Call for Papers for Thessaloniki Conference on "Greece, the Western Balkans and the European Union"

Greece, the Western Balkans and the European Union

Jul 27, 2007

The recent successful accession of 10 postcommunist member states into the European Union is perceived as evidence that the EU is better able than any other international entity to stabilize and reform the Western Balkans. At the same time, however, the countries of this region are clearly distinct from other postcommunist states in ways that may undermine the European integration policy such as state weakness, economic underdevelopment and widespread corruption. Moreover, recent academic literature on the EU accession process has revealed gaps in the EU's capacity to address the problems of democratic consolidation, civil society development and minority rights protection. In the post-war countries of the former Yugoslavia, these issues cannot be addressed without international support. In order for EU and NATO accession to help pull the region out of its current stagnation, the international community will need to come up with new, complex strategies to adapt the accession process to the specific needs of this region.

The call for papers seeks to spur scholars and practitioners to consider ways in which to introduce innovative thinking on how to use EU and NATO conditionality to address the unique problems in the Western Balkans. Sample problems/questions include:

- Some countries of Southeast Europe do not show as much enthusiasm for European integration as countries involved in earlier waves of enlargement (such as the Baltic States). How can this be addressed by the international community?
- Can certain parts of the acquis communautaire be made to do ‘double duty.' For example, can the chapters on education be geared toward promoting ethnic integration in Bosnia? Can European Regional policy offer solutions for Serbs in Kosovo?
- The accession process to the Western Balkans would seem to require an additional layer of adequate policy tools to address the specific problems in the region. What types of tools could be used? How would they be employed and by whom?
- What special role can be played by neighboring states, such as Greece, in bringing this region into the European fold? What insights might be offered by recent EU accession countries that might offer lessons to the countries of the Western Balkans?


Contributors who respond to the call for papers may be selected by the EES program to prepare research papers and make presentations at a seminar in Thessaloniki, Greece, which will be held November 30-December 2, 2007. The Wilson Center will cover travel and hotel expenses for those attending the conference.

The papers resulting from the project will be reviewed, edited and published as conference proceedings and distributed to a wide audience. The publication will be presented at a public event at the Wilson Center, which would allow select research project participants to present their findings to the wider Washington DC policy community. In this way, we hope that conclusions and recommendations gleaned from the program will have the greatest impact possible.

Proposals should be 500 words in length and must be accompanied by a CV. Please send proposals by email to: nida.gelazis@wilsoncenter.org by October 1, 2007. Proposal selection will be completed by mid-October 2007.

First draft papers will be due November 19, 2007, in time for distribution to all conference participants.
Proposal Guidelines
**Proposals should be 500 words, accompanied by a CV
** Articles should be 5,000- 8,000 words.
** Citations should be formatted to the author-date system outlined in The Chicago Manual of Style.
** All formatting and grammar should follow The Chicago Manual of Style.

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