Southeast European Integration Perspectives (2009 - ongoing):

“Southeast European Integration Perspectives” (SEIP) publishes relevant works on the policy issues confronting Southeast Europe written by scholars, analysts, politicians, practitioners and activists, including both internationally recognized authors and emerging regional voices. SEIP analyses and promotes ongoing processes of transition and transformation, exploring the linkages between an emergent regionalism in Southeast Europe and wider European integration. SEIP combines cutting-edge policy research, interdisciplinary approaches and innovative and provocative thinking which will be of interest to a wide range of readers, including analysts, policy makers, diplomats, scholars and journalists.


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Center for European Integration Strategies (2006-2014):

The Association’s Executive Council decided to launch the Center for European Integration Strategies (CEIS) to continue some of the work undertaken by the Association Bosnia and Herzegovina 2005. The CEIS will act as a think tank to follow up on the work initiated by the Association and to implement the conclusions of the Geneva conference as well as of a seminar held in Vienna on 18 November 2005, focusing on EU integration processes and the regional dimension in the Western Balkans. The CEIS pursues its mission through offices in Geneva, Vienna and Sarajevo and an international network of scholars and analysts.

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Association Bosnia and Herzegovina 2005 (2003-2005):

The Association Bosnia and Herzegovina 2005 had been established on 17 September 2003 to facilitate policy research in preparation of a high-profile international conference on Bosnia and Herzegovina held in Geneva on 20-21 October 2005. With the successful organization of the conference (which was attended by over 400 analysts, academics, policy-makers, diplomats, and journalists) and the forthcoming publication of a book containing chapters on key dimensions of post-war development in the country, the Association fulfilled its aims and was dissolved in December 2005.

    





The Next Step in the Balkans (2003-2005):

External influence is one of the main specificity of the transition and democratization process in the Balkans. In spite of the (in some cases, massive) external intervention, the countries of the region are still somewhere half-way between transition and democratic consolidation. The effectiveness of the intervention of the foreign actors must be considered not only in the light of its financial significance, but also of its concepts and strategies. Considering the fact that as early as the 1980s the burgeoning literature on transition focused on local ownership and capacity building, we may ask why the results of the foreign intervention in the Balkans were so poor. If, as in fact happened, many external strategies were not adapted to local Balkans conditions, then local import strategies are also questionable. Nevertheless, for our purpose it is essential to consider also the positive experiences of the different aid and assistance strategies. Therefore the necessity, on the one hand, for the international actors to learn from the Balkan experiences; and, on the other hand, for the domestic actors to adapt imported strategies and to develop more effective ones as well as sustainable structures. This necessitates of course to study the interaction of both local and foreign actors.

Focusing on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, the overall objective of this project is to convince governmental and nongovernmental actors at local, national and regional state levels to adapt and implement ownership enhancing strategies. Local experts as well as notable active supporters will discuss, first, the complex interaction between internal and international processes and, second, the issue of the ownership of the transition and democratization in the Balkans (considering first Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia), this in order to submit adapted and ownership-oriented recommendations. The aim of the process-oriented project is to start a process that should link analytical debates, including case-based studies, with ownership enhancing field actions implemented by think tank oriented NGOs.

Regular meetings with decisions makers, politicians, intellectuals and var
ious seminars were conducted in the region from 2003 until 2005. The process orienetd project paved the way to the creation - back in late 2003 - of the "Associations Bosnia and Herzegovina 2005" and, end 2005, of the CEIS.



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Ownership Process in Bosnia (2000-2003):

The Bosnian war ended not by peace-keeping, nor by war making, even if a military intervention was requested, but by political-engineering: the creation of the Bosnian-Croat Federation (1994) and the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1995). If pacification and normalization were the first aims, Bosnia and Herzegovina is now engaged in a complex transition and integration process. But after six years of international presence, Bosnia and Herzegovina is still an aid-dependent country, and most aspects of social, political and economic life are now matters of the international protectorate-type intervention. In order to overcome this situation, foreign involvement will remain a pre-requisite, but it must absolutely address Bosnian self-government and ownership with an adequate strategy. After a first period of military stabilization and reconstruction (1995-1997), and a second one of a quasi-protectorate characterized by a strong use of the powers of the High Representative (1997-2000), the main challenge of the third period - now under way - is to enable a transition from an international soft-protectorate to a sustainable and sovereign Bosnian state. The High Representative Wolfgang Petritsch focuses international power precisely in support of state-building objectives and works for the Bosnian ownership of a new local institutional environment which is capable of taking responsibility for the new state. Aware that as long as the international community determines politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina to a large degree, it will inhibit the mature growth of Bosnian institutions, ownership is since 1999 a priority for the High Representative, Wolfgang Petritsch. His initiative - from July 19, 2001 - to set up a consultative Partnership Forum to discuss urgent issues of the peace implementation as well as to support the Bosnian state institutions and a Civic Forum in order to enable discussions with citizens are both intended precisely to decisively enhance the ownership process in Bosniaand Herzegovina. Further, the re-calibrated presence of the IC and, mainly, the High Representative’s Action Plan - December 2001 and March 2002 - are providing timelines for the transition of the ownership to the Bosnian authorities. This represents a breakthrough in the ownership process. In the coming year, Bosnia and Herzegovina has to move from partnership with the International Community to complete ownership of the political process.Together with Svebor Dizdarevic (Lyon), we organized various seminars and conferences in Bosnia and Herzegovinabetween 2001 and 2003. Four publications are related to this project.

In the framework of this project, with the support of the City of Geneva, the Karl Popper Foundation and Pro Helvetia, the Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Arts (SCCA) organized an exhibtion - action on ownership: "By the Commission's Decision: Everyone to One's Own," realized by two Sarajevan artists Almir Kurt & Samir Plasto at the Trg Oslobodjenja - Liberation Square in Sarajevo on November 24, 2001.In the morning of the 24th of November 2001, the day before the National day of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the busts of Kurt and Plasto were mounted on eight headless pedestals in the City Central Park at the Liberation Square. During the action they distributed the leaflets: By the commission decision: Everyone to one’s own. Casual passers by, intellectuals, artists, public persons and media representatives attended this event.

In the following month, SCCA took the responsibility to realize the decision of the informal “commission”, which finally deserved full support from the Cantonal Ministry for Culture and Writer’s Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the 27th of December 2001 the busts were at their original places. Seven busts were mounted back without any problems and with the support of the audience gathered that day. One incident happened when the new owners of the building of publishing house “Svjetlost” didn’t allow us to put the bust of Veselin Maslesa in front of their building where it’s pedestal originated from, claiming it to be their own property and that they don’t want this writer and anti-fascist who was Nazi victim during World War II.