Political Trends and Dynamics: Youth Policy in Southeast Europe

2019 has seen increased development of youth policy throughout the region. In resonance with the EU Youth Strategy 2019-27, national youth strategies are currently being developed in Albania, Bosnia, and Montenegro. The FES published a series of groundbreaking studies analyzing political values, attitudes, and beliefs of youth in the region and their outlook on the future earlier this year, providing a point of departure for facts-based policy-making. This issue of the Political Trends and Dynamics in Southeast Europe aims to highlight fresh thinking on youth policy by next-generation experts and policy-makers.


Agency for change : Alternative democratic practices in Southeast Europe

Almost twenty¬five years after the end of the Cold War, initial euphoria about democratic change in many countries in the East and Southeast of Europe has given way to growing mistrust of political institutions and politicians, and an increasing disaffection with democracy itself. This wide¬ranging disaffection has many sources. One of them lies in the increasingly weak performance of governments and the fact that »democracy«, whatever the term meant at the beginning of the transition processes, has failed to deliver on its promises.




Enlargement Policy and Social Change in the Western Balkans

Has the European project in the Western Balkans delivered social change? Mass emigration and declining population rates, democratic backsliding, growing economic and social inequalities as well as social exclusion suggest otherwise. Correspondingly, the citizens of the region perceive that their interests and social rights have so far not been at the heart of the EU’s transition efforts.


Beyond Projects: Local Legitimacy and Civil Society Advocacy in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This paper presents research on what makes an NGO legitimate in the eyes of citizens, and how legitimacy affects the outcomes they are able to achieve. It found that intermediary NGOs supported by both donors and citizens are able to achieve broader advocacy outcomes.


Political Trends and Dynamics: Chinese Soft Power in Southeast Europe

China has “arrived” in Southeast Europe. Beijing’s assertive new foreign policy, the hallmark of President Xi Jinping’s six year reign as the executive of the People’s Republic, has seen the country accelerate and deepen its foreign ties with states all over the world, including in Europe’s East and Southeast, at a previously unimagined pace. It is not a stretch to say that a decade ago, China was simply not a major actor – in any sector – in Southeast Europe. Today, Beijing has emerged as one of the leading economic actors in the region, investing and supporting everything from energy and infrastructure projects to arms procurement.


Irregular migration and smuggling of migrants along the Balkan route 2011-2017

The research report identifies, documents and analyses patterns and characteristics of irregular migration in thirteen states along the so-called Balkan route in the period from 2011 to 2017. These states are Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia (now North Macedonia), Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.



European Cohesion: Progress at a Snail's Pace

Both Europe-wide inequality and the at-risk-of-poverty rate again fell slightly from 2016 to 2017. This was largely due to the strong growth in the poorer new EU member states between the Baltic and the Balkans. In particular, the number of people below the poverty threshold of 60 per cent of European median income fell by several million. Inequality and the at-risk-of-poverty rate Europe-wide, however, remained well above the level in individual EU member states.


Political Trends and Dynamics: The European Project in the Western Balkans: Crisis and Transition

In the light of recent events, it is becoming clear that at present that basic deal for Western Balkan countries in the EU enlargement process— reform for membership — has collapsed. Some may argue that EU policy towards the region was never as transparent as all that, but whatever its details, even the broadest version of this bargain has now dissolved. Combined with the ongoing crisis of leadership in the U.S., and the growing political and economic clout of foreign powers like Russia, China, Turkey, and others, the contemporary Western Balkans find them-selves tossed about in the most tumultuous international waters since the end of the Yugoslav crisis.


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