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.
Good neighbourliness is one of the most important principles relating to harmonious interstate relations. It primarily developed in international law around the idea of territorial sovereignty of states. The principle was further translated into an important accession condition in EU enlarge-ment policy. A violation of the good neighbourliness principle can lead to serious confrontations or military conflicts between states. Yet, the respect of the principle requires precise definition of its legal substance. As a paradox, the good neighbourliness principle has not been codified in international law. The lack of sufficient clarification of the essence of the principle potentially undermines the success of the Union’s engagement with it, threatening to lead to inconsistent interpretation and even to wrongful implementation of the good neighbourliness principle.
The parliamentary elections in Albania took place on June, 23, 2013. They marked the end of a turbulent mandate, 2009-2013, by an odd ruling coalition between the biggest right wing political force, the Democratic Party (DP) led by Sali Berisha, and the second largest left wing party the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI) led by Ilir Meta. The coalition was odd because the two leaders before 2009 had been bitter political enemies who for years had accused each-other of corruption, authoritarianism, and connections with organized crime. In fact the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI), a 2003 splinter group from the Socialist, had run on an anti-Berisha campaign during the 2009 elections.
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.