MINELRES: King Baudouin Foundation: Update about our activities in the Balkans

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Mar 16 19:52:41 2009

Original sender: King Baudouin Foundation <kbs-frb@kbs-frb.be>

Background information about our activities in the area of the Balkans
is given below. You can also consult this information on www.kbs-frb.be 

European Fund for the Balkans (EFB)
Student Mobility
Trafficking Victims Re/integration Programme (TVRP)
EPC public events & publications

European Fund for the Balkans (EFB)   
Gallup Balkan Monitor Road show 

Capitalising on the interest generated by the launch of the Gallup
Balkan Monitor in November 2008, the EFB decided to initiate a road show
to present and discuss country-specific results. Events have been held
to date in Belgrade, Zagreb, Skopje and Tirana. Future events will be in
Sarajevo (13 March), Podgorica (23 March) and Pristina (24 March). 
For further information see: www.balkanfund.org or www.balkan-monitor.eu 
Fellowship programme for young officials from the Western Balkans 
In October 2008, the EFB launched a fellowship programme for young
government officials in the Western Balkans with the aim of making a
pragmatic contribution to developing effective state administrations in
the region. 20 young civil servants received a 3-month scholarship
programme, designed to provide them with, among other things, work
experience in an EU member state, visits to the EU institutions in
Brussels and a seminar on leadership and management skills. Creation of
an alumni network is also integral to the programme, which will continue
in 2009/2010. For further information:
Further information on the European Fund for the Balkans can be found
via the website: www.balkanfund.org or by e-mail at: info@balkanfund.org 
Student Mobility

Students in the Western Balkans can play a key role in furthering EU
integration and in 2006 the King Baudouin Foundation initiated and began
funding the Smart Visa/Student Mobility Programme, which focuses on
conducting research to provide well-balanced arguments for increased
student mobility from the region. Two research reports have recently
been published. Please find a synthesis of the research undertaken and
co-funded by the King Baudouin Foundation under its Smart Visa programme
High interest, but few study abroad 
‘Student mobility in Western Balkan countries’ presents the results of a
survey among 2137 students in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Montenegro and Serbia about their experience of foreign travel and
study. Whilst levels of interest to study abroad is at a rather high
level (varied between 30 and 70%), fewer than 2% had actually studied
abroad. Very low levels of awareness about study possibilities and
support seem to play an important role in the low take-up of student
mobility. Full report:

Little or no misuse of visas or residence permits 
A parallel study, ‘Students from the Western Balkans: the experience of
EU countries regarding admission and misuse of procedures’, collected
statistical data, as well as qualitative information through interviews
with experts in government departments and academia, about students from
the Western Balkans studying in the EU and Switzerland. This research
showed that there is currently little or no misuse of visa or residence
permits by students from the WB. It also highlighted a move in some EU
states to shift responsibility for monitoring foreign students from the
state to the educational institutions themselves. Full report:

Trafficking Victims Re/integration Programme (TVRP) 

New publications 
Two new publications are available regarding assistance to the victims
of human trafficking in Southeast Europe: 

‘Re/integration of trafficked persons: how can our work be more
effective’  is the first of a series of papers about good practices in
this area and stresses the importance of long-term support to ensure
that victims can become independent despite on-going unresolved
obstacles to sustainable recovery. More info:

‘Re/integration of trafficked persons: handling ‘difficult’ cases’ , the
second paper in the series, examines  the difficulties of providing
services and assistance to victims with special needs, such as those
with mental health problems, disabilities, substance abuse or addiction
problems, etc. More info:

EPC public events & publications

Justice, reconciliation and EU integration in the Western Balkans: the
legacy of the ICTY (25.11.2008) 
Speakers reiterated the importance of cooperation between the Western
Balkans countries and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia (ICTY) to bring war criminals to justice and promote
reconciliation as EU membership partially depends on this. The ICTY is
due to be wound up by 2010 and whilst serious war criminals will be
tried in the Hague, the ICTY is transferring archives to the region and
working to strengthen local courts so that they can try some of the
remaining cases. More info:
Will Serbia catch the EU train? (26.01.2009) 
Whilst Serbia still faces enormous challenges from the past, including
extradition of war criminals, there are signs of change with the current
pro-EU government. Most Serbs support membership too, but support is
falling, reflecting frustration at the slow pace of integration, for
which they blame both the EU and the Serbian government. More info:

The Regional Cooperation Council: Southeast Europe one year on and the
challenges ahead (10.02.2009) 
In his assessment of the current situation in Southeast Europe, Hildo
Biscevic, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, said
that whilst Kosovo had made 2008 a difficult year, 2009 would be even
more challenging. The international community is now dealing with the
economic crisis and EU issues such as ratification of the Lisbon Treaty,
the forthcoming EU elections and a new European Commission, so local
leaders must take more responsibility and build on achievements or else
enter a “prolonged period of stagnation”. He urged international lending
organizations and the EU to continue their strategic assistance. More
info: http://www.kbs-frb.be/otheractivity.aspx?id=216504&LangType=1033
The new Serbia: fast forward towards the EU? (Policy Brief January 2009) 
Srdjan Cvijic, an Expert on the Western Balkans, gave an overview of the
current state of play in Serbia and looked at the country’s prospects.
Current problems include the extradition of Ratko Mladic and Goran
Hadzic to the ICTY, the issue of Kosovo, business monopolies which
contribute to high food prices, and highly centralized political
parties. Mr Cvijic recommended speeding up the granting of EU ‘candidate
status’, making the process more transparent and keeping the issues of
EU integration and Kosovo separate. More info:


Symposium: ‘The schooling of Roma children in Belgium. The parents’
A half-day symposium will be held in Brussels on 19 March, to present
and debate the findings of a recent research project commissioned by the
King Baudouin Foundation on Roma parents’ attitudes to their children’s
schooling. Attendance is free and simultaneous translation
(French/Dutch/English) is provided. 

For general information please call our Contact Centre <proj@kbs-frb.be>
(070-233 065) or, for specific details: Nathalie Troupee
<troupee.n@kbs-frb.be> on 02-549 02 09. More info and on-line

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