between different cultures perceived at the same level. The consideration of all of these problems should lead to the planning of the diverse multicultural movements of the students’ paths: Welcome, that takes into account not just the child/student to insert but also the relationship with the family, and the family’s relationship with the scholastic institution; Integration, that considered on one hand the context of where a student comes from, and on the other the need to operate within a group: the class. Moreover, even more urgent is a punctual reflection to be punctual and aware also of: The finality of didactic activity, which suggests a cultural prospective oriented with the encounter, in the face of, and
the exchange between different cultures and Methodologies and instruments, which take into account the possible linguistic possibilities, above all, for pre-literacy students, the necessity of intercultural communication that allows one to share meta-linguistic codes, despite different cultures and origins. Therefore, the argument returns to the aspect of relations and communication. Very often, one’s well-being wavers between the difficult lines of identity and sociality (and therefore the sense of belonging to a group). In multicultural schools and classes, it interests every student to see himself recognised as an individual (thus bringing a family or national story) and at the same time as a part of the group, in which he shares the rules and the goals. The development of understanding and of a good relational climate is an element to determine these conditions, and therefore, also to facilitate the learning process. The road is long, but European schools are already on their way. Rosella Reverdito, author of the book The Borders of Slovenia Between the European Union and the Balkan World (Cuem, 2006) is currently working on the scientific coordination team for the European project School on Borders. www.schoolonborders.eu Attilio Orecchio, journalist is European Programmes’ expert in the social and education fields and President of Bridges for Europe.
Promoting social cohesion cohesion Understanding and respecting diversity along with promoting social cohesion appear to be difficult but significant tasks from kindergarten through primary and secondary education, university and lifelong learning. One significant aim, among others, is to contribute and form the basis for intercultural dialogue, in order to assist with the accommodation of refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants, as well as minorities, mainly Muslim and Roma, in Europe. Multiculturalism underscores the need to provide youths with knowledge, perspectives, willingness and skills to communicate with, understand and participate in cultural contexts other than their own. It is essential to promote communication, mobility and mutual understanding, between EU citizens and to assist the accommodation of immigrants, refugees and ethnic minorities. The promotion of Inter-Cultural Dialogue has been identified in the European Commission's Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World (2007), as a tool contributing to the governance of cultural diversity within European societies. ‘Intercultural’ refers to values, aims and concrete practices. It implies communication and interaction between cultures and civilizations. Intercultural education as a term was originally used in the USA in the early 1960s. It coincided with the stress on the political and social rights of minorities and it emerged as an attempt to deal with school failure among children from racial
By Agapi Kandylaki
and cultural minorities. Initially, there was an emphasis put on extra teaching assistance while later bilingual schools were established, in which both English and students’ mother tongues were taught. In the 1970s, intercultural education was directed towards an ‘attempt to meet the neighbor’s culture’. In Europe ‘intercultural education’ emerged in the 1970s, as a way of dealing with the issue of immigrant children in schools. The term ‘intercultural education’ was firstly used in Greece in the 1980s, mainly aiming at the inclusion of repatriated children into Greek State Education and the wider social environment. Act 2413/96 forms the basis for intercultural education and 19 intercultural schools were established in the country, where ‘reception classes’ were introduced for students who could not speak Greek. Greece’s multicultural profile since the early 1990s has turned most state schools into a multicultural environment due to the large numbers of immigrants living in the country, although they have never been named as such, nor have they diversified their teaching material and methods. Yet, the idea that school can become ‘a meeting point for different cultures and worlds’ is not very much appreciated. The stereotypical belief that immigrants devalue Greek state schools still remains dominant.
Minority education in Thrace in the early 21st century One particularly interesting case study is that of Muslim minority education in Thrace. The Minority in Thrace is the only one officially recognized in Greece by the Lausanne Treaty in 1922. Parents have the right to register their children in state, intercultural or minority schools. However, most of them, about 6,647 children between the ages 612, go to segregated primary minority schools in the cities and villages of Thrace (see www.museduc.gr ), due to proximity and the fact that their mother tongue and the Koran are taught there. Specified by the Lausanne Treaty (1922) and the GreekTurkish Protocols of 1954 and 1968, there are currently 231 bilingual primary schools, and a very small number of secondary schools. One third of the minority pupils go to bilingual high schools, while the other two thirds go to state schools. The Turkish textbooks that are currently used in the minority schools were recommended by the Turkish government in 1998. Most students completing primary school education, however, present serious problems regarding their competence in reading, writing and understanding in both languages, and school drop out rates, although they have been addressed significantly, still remain the
highest in the country. There have been serious attempts by the Greek state, using both national and EU financial support, to improve the educational standards of the Muslim minority areas. Between 1997 and 2008, the Greek Ministry of Education initiated a project for reform in the Education of Muslim children (PEM), with the financial support of the EU (80%). The project was directed by the University of Athens under the coordination of Prof. Anna Fragoudaki and Prof. Thalia Dragona and supported by a large team of university teaching staff, primary and secondary education teachers, psychologists, social workers and cultural entrepreneurs. The central focus was to enhance the education of minority children and offer equal opportunities for their integration into society as Greek and EU citizens. It aimed at the improvement and enhancement of the education of the minority, with emphasis on their achieving fluency in Greek, which may assist their future integration into university education and the workforce under better conditions. Emphasis was also put on teacher training, through seminars, workshops, and Turkish language courses, to reassure that that they accept, respect and encourage students, they acquire the special knowledge needed to teach the new material (textbooks and CD-Roms) provided by the project, and increase their teaching capacities to cater for Turkish native speaking pupils, both in primary and secondary education. Additional classes for students have also been provided. The creation of Local Support Centres (KESPEM), equally staffed by minority and majority personnel in the
two large cities of Xanthi and Komotini was a significant initiative further developed by the two mobile KESPEM, which move between isolated and remote villages in Thrace (see www.museduc.gr ). A further activity introduced by the project aimed to support minority pupils in underdeveloped poor urban neighborhoods and villages in Thrace. The activity involved social work with families and children as well as the establishment of a workshop using ‘sound and images’. Drama, music, creative and animation techniques have been used with groups of children, to encourage their incentives to stay within the school system and reduce drop out, which in these areas almost reached 90%. Another important effect on the educational inclusion of the minority was caused by the Act 2341/2.10.95 (Greek Ministry of Education), which introduced a special quota for Muslim students to enter university. This affirmative action has significantly increased the minority students’ incentive to continue to secondary and tertiary education and to improve their knowledge in the Greek language. Education is one of the main vehicles to social inclusion. People who cannot speak the language of the dominant majority fluently and who do not have an educational
background that gives access to information, or permits them to be employed in a more stable and sustainable job, are bound to remain socially excluded and discriminated against. As knowledge is power, equal access to knowledge is a precondition to equal access to power. Ideally, intercultural education can be viewed as a transforming process for the school and society. It can significantly contribute to tackling discrimination and encouraging mutual cultural understanding between children from various cultures. It should offer equal opportunities to students, provide them with cultural enrichment and challenge any racist attitudes. It should be underlined however that the fundamental issues regarding multiculturalism and education at stake are not so much associated with culture, but with opportunities. It is not a matter of lifestyles, but of life opportunities… Agapi Kandylaki, is Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Administration, Democritus University of Thrace.
Turkey: d of iversity a land There are two alternative ways of comprehending diversity in the Turkish context as well as in other contexts: diversity as a phenomenon, and diversity as a discourse. The former refers to the coexistence of different groups in a historical process, which comes into play either as a primordial phenomenon as in migration flows through Asia Minor, or as a politically generated phenomenon as in the settlement of various ethnic groups in Central Anatolia by the Imperial (19th Century) and the Republican (20th Century) settlement laws. However, diversity as a phenomenon is not necessarily appreciated by the ruling powers; sometimes it is denied. The nation-building process in Turkey starting from the early 20th century has gone hand in hand with the attempts to homogenize the nation by denying the ethno-cultural and religious diversity in Anatolia. This process is characterized by a kind of heterophobia resulting from the fear of losing the remaining parts of the Ottoman Empire after the French Revolution. Contemporary Turkish history is the history of homogenization as in many other examples of nation-building. Hence, diversity as a phenomenon has hitherto been denied in Turkey by the political elite. Nevertheless, there are recently strong signs of recognition of ethnic, religious and cultural differences in Turkey by the state. Thus, diversity as a discourse/ideology is gaining a momentum in the last few years distinguished
By Ayhan Kaya
by the official attempts to join the European Union. At first glance, it seems that the shift from nationalist homogenization discourse to diversity discourse results from the external factors such as the pressure put forward by the European Union countries. But a comprehensive analysis of the issue may prompt us to reach another result, i.e. the alliance of internal and external factors. In what follows, the discursive shift from homogenization to diversity will be briefly displayed with the interplay of both internal and external dynamics in the background. Turkey is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country, housing approximately 50 different Muslim and/or non-Muslim ethnic groups, some of which are Sunni Turks, Alevi Turks, Sunni Kurds, Alevi Kurds, Circassians, Lazis, Armenians, Georgians, Jews, Greeks, Arabs, Assyrians etc. However, leaving aside the last decade of democratization attempts, the Turkish State has been far from recognizing the ethnically and culturally diverse nature of the Turkish society since the foundation of the Republic in 1923. Ethnic groups in Turkey have been subject to homogenizing state policies, some of which originate from the nationalist Turkish history thesis of 1932, placing the Turks at the centre of world civilisation; Sun Language Theory (1936) addressing the Turkish language as the mother of all lan-
guages in the world; from unitarian nationalist education policies (Tevhid-i Tedrisat Kanunu, 1924); from banning the use of mother tongue and of ethnic minority names; from discriminatory settlement policies (_skĂ˘n Kanunu, 1934) vis-Ă -vis exchange populations and new migrants; from discriminatory citizenship laws granting citizenship exclusively to migrants of Muslim origin; from implementing Wealth Tax in 1942, particularly to non-Muslims; and from forced migration of Kurds in the east and southeast of Turkey. Retrospectively speaking, ethnic groups in Turkey such as Kurds, Circassians, Alevis, Armenians, Lazis, and Arabs have developed various political participation strategies vis-a-vis legal and political structure and delimitations. While the Turkish Republic was being built up in the 1920s, the republican political elite was engaged in a strong ideology of majority nationalism, which promoted the formation of an ethnically and culturally homogenous nation. Most of the ethnic groups then preferred to incorporate themselves into this nationstate project along with the discourse of a homogenous Turkish nation defined by the
republican elite; they abstained from declaring their ethnic identities in public, and considered themselves as one of the constituents of the Turkish Republic. The defining distinctiveness of the early periods of the Republic was the Turkification policies, which sought the dominance of Turkishness and Islam as the defining elements in every walk of life from the language spoken in the public space to citizenship, national education, trading, personnel regime of the public enterprises, industrial life and even settlement laws. Having an Imperial legacy, many of such new regulations and laws referred to a set of attempts to homogenize the entire nation without any tolerance on diversity and difference. It is highly probable that the underestimation of ethnic diversity among the Muslim population of the Republic was because of the preceding Ottoman Millet system borrowed by the republican political elite. The Millet system of the Ottoman Empire did not take into account ethnic differences among Muslims. All Muslims regardless of their other differences belonged to the one and same ‘Muslim nation’. The ongoing legacy of the Ottoman Millet system is still evident in the nationalist discourse of mainstream political elite ranging from the Justice and Development Party to the Republican People Party and the Nationalist Action Party, who have a tendency to limit the boundaries of the Turkish nation only with the Sunni-Muslim Turks. Thus, for instance nonMuslims are not included in this ethno-culturally and religiously defined nation.
