Transforming external regimes has proven to be one of the most problematic aspects of the economic transition in the former Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) countries. These difficulties result both from internal factors such as the all too frequent failure of macroeconomic stabilization programs and from external factors such as the collapse of Soviet-era multinational integration mechanisms. This paper analyzes how, at the macroeconomic level, large declines in regional trade flows during 1990-93 have reinforced the macroeconomic perturbations buffeting the post-Communist economies, while at the microeconomic level, difficulties encountered in sustaining trade liberalization and making currencies more convertible have weakened demonopolizing tendencies and hurt prospects for integration into the international economy.
November 2002- On December 8, 2002, Serbs failed to elect a president for their republic for the third time since September. After rancorous campaigning, an October television debate, and a disturbingly strong showing by radical nationalist Vojislav Seselj in the election's first round in September, Serbs could not be bothered to come out in sufficient numbers to validate the December election between current Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, nationalist firebrand Vojislav Seselj, and Borislav Pelevic. As expected, Kostunica won handily with 57.5 percent of the vote and Pelevic's performance at the polls was inconsequential. Seselj's take of 36.3 percent of the electorate, however, was both astonishing and distressing. Yet, in spite of the fact that three candidates competed for the presidency, the principal opponent of each was once again voter apathy and Serbia's threshold requirement that a minimum of 50 percent of voters vote in order to validate an election.
Once again, NATO has been drawn into the search for the least bad solution in the Balkans. This time the crisis has surfaced in Kosovo, the province that, ten years ago, seemed to be the most dangerous ethnic flashpoint in what was then Yugoslavia. For the Serbs, Kosovo is politically and religiously attached to Serbia. For the Albanians, Kosova is demographically dominated by Kosovar Albanians and geographically contiguous with northern Albania. Today, both sides are armed, dangerous, and likely to keep fighting without an international agreement. Even with an accord, they are more menacing to the proposed NATO peacekeeping force than were the war-weary local forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995.
Montenegro: The Next Balkan Challenge, By Srdjan Darmanovic Center for Democracy and Human Rights Special to the Western Policy Center
Nov./Dec. 2000 - The ouster of Milosevic and the disappearance of the Serbian military threat to Montenegro were greeted with relief in the republic. They signaled the end of the three-year "black and white" struggle in which the democratically elected government of Montenegro, with substantial help from its Western supporters in the U.S. and the EU, had fought for survival against a dictatorship that caused four wars in the region. Since the electoral defeat of Milosevic, the international position of Montenegro and its internal political priorities have changed drastically.
A collection of policy briefs and papers that result from the meetings of the Working Group on the Western Balkans, a project sponsored by a grant from the EU Delegation.
349. Capacity Building and Education for Stability and Integration in Kosovo and the Western Balkans
May 2008 - The Western Balkan region has three chronic problems. First, none of the states that comprise the region have the capacity to function at a reasonable level. Second, there is little co-operation between these state and no realistic long-term strategies of how to build cooperation. Finally, the entire region continues to suffer economically and is in desperate need of reforms that create a sustainable economic and social base in each country.