Call for papers: “EU Enlargement – Challenges, Benefits, Opportunities”

The Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) from Skopje, in partnership with the Centre for European Studies and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung office in Skopje will publish series of timely, well-targeted policy briefs addressing key challenges and opportunities of the future of fyr Macedonia’s EU accession. For that purpose we are announcing the following:

 

CALL FOR PAPERS

On the following topics:

(deadline extended by 11 of April)

1. Trade, investment and single market in goods and services

•    The impact of trade on both EU27 and accession countries – e.g. impact on employment levels (“local jobs”) and GDP for EU exporters/importers andMacedonia

•    Short-term vs medium-term impact on GDP and other indicators in EU and accession countries, e.g. “tax burden”

•    Harmonization of product standards and product safety

•    Terms of trade – non-tariff vs tariff barriers, equal access to markets vs protectionism (“fear of cheaper imports”), including common agricultural policy

•    Overall impact of widening EU market (‘soft power’ of EU standards in food safety, product labeling, etc.)

 

2. Mobility: tourism, travel, migration

•    Impact on tourism revenue for both EU27 countries andMacedonia

•    Student exchanges – raising educational standards and mutual understanding (economic impact, raising professional standards in public and private sectors)

•    Visa-free relations, impact of the new EU visa policy onMacedonia, ease of cross-border travel (“fear of organized crime”)

•    Prospects for internal affairs reform inMacedoniain those sectors which have international links, e.g. border management, combating corruption and organized crime.

•    Trends in asylum-seeking/refugees after waves of EU enlargement and impact on public opinion of labor migration and asylum-seekers

•    Minority rights in EU andMacedonia, and trends in anti-immigrant public opinion/political parties in EU

•    Impact of remittances on economic development ofMacedonia”taking money out of EU economies vs taking responsibility for economic development at home”)

 

3. Gender awareness

•    Analysis of women’s rights, in particular access to education and health care and scope for EU advice in increasing girls’ equal participation

•    Potential, e.g. through training, for greater women’s participation in professional life – both national and local government, private sector, senior management in Macedonia

•    Awareness about understanding of different countries’ efforts/lack of efforts to improve equality of access and participation, and scope for, and limits of, EU ‘soft power’ influence

 

4. Good governance and democratic reform

•    The EU role in promotion of good governance inMacedoniaand measures of progress on “good governance”, in particular public administration reform, judicial reform, capacity of law enforcement etc.

•    Implications for EU support and ‘soft power’ in democratization reforms in candidate/post-candidate countries

 

5. EU financial instruments towards candidate countries – past, present, future

•    Study of impact of different EU mechanisms and agreements – ENPI, IPA, EIDHR, SAAs, EPA

•    Lessons for review/refinement in terms of civil society support (“what is there to show for EU funding through taxpayers’ money?”)

•    Lessons for review/refinement in terms of professionalizing public administration and strengthening good governance

•    Scope for country-driven reform agendas and tailor-made support programs.

 

All policy briefs will be subjected to internal and external peer review as part of the CRPM commitment to quality standards in policy work.

Application process
Applicants should submit a completed application form to eupolicybriefs@gmail.com by April 11, 2012. The successful applicants will be notified in mid April, 2012. The application consists of 250-300 word abstract, and a short narrative biography [max 300 words].

Call for papers: “EU Enlargement – Challenges, Benefits, Opportunities for Macedonia”

About: The Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) from Skopje, in partnership with the Centre for European Studies and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung office in Skopje will publish series of timely, well-targeted policy briefs addressing key challenges and opportunities of the future of Macedonia’s EU accession. For that purpose we are announcing the following

                                                                  CALL FOR PAPERS 


On the following topics:

1. Trade, investment and single market in goods and services

•    The impact of trade on both EU27 and accession countries – e.g. impact on employment levels (“local jobs”) and GDP for EU exporters/importers and Macedonia

•    Short-term vs medium-term impact on GDP and other indicators in EU and accession countries, e.g. “tax burden”

•    Harmonization of product standards and product safety

•    Terms of trade – non-tariff vs tariff barriers, equal access to markets vs protectionism (“fear of cheaper imports”), including common agricultural policy

•    Overall impact of widening EU market (‘soft power’ of EU standards in food safety, product labeling, etc.)