Several ethno-cultural groups in Turkey have suffered from unrecognition, misrecognition, discrimination, uneven political representation and structural outsiderism. However, dominant discourse of homogeneity has been challenged by a few major incidents having both local and global sources: a) rising politics of identity originating from the USA in the 1970s; b) Kurdish nationalism starting in the early 1980s; c) Alevi revivalism gaining velocity in the 1990s; and d) democratization process stimulated by the European Union Helsinki Summit in 1999, declaring Turkey as a candidate country to the EU. There may also be several other reasons in this respect. But there is one reason worthwhile explaining: Turkey’s enthusiastic expectations and efforts of integration into the European Union along with the Helsinki Summit. The postHelsinki Period corresponds to Turkey’s willingness to go through certain constitutional and legal changes in many respects. These changes also have an important impact on the discourses developed by various ethnic, cultural, and religious groups in the country. Therefore, the discursive shift from homogenization to diversity owes a lot to the Helsinki Summit decisions, and to the democratization process which accelerated in the aftermath of the Summit. Against this glocal background, it was no longer possible to be occupied with the monolithical and homogenizing policies of nation building. In the aftermath of the Helsinki Summit, the Turkish government has relatively given
up the exclusionist nationalist policies, and has become rather inclined towards inclusionary policies vis-à-vis ethnic and religious groups. The Helsinki Summit essentially refers to the acknowledgment of the notion of ‘diversity as an ideology’. The Helsinki decision was very decisive in turning the Kurdish minority and other ethnic groups into being more incorporative with the Turkish political system, and in making ethnic groups raise their concerns to the EU delegation in search for democratization in many respects. The EU integration process will certainly pose some challenges for Turkey. The resolution of those challenges will be possible through deepening, stretching and speeding up of social interaction between the Turkish and individual EU publics. In the six-year period from December 1999 to December 2005, the issue of nationalism was not among the primary issues of the public agenda in Turkey. This period, coupled with the articulation of ethnic, cultural, religious and other minority group claims in the public sphere, also corresponded to a process of institutionalization of democracy. Neither minority nationalism nor majority nationalism were substantially important in this period; more important and structural issues were debated though, like democratization, legal amendments, the anti-inflationist struggle, poverty, justice, the influence of the army in politics, education and broadcasting in the mother language, lifting capital punishment and so forth. All these successful democratization programs were also coupled with the sensational popular achievements held in sports, football, music, literature and arts leading to
the incorporation of Turkey into the processes of globalization. These achievements also triggered the rise of national self esteem, thus national pride, and the demise of destructive popular nationalism. However, this six-year period, during which the public opinion was occupied with ‘accurate’ agenda issues, was interrupted on 17 December 2004. From 17 December 2004 to 3 October 2005, the period in which the EU state and government leaders decided to start negotiations with Turkey, tension between nationalist, patriotic, statist, prostatus-quo groups on the one hand and pro-EU groups on the other began to rise. A new nationalist wave embraced many people, especially middle-class and upper middle-class groups. It is not, of course, so difficult to explain why and how this wave came about. In the meantime, the nationalist stance was commonly expressed with Euroskepticism, and those pro-Europeans were called pejorative names such as ’traitor’, ‘comprador’, ‘servant of George Soros’, ‘separationist’, and ‘EU opportunist’. In Turkey, the ‘nationalist resurgence’ prevails over the most heavily emphasized issues of public opinion surveys and ‘scientific’ studies. Almost all political parties, relying on the assumption of ‘nationalist resurgence’, regenerate their discourse on the basis of nationalist rhetoric for the general election campaign held on July 22, 2007. It is certain that the nationalist discourse has usually been a dominant discourse in Turkey. The dominance of this language is quite appealing for those searching
for favorable conditions to hold their political power; on the other hand, it is also appealing to the poor and subaltern because of its illusionary effect of making the people feeling that they are also a part of the political power. In other words, the attraction of the nationalist discourse may have different functions for those targeting the political power and for those who want to incorporate themselves with the political power. The nationalist mood in the country was even substantiated more with the introduction of Article 301 (1 June 2005) of the Turkish Penal Code, which says the following: “A person who publicly denigrates Turkishness, the Republic or the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months and three years; A person who publicly denigrates the Government of the Republic of Turkey, the judicial institutions of the State, the military or security organizations shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months and two years; In cases where denigration of Turkishness is committed by a Turkish citizen in another country the punishment shall be increased by one third; and expressions of thought intended to criticize shall not constitute a crime.” Several charges have been so far brought against various intellectuals, among whom there are popular figures like Orhan Pamuk, the 2006 Literature Nobel Prize Winner, and Hrant Dink, Armenian origin Turkish journalist, who was assassinated on January 19, 2007. Whether one chooses to dissociate from the recent wave of nationalism depends on the rise of national pride in the country. In-
ternational achievements in sports, arts, politics and economics have a considerable impact on the formation of national pride. Those societies with national pride are the ones that allow the co-existence of ethnocultural and religious differences. Moreover, these societies are the ones in which destructive vulgar nationalism can not grow. In recent years, there have been significant indicators displaying that the Turkish public has been distancing itself from vulgar nationalism. Nevertheless, in this period of newly attained self-confidence about the future and rising national pride, Turks need to come to terms with the past (Turkish Vergangenheitsbeweltigung), release themselves from their historical fears, put an end to the dominance of the discourse of SunniMuslim-Turkish majority, and institutionalize a democratic political culture free from legends and myths for the elimination of already unpopular vulgar nationalism and for the continuation of democratization attempts in the EU integration process. And I guess the most important role is there to be played by political parties, who take nationalist public opinion for granted. Public opinion is not something given, it is rather constructed. Eventually, one should keep in mind that there is a positive correlation between the demise of homogenizing popular nationalism in Turkey and the continuation of the European vision. European Friends of Turkey should always try to support Turkey’s European cause, even in times of crisis and turmoil. This is the only way the EU can replay the role of being a guiding light for Turkey. Ayhan Kaya, is Associate Professor of Politics and Director of the European Institute, Faculty of Economics & Administrative Sciences, Istanbul Bilgi University.
Keeping the pace of the pelting developments in our region, it is our duty to encourage cooperation among civil societies and to strengthen ties among citizens. This issue inaugurates a unique partnership between Turkish Daily News and The bridge an initiative which intends to foster the exchange of ideas, information and knowledge between the two sides of the Aegean, in an attempt to enhance the ongoing rapprochement process and create a legacy for future generations in this troubled neighborhood. We hope that our readers will enjoy the outcome, they will gain knowledge and they will make the best of that fruitful and promising cooperation. Î”he following section was edited by the editorial staff of the Turkish Daily News.
Pro-European Turks VS Pro-Turkish Europeans Recently, the European Stability Initiative (ESI) published a briefing paper on The Dark Side of Turkey. Its goal was to explain the current turmoil in Turkish politics – the closure case against the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the debate about constitutional amendments and the ongoing Ergenekon trial – to a wider European public. In the paper we recommended that Turkey's friends urge the AKP government to use its popular mandate to push ahead with plans for a comprehensive overhaul of the current constitution, replacing it with one based essentially on the Özbudun draft. A referendum on a new, liberal constitution would allow the rebuilding of the reform coalition between the government and secular pro-European circles that has brought so much progress to Turkey before. It would send a powerful signal to the outside world that the democratic reform drive in Turkey remains alive. This would be important at a moment when even Turkey's most stalwart friends are having second thoughts about Turkish democracy. If a new constitution were to replace the post-coup constitution then this could mitigate any too dramatic reaction from the EU to an unfavorable subsequent decision by the court. Such a decision would be seen as political justice belonging to an earlier era, while a liberal constitution would herald a new and rather different phase for Turkish democracy. Since we published our briefing I have traveled to Bucharest, Paris, Brussels, as well
By Gerald Knaus
as Ankara and Istanbul. I talked to European and Turkish decision makers and analysts about their perception of the closure case and possible ways forward. My interlocutors were European and Turkish diplomats, European parliamentarians, leading EU officials and their advisors, former European foreign ministers, analysts and writers: a relatively broad sample of an important segment of elite opinion. Most insisted on anonymity, given the sensitivity of the issue; all had strong views on the subject of the closure case. What really strikes me is this: even today, there exists an enormous discrepancy between the way many pro-European Turks on the one hand and most pro-Turkish Europeans on the other view the possible impact of the closure case. Most Turks appear convinced that the AKP will most likely (and Prime Minister Erdogan most certainly) be banned from political life by the court, whether they welcome this or not. At the same time they do not generally foresee a very strong European reaction. Protests, yes, condemnations, certainly, but no serious change in the current, already painfully slow, process of accession talks. “Why would the EU over-react?” one friend asks. In Turkey, parties have been closed before, AKP would reconstitute itself in a new party, and perhaps not much would really change. On the other hand, most European supporters of Turkey (including many officials
who have fought for a long time to see Turkey as a full EU member one day) are convinced that a decision to close AKP remains very unlikely since, as one person put it, “That would obviously destroy the Turkish EU-accession process.” “They would not dare to do this,” responded another high-level European diplomat, from a government that sees itself as one of the remaining passionate defenders of Turkish accession, told me, “since then we would have no arguments left to continue talks.” I was even told in Brussels that Europeans at the highest levels have the impression that AKP politicians in Ankara are underestimating the likely impact of a closure case on relations with the EU. One person working on Turkey told me – “It seems in Brussels as if Erdogan himself views the EU negotiation process as something that can be turned on and off. In fact, suspending talks is not a tactical weapon of the EU; it is the diplomatic equivalent of a nuclear weapon.” The EU would certainly react very strongly to a decision by the court to ban politicians or the party. What are the practical implications of such divergent perceptions? There is a very real risk that both European friends of Turkey and many Turks underestimate the seriousness of the situation. It is high time that this gap in expectations is openly addressed, or there could be a rude awakening.
