Preface

Article

The 1990s was a period in which the Cold War ended and socialist regimes collapsed. In this period, the Balkan countries and communities came in a radical transformation and changing process. Within this process, the socioeconomic structures of the Balkan countries were reconstructed and reformed within the context of free market economy....

The 1990s was a period in which the Cold War ended and socialist regimes collapsed. In this period, the Balkan countries and communities came in a radical transformation and changing process. Within this process, the socioeconomic structures of the Balkan countries were reconstructed and reformed within the context of free market economy. As a result of the recon­struction and reformation, the Balkan countries entered in the intensive process of integration into international economy based on principles of free market economy.

Moreover, another important development is the Balkan countries' inte­gration process into the European Union (UE) after the regime changes. Slovenia in 2004, Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 joined to the EU. Croatia and Turkey are two Balkan countries which have maintain full membership nego­tiations with the European Union since October 2005. Relations among the EU and Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have been maintained within the context of Stabilization and Association Agreements. Also the most important goal and priority of the Republic of Kosovo's foreign policy is the EU membership

That is, after the socialism era, the Balkan states began to reconstruct and reform their socioeconomic structures according the EU criteria. This recon­struction and reformation process is still continuing. On the other hand, Hellenic Republic, as an EU member since 1981, has huge experiences for sharing with the other Balkan countries about the EU membership process.

All these radical changes and transformation process have brought new economic, political, social and cultural problems in the Balkan agenda. Definitely, the most destructive and painful problem in the Balkan lands was wars erupted in the 1990s. Painful memoirs of the wars are still alive and complicate problems in the region. Moreover, socioeconomic problems such as unemployment and poverty unfortunately have not yet overcome com­pletely. Therefore, building peace, democracy, socioeconomic development and stability are still the most important issues and tasks for the Balkan states and nations.

With aim of solving the existing problems and actualizing the existing huge socioeconomic potential in the Balkans, socioeconomic cooperation among the Balkan countries should be developed and socioeconomic devel­opment process of the region should be continued successfully. In other words, socioeconomic cooperation and development are major prerequisites for over­coming existing problems and for building sustainable peace, democracy and stability in the Balkans.

Consequently; in order to develop cooperation among the Balkan coun­tries and to contribute socioeconomic development process of the region, ''2nd International Balkans Congress'' under the subtitle of ''Socioeconomic Cooperation and Development in the Balkans' was

organized by Tekirdağ Governorship, East-West Thrace Municipal Union and Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) in Namık Kemal University Değirmenaltı Campus in Tekirdağ-Turkey on 28-30 April 2009.

2nd International Balkans Congress that was continued three days began with opening speeches. Total seven sessions were held on the first and second days of the Congress. On the third day of the congress, a sightseeing tour was organized to historical and touristic places of Tekirdağ.

On the first day of the Congress, there were three sessions, namely "Transformation from Socialism to Free Market Economy", "Socioeconomic Integration into European Union", and "Socioeconomic Problems and Solution Recommendations". On the second day of the Congress, the sessions of "Socioeconomic Relations among Turkey and the Balkan Countries", "Investment Opportunities in the Balkan Countries", "Socioeconomic Cooperation Areas in the Balkans", and "Free Discussion and Assessment" were held.

In the sessions of the first day of the Congress, the topics of transforma­tion process of the Balkan countries from planned and state-centered economy to free market economy based on privet property and competition; construc­tion of capitalism in the Balkan countries; the results and effects of this trans­formation process; integration of the Balkan economies into both the EU econ­omy and international capitalist economy; current socioeconomic problems in the Balkan countries; basic reasons of these problems and solution recom­mendations towards the problem were discussed and analyzed.

The sessions of the second day of the Congress focused on investment / trading opportunities and socioeconomic relations among the Balkan coun­tries. Within this context, the subjects of Turkey's socioeconomic relations with the Balkan countries, mutual investment and trading opportunities among the Balkan countries and socioeconomic cooperation areas in the region were studied and discussed respectively in the 4th, 5th and 6th sessions. In the last session of the Congress, Turkey's diplomatic representatives in the Balkan countries and the diplomatic representatives of the Balkan states in Turkey dis­cussed and assessed the subjects of the Congress.

Presentations were presented in Turkish and English during the Congress. Papers presented in English in the Congress were published together with their Turkish transitions and papers presented in Turkish were published only in Turkish in the book. Also, Final Declaration of the Congress was presented at the end of the book both in English and Turkish for reading public.

This book composed of opening speeches, papers presented in International Balkan Congress and final declaration of the congress was pub­lished by TASAM Publication with aim of making the information, data and evaluations of the congress permanent and sharing them with public opinion.

 

Assist. Prof. Dr. Caner SANCAKTAR

Coordinator of Balkan Studies of TASAM Member of Kocaeli University

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Areas

Continents ( 5 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 406 ) Actiivities ( 172 )
Areas
Africa 65 135
Asia 75 208
Europe 13 28
Latin America & Carribean 12 30
North America 7 5
Regions ( 4 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 167 ) Actiivities ( 44 )
Areas
Balkans 22 92
Middle East 18 56
Black Sea and Caucasus 2 15
Mediterranean 2 4
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 172 ) Actiivities ( 66 )
Areas
Islamic World 51 143
Turkish World 15 29
Turkey ( 1 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 197 ) Actiivities ( 48 )
Areas
Turkey 48 197

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