2. Mobility: tourism, travel, migration

•    Impact on tourism revenue for both EU27 countries and Macedonia

•    Student exchanges – raising educational standards and mutual understanding (economic impact, raising professional standards in public and private sectors)

•    Visa-free relations, impact of the new EU visa policy on Macedonia, ease of cross-border travel (“fear of organized crime”)

•    Prospects for internal affairs reform in Macedonia in those sectors which have international links, e.g. border management, combating corruption and organized crime.

•    Trends in asylum-seeking/refugees after waves of EU enlargement and impact on public opinion of labor migration and asylum-seekers

•    Minority rights in EU and Macedonia, and trends in anti-immigrant public opinion/political parties in EU

•    Impact of remittances on economic development of Macedonia “taking money out of EU economies vs taking responsibility for economic development at home”)

3. Gender awareness

•    Analysis of women’s rights, in particular access to education and health care and scope for EU advice in increasing girls’ equal participation

•    Potential, e.g. through training, for greater women’s participation in professional life – both national and local government, private sector, senior management in Macedonia

•    Awareness about understanding of different countries’ efforts/lack of efforts to improve equality of access and participation, and scope for, and limits of, EU ‘soft power’ influence

4. Good governance and democratic reform

•    The EU role in promotion of good governance in Macedonia and measures of progress on “good governance”, in particular public administration reform, judicial reform, capacity of law enforcement etc.

•    Implications for EU support and ‘soft power’ in democratization reforms in candidate/post-candidate countries

 

5. EU financial instruments towards candidate countries – past, present, future

•    Study of impact of different EU mechanisms and agreements – ENPI, IPA, EIDHR, SAAs, EPA

•    Lessons for review/refinement in terms of civil society support (“what is there to show for EU funding through taxpayers’ money?”)

•    Lessons for review/refinement in terms of professionalizing public administration and strengthening good governance

•    Scope for country-driven reform agendas and tailor-made support programs.

All policy briefs will be subjected to internal and external peer review as part of the CRPM commitment to quality standards in policy work.

Application process :Applicants should submit a completed application form to  eupolicybriefs@gmail.com by April 1, 2012. The successful applicants will be notified in mid April, 2012.  The application consists of 250-300 word abstract, and a short narrative biography [max 300 words], and a request for travel/accommodation support.

Essays of the participants of the School of Public Policy |Mother Theresa| – tittle of the session: Freedom of expression- Contemporary issues and debates with relevance for Macedonia

The participants of the School of Public Policy |Mother Theresa| Freedom of expression- Contemporary issues and debates with relevance for Macedonia had the task to write short essays which specifically targeted the problem about freedom of expression in the country.  Following are the best 5 selected essays.
(For full reading please click the  title of the essay)

1. Балансирањето помеѓу слободата на изразување и јавниот интерес – предизвик за македонскиот правен системДарко Павловски
2. Free speech in the legal profession – reality or declaration? Case study of the Decision of Constitutional Court of Republic of Macedonia in the Tanevski case- Katerina Todorovska
3. Deliberate self-censorship vs. freedom of expression in Macedonia- Natasha Donevska
4. Доброволно откажување од слободното изразување на мислата како начин на заштита од тужба за навреда и клевета (Студија на случај Ирена Цветковиќ) - Дијана Стојановиќ Ѓорѓевиќ
5. Контрола на мислата во демократските општества- Томе Гушев

Difficult Issues Concerning the Implementation of the Ohrid Agreement in the Public Sector: Equitable and Just Representation of Citizens

by Zidas Daskalovski, PhD
Center for Research and Policy Making, Skopje

The following text is an excerpt from Daskalovski, Zidas. “Achieving Equal Representation of Ethnic Minorities in Public Administration in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Innovations in Governance in the Middle East, North Africa, and Western Balkans (New York: United Nations, 2007). It aims to contribute to the ongoing debate in the Macedonian public regarding the proportional representations in the public university [Links: 1, 2, 3]

With the reforms of the public administration under the principle of equitable representation Macedonian authorities implement the concept of affirmative action generally referred to in international law as “special measures.” In the concluding section we shall theoretically discuss this concept and point to related difficult areas that can affect the Macedonian democratic consolidation. In particular, we shall outline the potential limitations and dangers of the implementing of the provisions of the Ohrid Framework Agreement aimed at equitable representation of the members of the non-majority communities for the Macedonian policy makers. Doing so, we shall recapture the basic ideas concerning the need for just inter-ethnic relations and a special care of the interests and the status of the minority population in a liberal-democratic society.
Read More »

General attitudes of the Macedonian public: a survey

In the period 23 October to 28 October 2010, the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) conducted a national telephone survey as part of the research project “Mapping the leaders in Macedonia and Albania: elite potential for promoting positive social change”, supported by the Regional Research Promotion Programme for the Western Balkans.