Gerald Knaus is the director of the European Stability Initiative, based in Berlin, Brussels and Istanbul.
ESI website: www.esiweb.org
the Cretan Soul
of Cunda By Damaris Kremida
For centuries Cunda, off the coast of Ayvalik, has been called by the locals Moschonisi in Greek or Kokuluada in Turkish, both meaning the fragrant island. Driving on a moped around the island, the largest and only inhabited one of a 15-islet cluster in summer, it is easy to understand why its old name persists. The island exudes a sweet aroma of thyme, sweet mountain tea, and fresh sea mist. In winter Cunda has a population of 2,000, most of whom live in the center of town near the port. In summer thousands come to occupy the second homes and rented villas, stay with relatives or in pensions, tripling the population of the island. Tour boats that take off from the Ayvalik port taking a couple of thousand daytourists around the islets for a swim unload passengers on the port of Cunda at around 5 p.m. With no better place to spend the evening, residents of Ayvalik usually join the evening crowd and activity at the port. Evenings on the island are full of vacation energy. Most tourists only experience the halfmile long port with the fish restaurants, cafĂŠs and souvenir shops. The island port is most popular as an evening destination to enjoy fresh fish, delectable mezes and raki by the sea. Visitors also make their way the art fair at the end of the port where they can browse through jewelry and other paraphernalia to take home.
Yet, the island has secrets told only to those who walk its back streets, chat with the locals, take in breathtaking views from its hills, or invest in a boat or bike ride to the remotest corners for a swim in one of its numerous beaches where one can find abandoned churches and monasteries. As in other areas of Turkey, the population of Cunda largely descends from the Greek island of Crete and to a lesser extent from the neighboring island of Lesbos. At the turn of the century, the League of Nations carried out a population exchange displacing Muslim citizens of Greece to Turkey and Christian citizens of Turkey to Greece. Many generations later the locals in Cunda island still speak a dialect of Greek, Cretan, characteristic only of the island of Crete. Tanju Izbek, a Greek-Turkish translator and journalist with Cretan roots from the island, told the Turkish Daily News, that the best time to really enjoy and appreciate the island is before or after the high-tourism season. â€œThe best season on Cunda, when
people can enjoy its life and connect with the island is May and September.” She suggests experiencing the cobblestone roads that lead to the sea to grasp the essence of the island. “That's all.” Sitting at the 150-year-old Tas Kahve at the port hearing Cretan exchanges at the next table, one can observe the passion of the islanders for bitter herbs and fish, their reverence for olive oil and the sea and wisdom in the form of a poetry called Mandinades recited from memory. In these moments, Cunda's uniquely preserved Cretan culture is obvious. Until 1946 Cunda was one of Turkey's first municipal councils boasting a significant representation of women. In the center square a large poster photo hangs as a reminder of the island's 'independence'. Hearing how for years they've been trying to separate Cunda from the municipality of Ayvalik under which it is now governed, it becomes apparent that you can take the Cretan away from Crete, but you cannot take Crete out of the Cretan. Evren Kaçar, 29, of Cunda, has a café on the port. He says Cunda is something different. “When they [the Muslims of
Crete] came here to the island, the geography provided them with a closed environment and they retained their culture,” says Kaçar. He just returned in spring from Thessalonica where he went to improve his Cretan Greek, a language he has been hearing at home and in his neighborhood since birth. “I don't feel Turkish or Greek. I feel that I am 100 percent from Crete.” A
Greek friend of his from Crete rode over on his Gold Wing Honda from Thessalonica to Cunda just so he could meet his 'compatriots' in Turkey. Lale Alatli, 31, has been coming to the island for three years. She says she admires the island because it has remained relatively unchanged over the years and because of the exemplary harmony among the people from different corners of Turkey. “The people of Cunda are more advanced from other Europeans,” says Alatli. “Although they are Cretan they are calm. There are Kurds, Cretans and others here and they co-exist very well.” Walking through the back streets in the afternoon, visitors see local women sitting together working their needles over sweaters for children or tablecloths for a new home. They gossip in Cretan. On top of the hill behind the main city, on Asik Tepesi, Lovers Hill, Turkish businessman and owner of Koç Holding, Rahmi Koç bought a church adjacent to one of the four remaining flourmills and converted it into a library. In the old days couples used to go there when courting. It has one of the most beautiful near-panoramic views of the island.
“Our island is beautiful, but it used to be much more beautiful because the monasteries, churches and buildings were new,” says Fatma Atmaca, 55, in Cretan Greek. “We care about them because we have settled here.” On the other hand, there is a sense that even well meaning investors who renovate the old Greek stone houses, churches and buildings will spoil the feel of the neighborhood. The women say the newcomers do not have the same traditions or neighborliness as them. And then there is the language: “Our parents spoke this language, so our tongue defaults to it, but then others come and we are speaking Turkish more and more,” says Yavas. “We still call the island Moschonisi.” Markos Mourmouris Ökten, a university student in Greece, spends every summer between the center of Cunda and one of the island's remote corners, Patriça, accessible by a dirt road. In Patriça his father runs the village's only restaurant and pension among the olive trees a few meters from the sea. Where the road ends after Patriça and the practically abandoned old
village, one can mount a donkey and trek to Aghios Dimitris monastery. Mourmouris says in summer Cunda has a lot to offer “but in winter it's insufferable.” In the port of Cunda, of all the old stone buildings that stand out in the horizon, one is special to the area. Tas Kahve is the oldest and largest coffee house of the area and one of the island's landmarks. With its six-meter high ceiling, and colorful glass, it is a place that adds charm to the Greek stone house neighborhood. Ali Baris, 63, the current owner of the coffee house said the building is around 150 years old. “The coffee house is the way we found it, it has all its original fixtures and details,” said Baris. “We didn't change anything and are trying to preserve everything as it was originally.” Baris described how his father Huseyin Baris immigrated to Cunda in 1926 with the Greek-Turkish population exchange from Crete. There he also owned and ran a coffee house and when he arrived to Cunda he was given a small shop to run. A few years later, in 1933 there was a discussion in Turkish among some locals about the tearing down
of Tas Kahve and other port buildings. He only spoke Greek, and when he was told what was going on, he pulled money out of his shirt and said: “No! I'll buy it!” “I love our old history even if it is more costly to maintain,” said Ali Baris. He explained that efforts to restore buildings bring out the beauty of the island. “This makes us happy. It is wonderful that there are efforts to bring them back to life.” He and his wife, Sule Baris, said the area of Cunda was ideal especially for families. “You can let your children run freely,” said Sule. Locals gather at the coffee house and visitors might hear some of the older ones speaking to each other in Cretan, a Greek dialect. Every April swallows fly through the open doors, over the customers and nest on the high ceiling's ledge. “They come and have their babies and then they leave,” said Sule. “Now we are waiting for them to leave so we can start repairing our walls.” Damaris Kremida is a reporter at the Turkish Daily News
in Rhodes By Thanasis Manis
The Greek island of Rhodes is rich in history that is reflected not only in its monuments, but also in its people, who are in many ways a ‘living treasure.’ Christians, Muslims and Jews have co-existed on this southeastern Aegean island for centuries. The Muslims, Turks or Ottomans, as the Turkish-speaking Muslims are called by their co-islanders, number around 3,000. Most are descendants of the Ottomans who settled here after Suleyman the Lawgiver's defeat of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem in 1522. Today, they live all over the city of Rhodes, some concentrated in the Old City, where many of the city's mosques and medieval monuments still stand. Members of this distinct community can also be found in other areas of the villages of Rhodes such as Iksia, Asgourou, Lindos and Salakos. Most are employed in the service sector, such as tourism, and are an integral part of Rhodian society. On the outskirts of the city of Rhodes, on the road connecting the city with the airport, a small settlement of houses by the sea called Kritika (Cretan), reveals the story of a community of Greek-speaking Muslims who fled Crete to Ottoman Rhodes at the end of the 19th century. We met some of the residents and listened to their stories, but many were hesitant to talk and give out their names.
The people who fled Crete to Rhodes at the end of the 19th century were “Muslims who spoke the Greek language,” said a local. The Muslims left Chania and other areas of Crete because of unrest on the island. There are no written sources referring to the story of the ‘Cretans’ of Rhodes because they were fishermen, the local said. “Only oral tradition and the Cretan dialect that older people use indicate our origin,” he said. “There used to be other settlements like this one in other areas of Rhodes, such as in Trianda,” said an old lady living in the same area, speaking in the Cretan dialect. Just above the settlement, visitors reach a mosque dating back to the time the first Cretan refugees arrived in Rhodes. Next to it is a cemetery that tells more about the settlement's Muslim Cretan roots. Last names are engraved on the gravestones with the characteristic Cretan last name ending aki or akis, such as Zehra Tosunaki, Mustafa Kopanaki and Nezmi Yusufakis, proving the inhabitants' Cretan origin.
