Dear Reader, welcome to the first issue of Contemporary Southeastern Europe! This peer-reviewed journal is published as an open-access academic journal, by the Centre for Southeast European Studies. We are firmly committed to the highest standards of academic publishing, including rigorous, double-blind, peer review and making research available, free of charge, to an interested audience. As subscription costs rise and many libraries have to save resources, we are committed to making high quality research available for researchers without cost.
The extensive pauperisation of the population in Serbia in the early 1990s, caused by the economic crisis and the UN sanctions, had a tremendous impact on the people’s everyday diet. Many basic, locally produced foods became unavailable as food retailers severely limited their stock to save it from depreciation caused by hyperinflation. Following the introduction of the UN embargo, official trade came to a halt and imported foods disappeared from shops. Limited stock of basic foods, such as flour, sugar, cooking oil, white bread and milk, was supplied through state-owned food retailers, but these were rationed and difficult to obtain.
In April 2014, Macedonia had both presidential and parliamentary elections. While the presidential elections were, indeed, scheduled for this time, the parliamentary elections were called early. The incumbent president, Gjorge Ivanov who is affiliated with the Internal Macedonian revolutionary organization – Democratic party for Macedonian national unity” (VMRO-DPMNE), became candidate on 1. March 2014; proclaiming that his campaign will be based on three principles: honesty, sincerity and values.
What does it take to win the Nobel Prize for Peace? Alfred Nobel was quite precise: You have to be "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations“. To the surprise of many it was not only the representatives of the Albanian and Serbian lobbying groups in the US, but also the European Social Democrats which came to the conclusion that EU diplomacy chief Catherine Ashton, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaçi had met Alfred Nobel’s description. Their achievment: The Agreement they signed on April 19th in Brussels. The American lobbyists call it a „key and historic watershed“, the Social democrats more cautious „a window of opportunity“ to substantially advance peace.