The survey was carried on a stratified representative sample of 1094 respondents nationwide and included 24 questions relevant to the research. The results will be used primarily to compare the popular opinion to the attitudes of the elite regarding important social issues.

The questions were set in the form of affirmative or negative claim. The respondents were asked to express the level of accordance with the proposed claims, with possible answers on a five point rating scale: strongly disagree, disagree, neutral / no opinion, agree, strongly agree.

The questions were grouped in six themes: a) interethnic relations / nationalism /multiculturalism; b) individual freedoms and liberties; c) gender issues; d) social welfare; e) perception of the elites in the past and in the present; and f) perception of the communist past.

The full report can be found below. You can download it in PDF from the Scribd page.

Report on the phone survey on the general attitudes of the Macedonian public

Contribution Paper #1, by Kevin Bassney

We are delighted to inform you that we are publishing first paper in the series of Contribution Papers. It is a paper about Lijphart’s theory and Macedonia, written by Kevin Bassney, a student from the US. If you have any comments, you can use the comments form below or write Kevin.

If you have written a paper pr an idea about one and you are willing to publish it on policy.mk or get suggestions and comments, send it to papers.mk@gmail.com. However, we do not guarantee that every submission will be published. For more information and instructions, please visit this announcement.

Kevin Bassney: Macedonia – An Example of Democracy in a Divided Society

The gas debate

It seems that energetics is back among the most popular news topics. This time it is the shale gas.

The advent of abundant, low-cost gas will throw all that out the window—so long as the recent drilling catastrophe doesn’t curtail offshore oil and gas activity and push up the price of oil and eventually other forms of energy. Not only will the shale discoveries prevent a cartel from forming, but the petro-states will lose lots of the muscle they now have in world affairs, as customers over time cut them loose and turn to cheap fuel produced closer to home. […]

With natural gas cheap and abundant, the prospects for renewable energy will change just as drastically. I have been a big believer that renewable energy was about to see its time. Prior to the shale-gas revolution, I thought rising hydrocarbon prices would propel renewables and nuclear power into the marketplace easily—albeit with a little shove from a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system. […]

But that doesn’t mean we should stop investing in renewables. As large as our shale-gas resources are, they’re still exhaustible, and eventually we will still need to transition to energy that is cleaner and more plentiful. […]

In the end, what’s important to understand is that shale gas may be the key to solving some of our most pressing short-term crises, a way to bridge the gap to a more-secure energy and economic future. [Amy Myers Jaffe: Shale Gas Will Rock the World – Wall Street Journal]

While we leave it to the experts to debate the prospects of shale gas and other types of natural, we would like to recommend several research papers on the broader topic of energetics with regard to Macedonia. Analytica, a think tank from Skopje, has produced the following publications:

Diversify, Supply and Secure: Towards energy stability in Macedonia? (2009). “What are the priorities of Macedonia for the development of the energy sector in the next 10 years? Does the new energy strategy secure the Macedonian energy stability in the regional environment? Is there an energy policy that encompasses the energy supply and the energy security, as feature of a foreign policy? these are few questions that should be priorities in the new Energy Strategy.”

Investments in energy – the Macedonian case (2009). In the report, Analytica “analyzes the current state of investment in energy capacities in Macedonia and the reality of the investment climate, at the same time offering effective policy measures for prioritization, attraction and management of new investments in energy, which will secure the future of Macedonia’s energy supply”.

Renewable energy in Macedonia- Focus on ‘green’ electricity production (2008). This paper offers “a set of recommendations for promotion of the RES [renewable energy sources] in the energy market in Macedonia. Outlining the discrepancy of the energy potential of the RES in Macedonia and the level of their exploitation in the country, the accent of the policy analysis is put on the electricity market and the prospects for generation of “green electricity” from renewable energy sources in Macedonia.”

Natural gas – an energy necessity for Macedonia: Overview of the Macedonian energy potential (2008). “Starting from the standpoint that for sustaining the energy balance Macedonia and the region need a stabile energy source, this report analyzes the natural gas market in Macedonia, its infrastructure and legal framework, and gives recommendations for future development.”

Need for renewable energy sources in Macedonia (2008). “Is there an opportunity for more serious use of the RES in the energy sector in Macedonia? Can Macedonia become environmental friendly country, in the same time providing efficient and sustainable energy market?