Rhodes came under Italian sovereignty in 1912 and under Greek rule in 1947, according to the Treaty of Paris. The Muslim community remained on the island, however, and there was no provision for exchange or displacement on the basis of religion, as there was in the Lausanne Treaty, nor were Muslims granted a special status or recognized as a minority, as was the case with the Muslims of western Thrace. The Muslims of Rhodes, both Turkish and Greek-speaking alike, automatically became Greek citizens with the annexation of Rhodes by the Greek state. “There is no minority status or any other special status for the Muslims of Rhodes. They are protected according to the general legal framework of the Greek Constitution and the European Convention,” said Professor Constantinos Tsitselikis at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki. However, there was an informal “special” status for the community, as far as education was concerned, he said.
“There were around 10 schools for the Muslim community in 1947 in Rhodes and Kos where they could be taught the Turkish language and the Koran,” Tsitselikis said. There are documents from the Italian period in which the community asks the government of Turkey to send books and funding, said Professor Elçin Macar at Yildiz Technical University. Most of the schools continued to operate under this unofficial status until they were shut down in 1971.
“Those schools were closed down in 1971 because of the closing of the Theological School of Halki (Heybeliada), and in 1972 they operated as normal schools,” said Tsitselikis. After 1971, there were no schools that taught Turkish in Rhodes or Kos, home to over 3,000 Turkish-speaking Muslims. Some associations have been created in Rhodes during the last decade with the aim of protecting their cultural rights. “In the last seven or eight years associations have been asking for the Turkish language and Islamic values to be taught to members of the community at public or private schools,” said Macar. “The whole issue is ignored,” said Tsitselikis, responding to the question of what the position of the Greek state is toward the schools of the Dodecanese community. Thanasis Manis is a reporter at the Turkish Daily News
holds historic synergy meeting
By Gul Demir
The foreign ministers of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) held a historic first meeting with European Union officials in Kiev, Ukraine. The purpose of the meeting on Black Sea Synergy was to pursue the ways and means through which the members of the two organizations can cooperate and improve economic relations. It marked the official inaugural meeting of BSEC and the EU since the latter was granted observer status last June. The final declaration by the foreign ministers read, “We consider BSEC-EU interaction as an integral part of overall European economic, scientific and environmental cooperation. Our aim is to achieve proper synergies by coordinating the efforts with various integration and cooperation formats, international organizations and institutions, in particular financial ones, acting in the BSEC area.” The declaration also called for the earliest peaceful settlement to the existing protracted conflicts in the BSEC region, on the basis of the norms and principles of international law in order to contribute to
enhanced regional cooperation. Ministers took note of the wish for a possible visa facilitation perspective and the role of enhanced mobility in promoting the development of trade and economic relations. They also expect that various aspects of the synergy decisions taken will be implemented by interested countries in a fully transparent and flexible manner, based on mutual interests. The ministers identified significant challenges and opportunities in the wider Black Sea area, which may require coordi-
nated action on a regional level. They agreed that greater involvement by the EU can increase the potential of Black Sea regional cooperation and welcomed the Black Sea Synergy Initiative of the EU as an important tool to achieve this goal. The EU began examining various ways for promoting cooperation in the Black Sea area as early as 1997 and now has a program on ‘Black Sea Synergy’ that is looking at a number of concrete initiatives that looks at areas like transport, energy, the environment, maritime management, fisheries, migration, the fight against organized crime, the information society and cultural cooperation. This is a cross-border cooperation program involving local authorities in the countries around the Black Sea, and supporting the activities of nongovernmental organizations.
Action-filled meeting: Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko addressed the assembled participants. The meeting, under the chairmanship of BSEC's current chairman, Ukrainian Foreign Minister V. Ogryzko, was attended by delegates from BSEC member states Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. State ministers from Slovenia and France, representing the current and future EU presidency respectively and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU Commissioner for external relations were present as observers as was German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis was unable to attend because she was in Washington, D.C., meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condolezza Rice. BSEC Secretary General Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos described the meeting as a new era of enhanced relations between the Black Sea countries and the EU. He noted that cooperation between the two organizations had become closer than ever since last June when the EU was granted observer status. He emphasized that from now on it is anticipated that there will be ministers and experts' meetings in practically every sector from
energy security and environmental sustainability in the region to upgrading communication and information technologies. In conclusion Chrysanthopoulos proposed the coordination of bilateral programs that the EU has with individual BSEC member states to avoid duplication. Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan emphasized the strategic importance of BSEC and stressed that it was the most inclusive organization in the region. He added that only BSEC was capable of getting all its member countries around the same table. Babacan proposed that relations between BSEC and the EU be institutionalized and expressed hope that the two organizations will bring beneficial results to the region. He especially mentioned two ongoing BSEC projects â€“ the Black Sea Ring Highway and the Black Sea Motorways of the Sea. A special meeting of the BSEC Committee of Senior Officials was also held. These included representatives of the European Commission as Observer, the Republic of Slovenia in the capacity of the EU Presidency and representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization of BSEC (PABSEC), the BSEC Business Council, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) and the International Center for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS). Under consideration was the positions expressed by the member states during
the discussion of the text of the Joint Statement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union and of the Countries of the wider Black Sea area. The Committee agreed that the document can contribute to the further deepening of regional cooperation and motivate BSEC-EU rapprochement. The Committee proposed all member states reflect their positions on BSEC-EU interaction in the statements of their ministers. The Russian Federation stayed away from the Joint Statement not considering it acceptable due to not equally respecting the interests of BSEC and the EU. At the same time it stressed that the Russian Federation strongly supports the expeditious establishment of an equal, mutually beneficial, structured and economically significant cooperation between BSEC and the EU. Gul Demir is the Istanbul bureau chief of the Turkish Daily News.
An appeal to Greek Cypriots Cyprus has been the classic case of a country whose leadership, with some exceptions, was not characterized in recent years by political acumen. Our big ‘feat’ in the past six decades was to break Cyprus up into two parts. I recall what Constantinos Karamanlis, then prime minister of Greece, told us in 1978, with a lot of bitterness, at his plain apartment on Herodes Atticus street in Athens: “The Greek Cypriots started a struggle in 1955 for the union of Cyprus with Greece, while the Turks were fighting at the same time for partition. It appears that at the end of the day the Turks will achieve their objective.” Wise words thrown into the vacuum of the irresponsibility that surrounds us. The dove and the branch of the olive tree have been our emblems since 1960. Still, prior to the elevation of the dove to the pinnacle of our statehood, we started clipping its feathers. The mere recording of the proposals we had over the years for the solution to our problem and the negative outcomes (we rejected all of them) causes sheer awe. I set out the various instances with no comment.
By Nicos A. Rolandis
Peace moves rejected by Greek Cypriots — 1948: Consultative Assembly: We rejected it. — 1955-56: Harding proposals: We rejected them. — 1956: Ratcliffe Constitution: We rejected it. — 1958: Macmillan Plan: We rejected it. — 1959-60: Zurich-London Agreements: We rejected them in 1963 (through the efforts to amend the Constitution) although we initially accepted them. — 1964: Acheson Plan: We rejected it. — 1972: Agreement of Clerides-Denkta_: We rejected it. — 1975: Bicommunal Arrangement: We rejected it. — 1978: Anglo-American Canadian Plan: We rejected it. — 1981: Evaluation of Waldheim: We rejected it.
— 1983: Indicators of Perez de Cuellar: We rejected them. — 1985-86: Consolidated Documents of Perez de Cuellar: We rejected them. — 1992: Set of Ideas, Boutros BoutrosGhali: We rejected them in 1993. — 1997: Kofi Annan's proposals at Troutbeck-Glion: They could not go through. — 2002-2004: Annan Plan: We rejected it. I do not record the stance of the Turkish side. What matters is our position, because we have been the weak link in this game. We have been the party in need of recovering lost territories, lost dreams, lost hopes. We should therefore possess more acumen and more courage in order to avoid partition. I do not allege that the above initiatives were good. In the circumstances prevailing
in Cyprus, the ‘good’ and the ‘very good’ are utopian. Cyprus and Hellenism never had the way to fight off the various interests which are sprawling in the area. To this weakness of ours we have added our blunders, our omissions and our sins and we created a chaotic imbroglio. Even Greece has opted to stay away. She simply gradually builds her relations with Turkey in all sectors. For those who can read between the lines, Greece's message to us is, “Since you are not interested in a solution, why should we bother.” Tassos the intransigent All the above initiatives were rejected by Tassos Papadopoulos with the exception of the Consultative Assembly, which he could not “slaughter” because at that time he was a young student at the Gymnasium. Tassos was one of those who had rejected the Zurich-London Agreements in 1960 as well, by his own confession. He also admitted that 45 years later, in the year 2005, he realized that those agreements constituted a good solution! But in 1963, together with others he dealt a coup de grace on the agreements. The feathers of the dove were clipped at that time. The branch of the olive tree fell to the ground. Peace evaporated and Cyprus went down on her knees. And I have no doubt that if
humans had an unusual longevity, Tassos, in the slow way in which he apparently reacts, would have realized in the year 2050 that the Annan Plan might be, after all, an acceptable solution. I saw Mr. Papadopoulos the other day on television stating he wants a solution. “But the question is what such a solution will be,” he concluded. However, the question is not “what such a solution will be,” the question is whether 60 years after 1948, after we rejected all the opportunities offered to us and in the wake of the disastrous handling of our problem in the past five years, Mr. Papadopoulos anticipates that the skies will open up and that the ideal solution will emerge, acceptable to all of us, including the Turkish Cypriots and Ankara, so that Papadopoulos and the archbishop will manage to go to Kyrenia next year and throw the holy cross into the waters of the harbor, as they told us recently. Has Tassos been to Kyrenia? Has he visited the territories of the north? Has he ever witnessed what is happening there? Has he seen the thousands of shops, the places of business, the houses, the hotels, the large and small installations, which all bear the Turkish stamp? He has not been there. Because if he had been there he should tell us how he proposes to demol-
ish the ‘Constantinoupolis’ and the ‘Smyrni’ we have created in the north, through our stupidity of the past 60 years, for which he bears a lot of responsibility. Had he been there he would have shed many tears. Not like last time during his television appearance. He would cry privately, in silence … Warning from Clerides I shall add nothing more. I shall simply remind you of what the political patriarch of Cyprus, Glafcos Clerides, wrote on the last page (383) of his recent book “Documents of an Era.” “The postponement of the solution of the Cyprus problem to the remote future will have only one consequence: The recognition of the legal entity of the de facto regime, even without any sovereignty, so that its isolation will be lifted. In such a case the fruitless lapse of time will lead to the solution which Denktas and Turkey were unsuccessfully targeting for 33 years, namely, the partition of Cyprus into two sovereign states.” Nicos Rolandis is a Former Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister.
