Political Challenges of the Balkan Peninsula

By Blerim Abedini, the Center for Security Studies and Development- Macedonia (CSSD)

Uneven regional development is correlated with poor coordination of political decisions brought in the regional meetings. Cohesion of decision-making that we see in the leaderships of the Balkan countries, is influenced also by uncertain pressures made by international factors and the corruption in other hand. Macedonia faces extreme economic migration of intelligence, creating misbalance in providing professional staff to necessary sectors. A number of international economic agreements in Balkan countries are terminated, changed or are repeated from the beginning.  Although at first the US will focus on domestic problems, Balkans until then should be empowered to find the right direction.

New political developments, remind us of the issues from previous years. The Balkan Peninsula is a gravity path of economic and political developments and an extension of geopolitical interest. Balkan is involved in several situations on which the residential leadership can not find modus in a current time, to overcome the situation.
Uneven regional development is correlated with poor coordination of political decisions brought in the regional meetings. This lack of featuring in the decision making in long term period, will reflect the uncertainty in the Balkan Peninsula. Cohesion of decision-making that we see in the leaderships of the Balkan countries, is influenced also by uncertain pressures made by international factors and the corruption in other hand.
The market in this direction will be led by the unpredictable forces that can cost the economy an expensive feedback and of course a downturn.
Exaggeration of nationalist vocabulary will ensure the concentration of forces that would be harmful to the multi-ethnic character and their domination over corruption. Trade deficits between the Balkan states have brought unemployment and, at the same time economic migration of the population.

Macedonia faces extreme economic migration of intelligence, creating misbalance in providing professional staff to necessary sectors. Vibrations generated in the pension system are an issue which should be solved in a long time period. The problem in the pension fund is an indicator that the state has used budget funds out of public interest and this withdraw is posing risk for pension fund.

Also, disputes with neighboring countries do not provide favorable climate for foreign direct investment and portfolio.  Macedonian agreements with international factors has regress which issues implementation.

The name contest  with Greece has severely affected the country’s economy by bringing into question national instability. Points of conflict in the Balkan Peninsula encounters a dispute between Serbia and Kosovo, which the dispute has blocked many bilateral trade exchanges. Albania on judicial reforms has to punch a strong criminal groups that sometimes resulted in victims of state officials. Albania, it has disposed of various nationalist barriers in order to ensure economic prosperity for the country. It’s clear that the Balkan nationalism is locking integration processes, as well as the importance of market- economy as a contemporary model for the development.
Greece financial problems, it endangers “swim” for long time instability. Frequent changes of government structure provide bleak picture for a country with a long history.

Bosnia and Herzegovina disputes of ethnic and territorial is immersed in the corruption and unsuccessful reforms. The war has brought consequences in the creation of living conditions and development of the country.

Serbia faces international pressure. It often has revised its decisions by reason to put economic reforms over the political interest. The state officials are understanding  the rising economy as the only way that will overturn a conditional political interest and avoid nationalism.

The market economy in the Balkans is facing barriers  which produce fragile bilateral relations between Balkan states. Ethnic conflicts over the past decades have left an impact on free trade. Companies in the Balkans, import raw materials manufactured outside the Balkan Peninsula.
Privatization of state property in the Balkan countries in a wide range has failed. In the surface are getting smaller companies and  manufactures, mainly founded by  foreign workers or businessmen. Many cases courts have stagnated for years related to real estate that has seized by the Yugoslav authorities in the Socialist era.
Countries of the Ex-Soviet Union as Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary are accommodating foreign capital and at the same time are member states of the European Union. Corruption in these countries remains a challenge to its governments but its fight is slowing. Foreign investors complain about bribes asked by officials. Despite the negative phenomena in society, the economy of these countries  tends to increase economic welfare.

Viewed in perspective, the development of the Balkans is hampered by global disputes such as the South Stream pipeline. The supply of natural gas is cost relief to residents for heating in winter, because a part of the population is living in poverty. The second barrier is the Middle East war that impedes the free movement of people and transporting. This area of risk has increased greatly in the prices of raw materials imported for business. Also the development of the Balkan economy is hampered by the extreme policies of the EU. A number of international economic agreements in Balkan countries are terminated, changed or are repeated from the beginning. Termination of the market with Russia, violates peace in Europe which reduced shares on the Stock Exchanges. EU with a passive policy risks undermining economic system built by decades.

New elected president of the United States has shown potential for overcoming critical situations. Balkans as a point of American foreign policy needs to overcome the economic recommendations of regression. Although at first the US will focus on domestic problems, Balkans until then should be empowered to find the right direction.

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