Has transition failed in the Balkans?

Social crisis, record unemployment, youth without hope. What can be done?
Panel discussion on 27 October 2011, 7 pm
RadioKulturhaus, Argentinierstraße 30a, 1040 Vienna

The Western Balkans, marred in war and ethnic cleansing during the 1990s, have changed beyond recognition. The peninsula has been peaceful for a decade. The nationalist war-time projects have been discredited. People’s political concerns are now mainly related to socio-economic issues. However, a decade after the EU explicitly provided a membership perspective for the Western Balkan countries, their economies are characterised by unemployment rates of above 20 percent. In Kosovo more than 35,000 youth press every year into a labour market of less than 200,000 non-agricultural jobs. Youth unemployment in Serbia approaches 50 percent and in Macedonia it lies above. Years of international assistance programmes and EU support have failed to change this. What are the implications for the development of the Western Balkans? How can this challenge be addressed?

Invited guests to this panel discussion organised by ERSTE Foundation and the European Stability Initiative (ESI) include:
Vladimir Gligorov, Vienna Institute for Economic Studies
Radmila Sekerinska, former Deputy Prime Minister of Macedonia
Ulrich Schuh, Institute for Advanced Studies
Besa Shahini, Canadian-Kosovar political analyst

Kristof Bender, deputy chairman of ESI, will moderate the debate.

The event will take place in English. ERSTE Foundation is delighted to invite you to a glass of wine afterwards. Entrance is free, but please register at (01)501 70-337 or via email at radiokulturhaus@orf.at. We look forward to welcoming you to this event.