Neighbors sailing on the seas of friendship Turkey and Greece have authorized their chambers of shipping to establish a joint branch, a move that followed a meeting of foreign ministry and maritime directorate officials of the two countries during the recent visit of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to Turkey, said the head of the Chamber of Shipping's Izmir branch. The plan, which was proposed four years ago by the chambers of maritime trade in Turkey and Greece, was shelved after the head of the Greek chamber died. It will be revived with new vigor on foreign ministerial level and is expected to boost both commercial and political ties between the countries.
The two countries share the Aegean Sea, but the sea has often been associated more with tension and standoffs rather than efforts to jointly exploit its potential. At a time when the Turkish and Greek coastguards are constantly quarrelling over the ownership of the islets of Kardak (Imia in Greek) and fighter jets of both countries square up to defend the airspace of their respective countries, the chambers of maritime trade of both countries have
taken up the gauntlet to transform the sea into a center of trade and mutual profit. The matter of a joint Turkish-Greek chamber of shipping was also the center of focus during recent Karamanlis' visit said Geza Dologh, the Dogan News Agency reported. At the meeting, the Greek Maritime Directorate was briefed on the preparations and the two delegations discussed how to boost the sector and potential for collaboration, he said. Stating that the aim was to reinforce
A key factor in Balkan Turkey is a key factor for stability and peace in the Balkans, participants of International Balkans Congress agreed. The International Balkans Congress was held at Tekirdag’s Namik Kemal University two weeks ago. Nearly 50 academics from 14 nations, as well as Turkey’s State Minister Mustafa Said Yazicioglu and Mahir Yagcilar, the environment minister of newly independent Kosovo, gathered in Tekirdag to talk about current problems in the region. Süleyman Sensoy from the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies, one of the
organizers of the congress, noted that the Balkans with its complex ethnic and religious structure is of crucial importance to the world. "But this ethnic and religious structure sometimes turns into an advantage, and sometimes into a disadvantage," he said. "When one nation tries to rule another nation or nations, disaster happens. And we have witnessed such events in the region."
"For Turkey, the Balkans is of military, economic and social security importance," he told. "It is a region of many alternatives, but there are also threats emanating from this quality. It is a conflict arena for major powers. Thus, it is vulnerable to chaos and manipulations." With the meeting, Turkey delivered three messages to the region, he said: "Turkey wants to be close to the entire Balkans, not just its neighbors. Turkey wants to handle the problems in the region with a ‘realpolitik’ approach, not an ethnic or reli-
the relationship in shipping, Dologh explained that a committee will be established to carry out negotiations. Pointing out that a joint chamber of shipping has been established between Syria and Turkey, he said, “a joint chamber of shipping can play an important role to solve the problems that exist in shipping. Moreover it will help reinforce ties between the countries.” Turkey and Syria had an antagonistic relationship in the past that came very close to triggering a war in 1999 due to Syria's sheltering of the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Syr-
sstability t y a t b i l i t s gious one. Also, Turkey seeks strong alliances of cooperation and dialogue with the Balkan states. Similar to its role in the Middle East, Turkey wants to get involved in solving the region’s problems." We have found a chance to discuss and specify the Balkan identity," Dr. Nikolay Vukov from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences told the Turkish Daily News. "Here, participants can discuss problems with the Balkan identity. It is an opportunity for us to meet academics who are working on these ideas." "Turkey, as a Balkan nation, is a key factor for stability and peace in the region. It
ia later expelled PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan who was eventually captured and jailed. The two countries have been developing political and commercial ties over the past few years and currently enjoy growing trade relations. According to Izmir Chamber of Trade figures released in July 2007, the trade between Turkey and Greece has increased 10-fold in a decade. In 1994, the bilateral trade volume be-
has diverse historical and cultural heritage and traditions" he said. Borka Tomic, project manager of the Serbian Institute for Public Diplomacy, meanwhile, highlighted the significance of the congress in terms of the "European vision" for the Balkans. "Nowadays, the Balkans is witnessing a change in balances," she told. "For example, Kosovo became an independent state, and this goes against international law and also the resolutions of the United Nations and decisions of the European Union."
tween the two countries was $273 million, increasing to over $2.64 billion by 2006. The real growth occurred after 2000. Greece was the first country to come to Turkey's aid after a devastating earthquake rocked the Marmara region in August 1999 and killed more than 15,000 people. The Turkish state and aid agencies reciprocated later in 1999 when Athens was struck by an earthquake. After the earthquakes, Turkish-Greek relations improved and this has also been reflected in trade.
Kosovo’s independence shows the region "faces short- and long-term problems," she said. Tomic summarized the short-term challenges in the Balkans as: Economic growth, social construction and respect for international law. "I believe in the importance of regional cooperation. Because we have common historical, cultural and social backgrounds," she said. "This congress, hosted by Turkey, raises our awareness of the country. Also for Turkey it is a good chance to create an EU perspective."
By Mehmet Ali Birand
Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' official visit to Turkey is important from every possible aspect. However, what adds significance to this visit is his courage in coming here. We must not lose sight of the fact that the Greek public still feels menaced by the ‘Turks.’ Relations have improved in recent years. There are no more crises. The Greek public has stopped blaming us for every evil. However, there still remains an underlying concern mixed with suspicion. You may relate that to warranted or unwarranted reasons. You might believe these doubts and fears to be groundless. However, you cannot rub out this deeply rooted uneasiness toward the Turks. It surfaces at the slightest disturbance. Joining the European Union and the Monetary Union was not enough to dispel
this apprehension that the Greeks feel toward the Turks. It's not as intense as it used to be, but every ‘dog-fight’ between the war planes over the Aegean or the sight of a Turkish fishing boat in the vicinity of the Kardak/Imia Islands is enough to make the media cry “The Turks are coming!” Although the Cyprus issue isn't as hot as it used to be, the Greeks can still get excited over it. The government is kept under constant pressure and Karamanlis is criticized for opening the EU doors to Turkey, without extracting any concessions from it, especially over the Aegean issue. That is the situation in the country that Karamanlis rules as prime minister. He's the leader of a hypersensitive country. In addition, he lost a lot of ground in recent elections. He's only got a two-seat majority. On the other hand, the extreme right has grown stronger. To them, Turkey is still the sole enemy. They're like a bull that sees red every time they even hear the word. The latest example of this occurred when the nationalist circles began to scream, The Turkish Parliament is an institution, which has decided that the 12-mile issue can be a cause for war. Karamanlis has no business going to that country. The courage of Karamanlis lies in the fact that he has dared to come to Turkey to end a 49-year-old boycott despite such opposition. Karamanlis and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have a relationship
based on mutual trust. Erdogan has even refused make an issue of the fact that Karamanlis has waited so long to return the visits of Turkish prime ministers (Özal in 1988 and Erdogan in 2004). He's shown understanding of this delay, hasn't turned his back on him and has always tried to improve relations between the two countries. Turkey and Greece have yet to reach the stage where they can solve their bilateral problems. Neither the Aegean issue, nor the Cyprus problem can possibly be solved until Turkey becomes a full EU member. On the other hand, the success of the ErdoganKaramanlis duo stems from their ability to get their citizens to accept to live with these problems without creating further tension. It was a risk for Karamanlis to come here despite all the criticism, for he knows that this official visit will not mend matters in any significant way. I'm sure that he took this brave step, because he wanted to keep his promise to Erdogan without further delay. I would like to say “Welcome” to Karamanlis for all those reasons. I hope these visits will become more frequent from now on. I wish the leaders of these two countries would come together more often to discuss the developments within the region. However, we've come this far. Maybe things will get easier from now on… Mehmet Ali Birand is the anchorman for Turkey's television channel Kanal D and a columnist for the Turkish Daily News.