Visa free travel for the Western Balkans

Last week, the European Commission recommended lifting visa requirements for citizens of Albania and Bosnia.

Both Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina fell behind fellow Balkan states such as Serbia and Macedonia, who were included on the visa-free list already last December.Meanwhile, the two have made enough progress – for instance by introducing biometric passports and adopting re-admission agreements, according to an evaluation carried out by commission experts and seen by WAZ.EUobserver last month. But the expert assessment also pointed to deficiencies in applying the rule of law, security matters and the fight against organised crime and corruption.

Apart from the technical assessment, the decision to lift visa requirements to EU countries is also a political one, especially in the view of the October elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where ethnically-charged tensions are mounting. […]

The commission’s green light on visa-free travel is not officially linked to the political process in the country, as it is based on a technical assessment.

But commission officials hope that once the political “hot potato” is passed on to the European Parliament and member states, they will be able to put more pressure on the leadership in Bosnia, as well as the opposition in Albania, still contesting the results of last year’s elections, before finally approving the visa-free regime. [Valentina Pop: Commission to greenlight visa-free travel for Albania and Bosnia]

Visa liberalization has been an important issue for all the countries in the Western Balkans. Their respective governments have been obliged to carry intense reforms regarding the border control, format of travelling documents for their citizens, the regulation of migration etc. In the period when Macedonia was still adjusting its policies in order to fulfill the criteria for visa liberalization, the CRPM has carried a research on the progress and the perspective of the reforms in the country. The research resulted with the following analysis, which offers valuable insights that are important not only for the Macedonian experience, but to the process regarding all of the Western Balkans.

Macedonian progress with regard to the benchmarks set in the roadmap on visa liberalization

ASN World Convention 2010

The 15th Annual World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities took place at Columbia University in the City of New York, from 15-17 April. This year’s convention title was “Nations and States: On the Map and in the Mind”. It brought together some of the most sound names in the field of nationalism studies. The full programme of the conference can be found on this link.

The convention was abundant in terms of its contents, as it featured more than 120 panels, several movie projections, and several special panels including the ones on the Kyrgyzstan events and on the death of the Polish president. There has been total of 585 panelists and discussants taking place at the Convention; 49% of them had crossed the Atlantic Ocean (and most of them remained stranded for a few days due to the fiasco with the volcanic ash cloud). 42% of the presenters were women, and 45 countries were represented in total.

The Center for Research and Policy Making was represented at the Convention by research analyst Anastas Vangeli, who participated in the panel BK10: New Politics – Old Mental Maps in the Southern Balkans. The paper can be found below. The author kindly welcomes any comments or suggestions.

Vangeli A. Quest for the Glorious Past Reconsidered. Alexander the Great between Greece, Macedonia and the …

Quality Tertiary Education- How To Achieve It?

For several years now, reforms have been transforming Macedonian higher education. During this process, certain difficulties have adversely reflected in the quality of the reforms. As the joint European higher education area is being created, higher education institutions are expected to become stronger, in order to become more competitive at the global higher education market. However, there is severe criticism concerning the inappropriately conducted transformation of the Macedonian higher education system and the curricula. The deficiencies in the teaching methods and the curricula are
believed to endanger the preparedness of the students for a fast transition to the labour market. At the same time, the rapid increase in the number of newly establishment institutions of higher education and the easier access to higher education adversely influence its quality. Despite these warnings, there is lack of extensive analyses of the higher education system, which would encompass all stakeholders and verify the validity of this critique.
Bearing this in mind, The Center for Research and Policy Making conducted research on two topics estimated as most important at the moment: 1) the links between higher education and the labor market and 2) the similarities and differences between public and private universities from an aspect of several quality indicators. The two analyses do not exhaust these topics, especially because of the fact that not all higher education institutions in the country were included in the research. This research aims to provide a source of data and recommendations expected to generate discussions
and proposals for further research and activities geared at improving the quality of the higher education.
The analyses encompassed in this publication would not have been realizedwithout the fi nancial assistance and the provided research freedom by The German Marshal Fund of the United States (Balkan Trust for Democracy) as well as the cooperation of all institutions and individuals which served as sources of data for the research. Their openness for cooperation gives us hope that there is great interest for improving the quality of higher education and hope that the offered recommendations will be seriously reviewed and taken into consideration when planning the future development of the higher education institutions.

The publication is available in Macedonian and English