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          • Years: 2012, 2013
          • Albania and Serbia: Does Perception Equal Reality?

          • The overall objective of this project is to contribute to the development and sustainability of relations between Albania and Serbia. This initiative aims to overpass often wrong perceptions that impede normal political, economic and societal relations between the two countries.

        • Context

          Although Albania and Serbia are two important actors in the Balkans their cooperation has been superficial. Excluding the honeymoon between Enver Hoxha and Josip Broz Tito - which lasted through the end of World War II - both societies and their markets have operated in isolation from each other. In the beginning of the 1990s, Albania was faced with the possibility of military confrontation with Serbia over Kosovo. Now, more than ten years after the end of the Kosovo War and four years after Kosovo’s declaration of independence, Albania and Serbia are still far from the normal constructive relations that should exist between two states and this is greatly influenced by the negative historical legacy.

          Who Are We?

          Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) and a leading partner Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS), two independent think tanks from Belgrade and Tirana, specialised in research on security policy and international relations.

          Anticipated Outcomes and Results

          • Raising awareness among scholars, civil society and media representatives for the need of a constructive debate over Albanian-Serbian perceived relations through the presentation of the findings of the research, both in Tirana and Belgrade.
          • Raising a debate on reciprocal relations between Albania and Serbia by publishing the study and organizing public debate among policymakers, civil society and media.
          • Influencing the perceptions of the other side present in both Serbia and Albania.
          • Raising awareness of the importance and regional implications of strong Albanian-Serbian relations.

          Main Activities

          The activities on this project are divided into four phases:

          1. Preliminary investigations:Preliminary research on the existing situation of Albanian-Serbian relations will be held in order to provide a greater picture of the situation at least during the last two decades, i.e. from the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia until nowadays. It will be based in studying existing literature from scientific magazines to books and articles that assess the issue of Albania-Serbia relations. This phase will help us to better understand the dynamics of political, economic and societal relations.
          2. Media coverage:Intensive research and monitoring will be conducted in order to understand the current perceptions of both the countries for one another. This includes perceptions coming from the media and the way it covers events regarding the other country, in regards to political realm, economics and trade relations, and societal relationship and impressions.
          3. Interviews and analysis:This phase will include interviews with members of academia, professors and journalists that cover regional issues and experts of each component of our project, both in Albania and in Serbia.
          4. Public events:The final phase of the project will include two public presentations of the research “Albania and Serbia: Do perceptions equal reality?”.  One will be held in Tirana and the other in Belgrade in order to get further feedback from everyone interested and raise further debate on Albanian-Serbian relations.
          This project is supported by East East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program of the Open Society Foundations.
        • Tags: Serbia, Albania, cooperation, relations, research, projects
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