book reviews Coping with Cultural Diversity This important and much acclaimed book rapidly became a classic on first publication. In it, Bhikhu Parekh shows that the Western tradition of political philosophy has very limited theoretical resources to cope with cultural diversity. He then discusses how it can be revised and what new conceptual tools are needed. The core of the book addresses the important theoretical questions raised by contemporary multicultural society, especially the nature and limits of intercultural equality and fairness, national identity, citizenship, and cross-cultural political discourse. Significantly, the author argues for a pluralist perspective on cultural diversity. Writing from both within the liberal tradition and outside of it as a critic, he challenges what he calls the moral monism of much of traditional moral philosophy, including contemporary liberalism â€“ its tendency to assert that only one way of life or set of values is worthwhile and to dismiss the rest as misguided or false. He defends his pluralist perspective both at the level of theory and in subtle nuanced analyses of recent controversies. Thus, he offers careful and clear accounts of why cultural differences should be respected and publicly affirmed, why the separation of church and state cannot be used to justify the separation of religion and politics, and why the initial critique of Salman Rushdie (before a Fatwa threatened his life) deserved more serious attention than it received. Rejecting naturalism, which posits that humans have a relatively fixed nature and that culture is an incidental, and culturalism, which posits that they are socially and culturally constructed with only a minimal set of features in common, he argues for a dialogic interplay between human commonalities and cultural differences. This will allow, Parekh argues, genuinely balanced and thoughtful compromises on even the most controversial cultural issues in the new multicultural world in which we live. The new second edition includes a substantial additional chapter addressing key issues. Bhikhu Parekh, Rethinking Multiculturalism, 432 pages, Palgrave Macmillan, 2 edition, 2006, ISBN: 9781403944535
Citizenshipâ€™s governance In much of the citizenship literature, it is often considered, if not simply assumed, that citizenship is integral to the character of a self-determining community and that this process, by definition, involves the exclusion of resident 'foreigners'. Dora Kostakopoulou calls this assumption into question, arguing that 'aliens' are by definition outside the bounds of the community by virtue of a circular reasoning which takes for granted the existence of bounded national communities, and that this process of collective selfdefinition is deeply political and historically dated. Although national citizenship has enjoyed a privileged position in both theory and practice, its remarkable elasticity has reached its limit, thereby making it more important to find an alternative model. Kostakopoulou develops a new institutional framework for anational citizenship, which can be grafted onto the existing state system, defends it against objections and proposes institutional reform based on an innovative approach to citizenship. Dora Kostakopoulou, The Future Governance of Citizenship, 240 pages, Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN: 9780521877992
Turkish Modernisation in the forefront Turkey's modern history has been shaped by its society and its institutions. In this fourth volume of The Cambridge History of Turkey, a team of some of the most distinguished scholars of modern Turkey have come together to explore the interaction between these two aspects of Turkish modernisation. The volume begins in the
nineteenth century and traces the historical background through the reforms of the late Ottoman Empire, the period of the Young Turks, the War of Independence and the founding of the Ataturk' s Republic. Thereafter, the volume focuses on the Republican period to consider a range of themes including political ideology, economic develop-
ment, the military, migration, Kurdish nationalism, the rise of Islamism, and women's struggle for empowerment. The volume concludes with chapters on art and architecture, literature, and a brief history of Istanbul.
Resat Kasaba (ed.), The Cambridge History of Turkey: Volume 4, Turkey in the Modern World, 600 pages, Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN: 9780521620963
impressions By Gazmend Kapllani
The leading mobile operator in Albania
Holding borders in my trouser pocket Heathrow Airport is probably Hell on Earth for the racist. All the world’s races and colors converge here. A couple of Sikhs, in their characteristic turbans, urge one to queue. At the passport control desk, a pure-blood English policeman is flanked by two of his colleagues: one black (let us say colored, in order to be politically correct) and a young policewoman wearing the Islamic scarf. She has covered every millimetre of her hair with the same strictness she employs to examine passengers’ passports. In the corridor outside, at the ‘Exchange Office’ a blonde Polish immigrant ‘welcomes’ you. At the London train ticket counter, an Asian and a black man are smiling at you. In London, immigrants are a decades-long tale – mainly a result of the post-colonial era. There are, however, new waves of immigrants from the Balkan countries and from the ones in which ‘applied socialism’ had been the rule. While an airport official, also black, was explaining to me how I could reach Victoria Station, I remembered a passage from the book Small Island by Andrea Levy. It is when Gilbert, the black hero of the novel, addresses the Caucasian racist, telling him that his problem is his white skin. He thinks that skin makes him superior to others. But white skin does not make one either superior or inferior. It just makes one Caucasian. Today, London seems to have left far behind – and for good – the times Levy is describing in her book. Nowadays,
Heathrow Airport is perhaps a miniature of tomorrow’s Europe. This is why it is Hell to the racist… *** Those borders in my pocket Near the Airport exit, an ad for cellular phones invites the travelers to enjoy every single moment of our short life, in a world that is getting smaller and smaller, and in which there are no longer borders or walls. Things, however, are not exactly like this. Certainly the impregnable and murderous walls of the Cold War are no longer evident. Today, we usually carry walls and borders in our pockets: our passports. I realize this each time I arrive at a passport control desk. In a Europe without borders this is made abundantly clear to those arriving from the Western Balkans. Because at passport control passengers are divided in those who possess a ‘cool passport’ and in those who are holders of a ‘bad passport’. When you carry a ‘cool passport’, you cross the borders without stress – borders become invisible lines. When you carry a ‘bad passport’, you suffer from borders syndrome. Then, each time, the crossing of a border takes on the character of a momentous event – part of the diary of your existence. And the more borders you come across, the more stubborn you become in the effort to cross them. I am one of those who carry a ‘bad passport’. Once upon a time, the Greek passport was al-
London, Holland Park. At this time of the year, one does not see any leaves on the huge trees that line the London avenues. One sees however the city council’s gardeners who are tending them, preparing them for the oncoming spring
so among the ‘bad’ ones. Nowadays, it belongs to the ‘cool passports’ category. I don’t have one. I don’t know whether I will be ever granted one. For the time being, I cross borders carrying a ‘bad passport’, which, some day – who knows when – I hope will also become a ‘good passport’. The look in the eyes of the police officer checking a ‘cool passport’ is usually quite human; that of the one who is checking a ‘bad passport’ is usually full of suspicion. He looks at you, over and over. He asks you questions, over and again. And you give him the most probable answers. And he repeats the most improbable questions. And again you give the most probable answers. Waiting for the stamp on your passport, so that you can cross to the other side of the border.
Because, when you are holding a ‘bad passport’, borders become once more as they used to be: cheerless. There are places, such as Heathrow, where the person checking the passports has been fathered by immigrants. Perhaps his parents also came into the country carrying a ‘bad passport’ – or hidden in a train wagon or in the dark recesses of small boat. Now that person, born in this country, is checking others, who are carrying ‘bad passports’. Others who wish, perhaps with the same passion, to cross the borders, to emigrate in this country, to grow roots here, so that, sometime in the future, their children may have a better life and ‘cool passports’. This world, dear readers, moves in circles. And occasionally it moves forward, removing the old
boundaries and borders and creating new ones… *** Shopping at Rose Supermarket Nowadays, the London xenophobes are not so much against the blacks. The irony of the thing is that they are mainly screaming against white people, blond like themselves: against the Polish immigrants. It is said, and published in the press, that in the last two years about one million Poles have immigrated to England – ever since they acquired the ‘cool’ European passport. The French stood in fear of the ‘Polish plumber’ in vain. In the end the Poles snubbed them and chose London as their immigration destination – perhaps because London does not have any suburbs where the descendants of immigrants are left to rot. In Lordship Lane, where I am taking a stroll, you can see Poles everywhere. They have opened their own shops, their own hairdresser’s salons, their own Internet cafés, even their own radio stations. Since the arrival of the Poles, two years ago, the city council’s announcements are also published in Polish. Any announcement made by the council is published in six-seven languages. “London is a hospitable city,” says the owner of the Rose Supermarket who is a Kurd. I read the inscription at the entrance door of his shop: ‘English - Turkish - Greek - African - Caribbean food market’. The owner smiles at my pointing it out to him. “I have been thinking of also adding ‘Polish’ foodstuffs,” he says. “Now there are several Poles living in our neighborhood.” Here, multiculturalism is regulated, not only by the local authority, but also, and even before it, by the market which feeds and is fed by the immigrants. I am just wondering whether all these cultures are co-existing, interrelating with each other, or whether they simply exist independently. The one passing by the other, like blind men in a large marketplace… But this is a subject worth talking about some other time.
When I began to write this article, I was trying to think up ways to extend and enrich my work. At first, I just read a couple of articles about the Balkans and tried to find out what is going on in the region. All news articles and videos talk about the same thing: the conflict in the field, possible solutions, peacekeeping processes and stability or instability in the region and so on… To tell the truth, I finally decided to make slight detour in order to explore the other perspective of the Bulgarians who live in New York City and I ended up talking with quite interesting people some of whom are musicians, students, teachers and artists. There are many cultural centers, institutions, restaurants and bars where Balkan people get together and live their lives beyond the reality that what we have been taught. These places are not well organized, but good enough to bring and keep them all together. It sounds pretty ironic, but I should thank those people who gave me an opportunity to learn more about them and their culture as well as the structure of the society. Unfortunately, I was not able to quote all these people; however, I picked some of them for you to enjoy while you are reading this article.
Welcome those By Zuhal Danyildiz
Who could be Bulgaria’s best friend in the Balkans? - Artopolis Espresso: Greek café on Amsterdam Avenue, NY Nikolay Yanev, who is a lawyer admitted to legal practice in Bulgaria, is currently pursuing a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree at Columbia Law School. Before coming to Columbia, he worked at BearingPoint, Inc. (a US consulting company) on a USAID funded project in Bulgaria (Commercial Law Reform Program). I met him through Metro International Program Service of New York which creates global citizens and inspires a peaceful world one-of-akind programs in classrooms and communities. Nikolay described himself as a ‘global person’ and spoke very highly about Bulgaria and its European Union (EU) accession in 2007. While we were sitting at the Greek café, Artopolis Espresso on Amsterdam Avenue in New York City and having Greek coffee (or Turkish), Nikolay drew a picture of Balkans in general by talking about how Bulgaria has changed after the EU. Needless to say, the EU makes a huge contribution to Bulgaria socially, culturally and politically, but on the other hand, as he mentioned, there are still two major problems existing in the
country. They are ‘organized crime’ and ‘the legacy’. The Bulgarian government is still working on strengthening contract enforcement while they are fighting crime and corruption. But it does not have to change the fact that Bulgaria is incredibly growing every day. Rationally, the majority of the population in Bulgaria has opened to the World especially towards the Western Europe. As a result of this, Serbia has started to become so important for them in terms of cultural and economics exchange. It may sound cynical, but regardless the huge competition between Serbia and Bulgaria, the greater connection with Western Europe – music, and shopping centers are what makes Serbia attractive for Bulgarians to visit. According to Nikolay, Serbians are doing much better because they are not part of the communist system and they have a strong connection with the West. Now that a lot of people are leaving the country to work in
welcome change who countries such as Greece, the Netherlands, and Germany, he believes this is going to change the way Bulgarians pursue the World. Who is more isolated or chooses to be isolated? Gokhan Balaban, a graduate student at Columbia University’s Teachers College, was born and raised in the US and most importantly served in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria from 2005-2007. He has thoughtfully written about his impressions and experiences regarding Bulgaria and, in general, about the Balkans relationship with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. During a very enjoyable and informative interview, Gokhan approached Bulgaria by comparing it with the US and other Balkan countries. From the communist regime to EU accession, Bulgarians have gained in reputation. In the Peace Corps, he had a chance to know people between the ages of 18 and older than 70 and all these students helped him understand the way people live, the way they see the communist system as well as the way that
they accepted all changes when they opened their doors to EU accession. Even today, the entire population, from the elderly to the young generation, is quite happy to be able to live a secure life in an established environment. The older generation in this Balkan country used to care about education and rules, but new thew generation’s rule is ‘there is no rule!’ Young people are still getting a lot of benefits from the communist system and enjoying the rest of their time, which means, in Bulgaria, people do not have to worry about certain things that Americans do here. For example, profession, social recognition, making enough money to drive your life and make yourself master in the society to which you belong. Bulgaria is quite the opposite – everything is al-
ready set up for you to have a secure and a happy life. As many social transformations have shown, Bulgaria can no longer resist any sort of changes happening next door. Last but not least, Gokhan believes that Balkanians have much more time for themselves, for their families and other hobbies that they really enjoy and that are precisely what keeps people together. I believe there are a hundred of things we can discuss around these issues, but hopefully this article will help you understand the nature of global people and Bulgaria the country which is on its way to hook the international networks up. Zuhal Danyildiz holds a Master's Degree from University of the Incarnate Word, TX and she is a prospective graduate student in Global Affairs in New York State University (NYU).
