International Conference CALL FOR PAPERS THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE WESTERN BALKANS BETWEEN LESSONS LEARNED AND INNOVATIVE WAYS FORWARD

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1 International Conference CALL FOR PAPERS THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE WESTERN BALKANS BETWEEN LESSONS LEARNED AND INNOVATIVE WAYS FORWARD Bucharest, Romania On July 15 th 2014 Jean-Claude Juncker was elected President of the European Commission with the mission to create A new start for Europe. In his speech in the European Parliament that day Juncker noted that In the next five years, no new members will be joining us in the European Union [..] However, the negotiations will be continued and other European nations and European countries need a credible and honest European perspective. This applies especially to the Western Balkans. While it initially sparked fears that the European Union might start to neglect this region, there are signs of an ongoing commitment to the integration of the Western Balkans, albeit at a much slower pace. The continuation of the EU-mediated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo and the green light given by the Council for the entry into force of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina are two recent examples in this regard. But political turmoil, stagnation and lack of progress in fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria in the Western Balkan countries, as well as specific difficulties in some cases, require alternative solutions to the established path of EU integration. On the other hand, the crisis in Ukraine brought the temptation among analysts to invoke comparisons with the Western Balkans for the management of international crises and cease-fire negotiations. A look at past successes, failures and unintended consequences in the Western Balkans could be useful for designing better responses to secessionist claims and armed conflict in Europe, but careful attention has to be devoted to the study of each case s particularities. In addition to this, the political discourses of some of the current European leaders point to a sense of urgency in addressing Russia s increasing meddling in

2 the Western Balkans, thus raising questions about the European Union s monopoly on the future development directions of the countries there. This inter-disciplinary one-day conference seeks to explore the main achievements, failures and limitations of two decades of EU foreign, security and pre-accession policy in the Western Balkans ( ). At the same time, the conference aims to highlight to what extent the European Union has succeeded or failed in each country of the region, and why there are differences among the region, thus encouraging a comparative perspective. Last but not least, by taking the Dayton Peace Accords of November 1995 as a starting point, participating scholars will also debate on the design and outcomes of the international efforts to bring and consolidate peace in the Western Balkans. The working language of the conference is English. Major issues to be addressed include, but are not limited to, the following: - The EU enlargement in the Western Balkan between a freeze of the process and a continuation by other means. - Rule of law assistance in the Western Balkans the rise of the new approach to enlargement. - Comparative studies on the impact of conditionality on domestic political outcomes. - Current political and security issues in the Western Balkans. - The merits and limits of international peace-making, peace enforcement and peacebuilding in the Western Balkans. Lessons learned for the United Nations, NATO and the EU. We welcome original papers (max words) from PhD candidates, post-doctoral researchers or other young researchers from the field of Political Science, its sub-fields and connected fields such as Comparative Politics, International Relations, and European Studies. Guidelines for Paper Submissions: Please send us your abstract (max. 300 words) including the title of the paper and 5 keywords. The document should also contain the author s name and address, the title of the paper, field of research, institutional affiliation and a separate short biography (max. 100 words).

3 Abstracts should be sent by April 20th 2015 to Dr. Monica Oproiu at Selected candidates will be announced by April 30th Final papers of selected candidates should be submitted by May 30th and use the template provided by the organisers. Following a double blind peer-review process, a selection of the best quality papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in a special supplement of Europolity, an internationally indexed academic journal. As the flagship publication of the Centre for European Studies at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest, Europolity encourages emerging researchers to share their professional and academic knowledge in the fields of international relations, European studies, political science and security studies. Only original works which are not currently under consideration elsewhere will be published. For details regarding the journal and its international indexing please visit The conference is organised as part of an internal grant scheme provided by the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest to a team of postdoctoral researchers studying EU foreign policy, enlargement and rule of law promotion in the Western Balkan countries. As such, registration and participation to the conference are free of charge. However, participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation booking and expenses. The organizers can offer advice, if needed. About the Organisers: The conference is organised under the aegis of the Department of International Relations and European Integration (DIREI) at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (NUPSPA) in Bucharest, Romania. For details on the academic and research focus of the Department please visit This is the founding branch of the NUPSPA and one of the leading centres for research on European Studies and International Relations in Romania. Professor Iordan Bărbulescu, PhD, is the Dean of the Department of International Relations and European Integration and holder of the NUPSPA Jean Monnet Chair funded by the European Commission. The Jean Monnet Chair is dedicated to providing targeted courses on EU integration to students coming from the fields of History, Law, Sociology, Economics,

4 Engineering, Journalism and Agriculture, based on the belief that in order to become good professionals they also need to be knowledgeable about how the EU functions and what opportunities it offers in terms of freedom of movement and working abroad. At the same time, the department hosts a cluster of young researchers aiming to enhance the Romanian expertise on the Western Balkans, including by bringing together scholars of the field from all over the country and their counterparts in the Western Balkan countries. As more and more EU-funded research schemes require transnational/transregional partnerships, the organisers would like to capitalise on this opportunity in order to create future viable networks. Monica Oproiu obtained her PhD in Political Sciences in 2013 with a dissertation on the EU s security policy and conflict management in the Western Balkans. She worked as a researcher with the Bucharest-based Center for Conflict Prevention and Early Warning, a think tank specialized in the security issues of the wider Black Sea region. She participated in a special short-term programme on Post-Conflict Reconstruction organised by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009) and a 2-part programme on security sector reform and civil-military relations organised in Istanbul (2010 & 2012). She has attended international academic conferences in Europe and North America, as well as a NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Asymmetric Threats in the Western Balkans. Her current postdoctoral project analyses the European Union s involvement in rule of law promotion in Kosovo with a focus on the coherence and effectiveness of the EU s policies. Miruna Troncotă obtained her PhD in Political Science in 2013 with a dissertation on the Europeanisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She previously took part in the National Training Program for Young Diplomats organized by the Romanian Diplomatic Institute and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( ). She undertook 2 month-internships at the Romanian MFA and the Romanian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina respectively and a 3 month-internship at the Delegation of the European Union in Kosovo (April-July 2014). She has attended numerous international conferences in Europe, including in the countries of the Western Balkans, and regularly publishes analyses of the political developments in the Western Balkans for important public debate platforms in Romania and abroad (Dilema Veche, Euractiv, Futurelab Europe blog). Her postdoctoral research project explores the

5 concept of post-conflict Europeanization through a comparative analysis of EU policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Contact: Monica Oproiu

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