"Conference On National, Regional and International Trends of Re-Adaptation in the Balkans"
1996, Istanbul, Turkey
Academics studying in International Relations field define ‘Regionalism’ as the systems of action continuously within mutual interaction with each other although they are not close to each other geographically and although they may not have a neighborhood relationship. So, ‘Regional Cooperation’ is an intermediate expression considering mutual interaction directed to the cooperation among countries in a certain region. The reason that it is an intermediate expression is that it is on the one hand between the cooperation in the international or global level and on the other between bilateral relationships between countries.
Today, international interaction on the one hand directs nations to the strengthening global cooperation and on the other hand causes the formation of different regional areas in their own regional subcultures. Whether it is international, global or regional, these kinds of organizations increase understanding between cultures in addition to maintaining economic growth and the most important of all, blocks aggressiveness and brings peace, reconciliation and security to the fore. Among successful examples of regional cooperation are the European Community, Far East and Asian Countries Community(ASEAN) and the North America Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA).
The expression ‘Regional organization’ has been and is being caused to make popular by organizations like The United Nations. It is obvious that regional organization not only includes peace and security issues, but also economic and social issues as well. To have such an organization in the Balkans could be a basis for regional mutual support and could form a structure that will speed up regional diffusionism. It is known that the European Community has a tendency to gradually have a regional diffusionism. Again, the Black Sea Region Economic Cooperation includes some part of this region and does not exclude Europe. When it is considered that this region is the Balkans, the answers are in general political and strategic to questions like What is the border of this region? and How were these borders determined? Karadağ nationals, Albanians, Serbs, Ulahs, Bulgarians, Romanians and Greeks in this region consisting of former Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, and according to some including Romania have set up communities and unions to defend themselves or to get their freedom. Before the First World War, effort were made to set up a union including Turkey in order to defend the region, but these efforts were fruitless. Since after the war the countries in this region which were geographically close to each other have been divided into two different camps, the relationships between them were not increasing. Although today this obstruction is removed politically, it is observed that the obstructions in the separation in peoples and administrators’ conscious has not been removed and it still exists.
The primary objective of the conference is to help remove this psychological barrier and to establish an institutional cooperation network which will facilitate this cooperation and remove these separations. Below are briefly the suggested subjects for the conference:
- Political, economic and cultural legacy that the Balkan countries have taken over and their effects to relationships.
- ‘The other’ image problem and the removal of negative prejudices.
- Democratization processes in Balkan countries.
- Relations between State and civil social groups; Efforts to strengthen the Law State.
- Conflicts and potential conflicts in the region; and solution methods.
- Economic development efforts and problems in Balkan countries
- Regional Re-Adaptation efforts and the possibilities
- Possibilities to establish strategic security umbrella in the region