Color of Balkan Sounds By Devrimsel Deniz Nergiz
‘Balkan-Pop’ is an ascending music trend, which contains the diversity in a popular fashion; these days, it is the ‘party hit’ in Germany just as in many other European contexts. However, notice the quotation marks which give the misleading impression that a single and homogenous musical language does exist in that corner of Europe. Within the Balkan Peninsula, there are several distinct cultures, including those of Bulgaria, Romania, FYROM, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo, Greece and Turkey. Nevertheless, when the music starts, countries which previously belonged to the Eastern bloc become one again, the borders between them disappear and even the influence of Yiddish Klezmer pass for Balkan style. In Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne or in particular Berlin, where East and West have converged since the fall of the Wall, people dance to that pulsating, rapid, amusing music which combines the sentimentality of Roma, sometimes like Klezmer, sometimes oriental, but in each case full of color. It is the most demanded trend of entertainment market nowadays in Germany; tickets for brass bands are sold out, DJs increasingly tend to mix traditional rhythms of the Balkans with pop, electro or punk. For Germany, it came to fashion shortly after the fall of the Wall, and has not
ceased since then. On the contrary, it generated a new echo for the music industry, which has surprisingly not started from the USA or UK but indeed from the heart of Europe. Parties and concerts are overcrowded, vodka flows like water and the spirits rise. Ruth Renner, alias Plantum, from Berlin says that she has come to realize that the authentic will last for good in the local music market. In addition, she
adds that the East is not as amusing as some of those young clubbers in the partymood suppose it to be. “The Roma has been a discriminated minority group in my area,” she says, “which is now on a rebound with music.” For her a return to the homeland is certainly not a option. However, pop and Balkan-Pop, especially for its artists in Germany, is a game with an identity creating positive pay offs today from the disadvantages of its ethnic origin.
To go back to the starting point, it can be argued that it started in the mid-90s with the films of Serbian director Emir Kusturica. His black-comedies Underground and Black Cat, White Cat happily coquetted with the clichés of Balkan folklore made Goran Bregovic and Kusturica’s band, the No Smoking Orchestra, famous and thereby paved the way for new originals from Eastern Europe, e.g. the 12 men Roma-brass band Fanfare Cioccrlia from a little village in Romania. Meanwhile, the band is world famous with their utility music (Gebrauchsmusik), which they have been playing at weddings and baptisms, since 1997. It has been this line of success that led to the emergence of a club scene, in which the original sounds of the Balkans was mixed with western sound and the birth of Balkan Pop of today. The songs can be 90% authentic, then touched by the magic of DJ-mixing to make disco hits out of them or they are just sung in a more rhythmic manner like the ones by Miss Plantum. Disco Partizani, is one of the greatest hits now in clubs that is carrying the Balkan beat to the peak of popularity
these days. This is the name of the new album by DJ Stefan Hantel, a popular icon from Frankfurt alias Shantel. Istanbul, Berlin, New York, Belgrade, Paris and so on. Wherever he performs is full to the gunwales. Folklore is the new Club-Pop demand, the Emmy winner of last year and masses following him all over the world validate his claim to fame. Like other examples, Disco Partizani, well-rehearsed by a dozen East European musicians is an amalgam of wedding song from RomaOrchestra, Klezmer, Serbian brass bands, disco rhythms, polka, ska, dancehall-Reggae, Turkish pop, hip-hop, electro-pop, R'n'B, rock und funk mixed in a bowl by Shantel, who also has roots in Bukovina in the Balkans. Gypsy Grooves, Balkan-Folk, Bucovina-Dub, Jugo-Punk, Karpaten-Ska, R’n Balkan are among the plethora of names for the new trend. What they have in common, though, is the interplay with the energy sources of a lost sentiment which is lost in the daily of life of the West and the reality that nearly all musicians of this
trend share a background of migration. They often stem from South Europe or the ex-Eastern Bloc or are Germans, like Stefan Hantel with Eastern European descent, who promote their cultural heritage with their know-how in the DJ cabine. Balkan-Pop is the melodic answer of the migrant generation in Europe, particularly in Germany, who hark back to their cultural roots without pursuing a nostalgia for it. It is the background music for the EU’s Eastern Enlargement, which is not a political convergence project at all. As a pioneer of global sound mixtures, BalkanPop teaches the way out of the niche. While somewhere a fierce debate on integration policies is taking place, others approach each other effortlessly on the dance floor. World music is the new pop music – pop music is the new music of the world. The realization of the fact that the most successful Balkan pop nowadays comes from Frankfurt in Main, is fascinating. There is no more a metropole and neither a periphery. The worldwide language of music is deterritorilized. Far away lands are now next to your door and what used to be a foreign music becomes mainstream in the global Pop world. This is for now exciting and fascinating, however what if the market pressure leads to the loss of appeal of the other by making it ours? The question remains then: can the exotic pall on when it is of one’s own? Devrimsel Deniz Nergiz is a PhD Candidate in Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology, Germany
The vintage Eastern European immigrant By Luiza Cristina Micu
Like most of the Eastern European countries, Romania has gone through many dramatic social and political changes. The best-known, most discussed, labels irrevocably remained over the night of 1989. The tables of Romanian society have been turned upside down. New doors have been opened, new products have been brought along and with them new fragrances, new styles of life which have marked most Romanians. From the early 90s, Romania has experienced the wave of second hand shops, in the beginning, not necessarily adopted as a social phenomenon, as a non-typical alternative to the existing market, but as a kind of a lightly politicized revolt against the dull, conformist and dehumanized communist system that had monopolized us, for so many years. Why not approach the Western world and values through clothes, through vivid colors, through 98% cotton and only 2% synthetic? At that time was there any other way for the average Romanian to touch, to share a part of the Western reality, if not by entering in its shoes? And so we did, lit-
erally speaking. One could easily travel, by wearing different garments, each one with his favorite Western country: in winter, the woolen, dark green, traditional Austrian and German flannels and English oxfords; in summer time, the refreshing Italian skirts or the funky Spanish dresses. Romania, still only in its first years of post communismm, will feel and be so tightly bonded to the Western world. Blacked out for 15 years, the second bridging, unfortunately will take place on entering the European Union. And there is no doubt that Romania has been branded as a ‘second-rate’ country when great hordes of its people have emigrated in search of a better life. It is a classical situation, classic also the dreams and the expectations – √ÈÎÔÓÔÌÈÎﬁ˜ ÌÂÙ·Ó¿ÛÙË˜, as the Greeks would say, meaning ‘economic immigrant’. Or, as Americans would put it, ‘strictly business’. You start from scratch and make yourself a better life with a safer future – economically speaking. Immigration has had such a continuous flux worldwide that people have forgotten to take a closer look at it and reshape it, where necessary. We live ‘post-modern’ times, when the notions of time and space are redefined and the
whole perspective of our world are put in question. And so it happens with the immigration. Eastern-European immigration towards Western Europe should have more clear connotations than just economics. The Eastern European immigrant has turned out to be more than a secondranking citizen in a first class Europe. And his first thing was to fight not only for a better standard of living, but mostly craving desperately to be accepted from head to toe as an authentic European – culturally, socially and politically. The cultural Eastern European immigrant, melancholy and string-attached to a patron Western country, France, England or Italy in Romania’s case, is endowed with plenty of education and enough spirit to have an eagle eye for the artistic details of the adopting country. Ever dissatisfied with the label of ‘economic immigrant’, he strives for recognition of his talent and waits impatiently from his low profile position for his new perspective on life to become the new fashion in the ‘European town’ . The social Eastern European immigrant starts his journey as a fanatic consumer of Western European values, standards. He will coordinate his quest for money, apparently for strictly economic needs, but in reality looking desperately
for social acceptance from the local community of the respective country. He will work hard, changing apartments, towns, jobs chameleonically so that he could finally reach his targeted style of life, at least that of most middle-class Western European families. The social immigrant has no desire to be noticed for his ‘peculiarity’, neither for his accent in the borrowed language nor for his style of living. If socially accepted and taken for a Western European by the rest of the community, the social immigrant will finally resume both his social and economic anxiety. The political Eastern European immigrant has many common characteristics with the ‘exiled’ Eastern European citizen that would run away from his country for his Western, anti-communist views, who would feel like a Russian prince in exile, decayed, deprived of his fortunes. One of the first arrived after the falling of the regime, the post-communist political immigrant feels responsible to be the protec-
tor of the interests of his people in the unknown Western world, and he will actively promote his traditions, values giving his best to make it ‘Europeanly known’. He will always be in connection with his consulate, so romantically faithful to his roots, so openly and proudly displaying his foreign accent. Though a misfit for the rest of his life, he will be the ideal guide for the coming waves of immigrants and a role model for the next politically active apprentices. Years have passed and in Romania the second hand shops have entered the normal course of a perfectly integrated social phenomenon. Nowadays, there are no more tiny, unnamed second-hand shops, but glamorous vintage stores with funkpunked glass windows. A door was closed, a window was opened and the vintage Eastern European immigrant is on his way.
Luiza Cristina Micu holds an MA in Southeast European Studies and European Union Integration, University of Athens
Impressions from Sarajevo I visited Sarajevo for the first and only time in July 2006, for an all too short stay dedicated to my work of research and collection of materials in the central offices of the Ars Aevi Museum. Wandering around in the city centre one early Sunday morning, I could not help noticing the scars left behind by the war and reflecting on how long and difficult the process of reconstruction must be. I recalled similar wounds encountered on a journey through Croatia in 2004, and the feeling of abandonment, loneliness and melancholy they had conveyed to me. This time, the atmosphere around those signs was completely different: the liveliness of Sarajevo, its streets crowded with people and pervaded by the sound of live music at any hour of the day, and the charm of its unusual architecture awaken in the spectator a mixture of emotions that do not settle in a definite impression, but rather remain unsolved and intermingled in a mesmerized mood. The purpose of my short journey was that of collecting some material about the Ars Aevi Museum/Centre of Contemporary Art, of which I had heard about a few years earlier, when I had the chance to meet its director, Enver Hadziomerspahic, in Italy. My ambitious project was that of understanding how the Museum had conceived
By Maja Musi
itself in relation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, what role – if any at all – it was playing in the broader context of post-war reconstruction. The outcome of my first-hand acquaintance with Ars Aevi and its personnel is a tale that deserves to be told. A Museum without a museum The Ars Aevi Museum/Centre of Contemporary Art is like an imaginary room in a fairy tale. In fact, it does not exist yet – it has neither walls, nor roof or pavements. And still, since its basic idea was conceived in 1992, it has shown that even in the absence of a physical building – a spatial realization - it is possible to pursue an ideal and make it come true. This is its first magic. This subtle contradiction is the core character of its birth. The original idea of creating a museum of contemporary art in Sarajevo was conceived during the siege of the city, and, surprisingly enough, as a response to it, as a way – if not to fight it back – to stand up and proudly juxtapose to the destruction of the war a new vision of tolerance and intercultural communication*. Through years of obstinate work and promotion, it has accumulated more than a hundred pieces of art, assem-
bled in the Collection Nuclei of Milan, Prato, Sarajevo, Ljubljana, Venice, Wien (and awaiting the contribution of cities like Athens or Istanbul), donated by the artists who chose to participate in the project – Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jannis Kounellis, Joseph Beuys, Braco Dimitrijevic, Joseph Kosuth and many others - and shown each time in a different city of Europe. Renowned architect Renzo Piano designed the plan of the museum building (expected to be inaugurated by 2009), and all relevant institutions both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and abroad (the City of Sarajevo, the Sarajevo Canton, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and UNESCO, among others) have recognized Ars Aevi as a major development project. During all these years, Ars Aevi (a Latin expression for ‘Art of the Epoch’ and anagram of Sarajevo) has been promoting, through its activities in the world of contemporary art, its own understanding of Bosnian cultural uniqueness as the intermingling of different traditions. Its work has
esteemed the incommensurable richness of a culture where diversities, instead of remaining segregated, interact with one another in the creation of a common identity. This particular conception of multiculturalism, by its own nature, has been applied not only to the reality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also to the role of this country in the Balkan region and to its potentialities on the international artistic scene. The values at the basis of Ars Aevi’s project have materialized through the creation of its Collection and its progresses towards the building of its own museum. Its will of fostering a feeling of unity in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its contribution to the effort of healing the country’s wounds have become apparent through the expansion of its range of action to other cities (Mostar, Tuzla, Konjic, Zenica) and through symbolic initiatives as the building of the Ars Aevi bridge across the Miljacka, connecting the city centre to the
Grbavica neighborhood, tragically famous as an area of intense fighting. When in fact some day Ars Aevi cease s to be a ‘Museum without a museum’, and finally celebrates its own building, its best definition will continue to be that of a collective project, born in Bosnia and dedicated to Bosnia, the Balkan area, and ultimately to the international, interethnic and intercultural nature of art. Maja Musi, musician, holds a BA in History at the University of Bologna and a diploma in Classical Clarinet from the Conservatory of Music of Bologna Ars Aevi museum website: www.arsaevi.ba
“Suddenly it was light out. It was a strange, bright red dawn. The Olympic Museum was in flames. […] That night, I began thinking up my “revenge”. We’ll build an even bigger and better museum… […] In those first months of the siege, I decided to invite the great artists of our time to express their protest against this injustice by donating their works and thus forming the collection of their future museum in Sarajevo. I called the project “Sarajevo 2000”, believing that we would realize it in the next eight years”. Ars Aevi General Directorate, Facts, International Project Ars Aevi, Museum/ Centre of Contemporary Art Sarajevo, April 2005, p. 44
School on Borders building interculturality
The boundary can be a dividing line (between cultures, languages and people) or, on the contrary, an open door, a place of positive ‘contamination’, where school becomes an ideal environment to promote intercultural dialogue and active citizenship. This is the basis of School on Borders, a project granted by in the European Commission in the framework of the Lifelong Learning Programme. The project is led by the City of Venice and the State University of Milan, with the adhesion of research centres, universities, schools, local authorities and nonprofit foundations from Greece, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Northern Ireland, as well as an Italian Lyceum with lessons in Slovenian. Notably, Greece is represented by the Hellenic Centre for European Studies (EKEM), the City and the primary school of Komotini. Until September 2009, the project partnership will elaborate and provide teachers and pupils of cross border areas with some epistemological tools (deriving from anthropology, philosophy and sociology) to look at the border as an ‘open door’ and an opportunity. “The main expected outputs,” says the project manager Francesca Moiraghi, “will be a training module for teachers and a set of effective experiences to improve pupils’ attitude to appreciate diversity and interculturality.” Throughout these outputs, the expected outcomes of the project are a stronger sense of European identity and teacher and pupil awareness that the history of each territory has to be reviewed to overcome national prejudices, in the light of the common principles on which the European Union is founded. The project began in the last months of 2007 and in its first phase a comparative research has been started, focusing on the local situation and conflicts, but also on good practices for school and social inclusion in the different areas. The opinion of Rosella Reverdito (University of Milan) is: “The first results of the research confirm that the border (periphery of the national identity and core of the European one) is the best place to develop multiculturalism. The study shows, on the one hand, the need for integration and mutual understanding and, on the other, the difficulties in the dialogue with the Other. ” As Professor Antonio Violante underlines, “Our research aims to assess whether or not it might be possible for individuals to be the real protagonists of their own cultural choices; in other words, whether they can opt to live certain aspects of the social life of the majority group, keeping their original identity for others, living in a condition of ‘alternation’ between different cultures perceived at the same level.” “We have chosen a relativist approach” is a further explanation by Paolo Inghilleri, psychologist and Director of Department of Geography and Human and Environmental Sciences of the State University of Milan. “The hypothesis of our study is that the psychological well-being of students and teachers can be the main criteria for distinguishing ‘good practice’, that means a practice which is able to start a process of dialogue and inclusion and to guarantee equal opportunities for everybody. ”
Forum on Water, Heritage and Civil Society
The Anna Lindh Foundation in collaboration with Pedmont Regional Government and Paralleli Euro-Mediterranean Institute is organizing a Euro-Mediterranean Youth Forum in Italy from Tuesday 20 through Sunday 25, May 2008. The main objective of the Forum is to raise awareness among youth on the place and importance of water as a limited resource essential for life and for the future of the human settlements and as a central element in the cultural heritage of the Euro-Mediterranean region. The Forum will gather seventy-four participants, two per each one of the 37 Euro-Mediterranean Partnership member countries, aged between 20 and 35 years and strongly motivated to work on the theme of ‘water’ in an inter-cultural framework. The project is addressed to students, professionals as well as activists of the civil society who are studying or working in the fields indicated below. The scope of the Forum is focusing on water as a vector for intercultural dialogue, focusing on three specific themes: — Water, Heritage and Intergenerational Dialogue; — Water, Spirituality and Emotion; — Water, Sustainable Development and Civil Society. For more information please consult www.torinoyouthforum.org
1001 Actions is a major campaign initiated by the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation and its network of over one thousand civil society organizations, for the mobilization of people and actions dedicated to the promotion of mutual knowledge and respect in the region. The campaign runs throughout 2008, which has been designated the Euro-Mediterranean Year of Intercultural Dialogue, and aims to promote the role of intercultural dialogue to: — Fight racism and xenophobia as well as any form of discrimination — Challenge extremism from all sources and origins — Rediscover common roots and heritage, and develop the idea that we all share a common destiny We believe that we can promote our values and key messages best through our action. Throughout the twelve months actions for dialogue will take place across the Euro-Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal to Lebanon and Turkey, from Latvia and Poland to Greece and Egypt. Actions will be diverse in terms of size and thematic but will all focus on promoting knowledge of the other. Key partners: European Commission COPPEM network of regional and local authorities Ministry of Culture Greece Ministry of Culture Egypt Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Thirty-Seven Countries, Everyone's Invited...
On the evening of Thursday May 22, 2008, groups and individuals in thirty-seven countries will unite together in a unique common event for the promotion of dialogue and coexistence. The Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue Night is a unique cultural event held simultaneously across the 37 Euro-Mediterranean partner countries developed by the Anna Lindh Foundation, its Network and partners including Ministries of Culture, the European Commission and COPPEM network of regional and local authorities. The event has been planned to take place exactly one week before the first meeting of Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Culture to be held in Athens Greece in order to present the reaults of the Night to the Ministers. Activities planned for the Night include public debates culminating in music concerts, theatre performances with local artists, food festivals where different communities come together and their main objective is to offer the audience a cultural and pleasant experience to understand their neighbour better and develop a sense of curiosity towards the other.
9 Asparhouv bridge Varna Boulgaria by Rossen Donev
Published on Feb 19, 2009