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2020
Saturday, October 31st
9:00 AM

Albania in MEAC (Mutual Economic Assistance Council), it’s challenges in the Common Market of the Communist Bloc

Hajdi Xhixha, University for Business and Technology - UBT

Lipjan, Kosovo

9:00 AM - 10:55 AM

The year 1949 had already institutionalized the creation of two political blocs, that of Western Europe and that of Communist Eastern Europe. The destruction of relationships between the US and the USSR led to its political consequences in Europe, and, particularly, in the Balkan region, raising the need for analysis and effects, except effects felt in Albanian politics as part of the regional political context. In the background,the race between the two blocs, the Soviet Union - the USSR considered necessary to balance the political forces, so the next Soviet instrument was the Mutual Economic Assistance Council –MEAC, an economic and political body established in 1949, which would extend absolute Soviet control over the countries of the Socialist Camp. Named also as Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance (MEAC), it represented a new system of international relations, based on bilateral economic, political and military relations, which was worth the USSR to keep under control the entire socialist camp, that headed. Albania joined the MEAC immediately after the institutionalization of its relations with the USSR, thus marking its official entry into the socialist camp. Albanian membership was accompanied by challenges and consequences in its internal and foreign policy of Albania. MEAC aimed to provide mutual assistance between the USSR and the Eastern Bloc member countries, to coordinate foreign trade, exchange information on their economies, exchange views and common experiences in the function of a common market. This paper will focus on the status that the Albanian Communist Party - ACP had in the MEAC; it’s challenges to overcome, in order to gain a privileged position with Stalin and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union –SUCP; how much the loans granted affected economic development of Albania, etc. The main object of this paper is the analysis of the conditions in which was realized the access of Albania in MEAC, the challenges, the economic and political benefits, following a methodology applied in the use of chronological and thematic criteria, in order to perform a description of historical events, but also to analyze them.(an analysis of them. Confronting the historical facts and ignoring the previous ideological-political approaches lead to the necessity study of the situations that have occurred at that time.

Defamilialisation in a “caricature” of the liberal regime: Large social strata worse-off from the expanding privatisation

Artan Mustafa, University for Business and Technology

Lipjan, Kosovo

9:00 AM - 10:55 AM

This article examines the extent and the determinants of defamilialisation of child care in Kosovo. It uses a recent representative survey covering the whole country, other administrative data and existing literature. The article argues that the defamilialisation rate in the country and its mode demonstrate in unique ways that policy matters: namely, it is shown that when a public universal right is in place, like the tax financed pre-school preparatory classes, it may be extensively used despite low existing employment rate of women or a weak policy on leaves from work. It is also shown that targeted eligibility conditions for public child care services might result in relevant defamilialisation for the lower income class, but the defamilialisation through these services is not limited to “market failures” only as it tends to correlate positively with public employment and upper income class as well. However, the overall residual-liberal leaning policy and regime produce growing defamilialisation through private child care services, particularly for children under 5 years old, leaving large social strata worse-off. Similar outcomes are observed in terms of childlessness. As some family policy literature expects, Kosovo’s defamilialisation could be furthermore impacted from factors beyond labour market such as social modernisation.

New EU Methodology and the Accession of North Macedonia and Albania

Blerim Reka

Lipjan, Kosovo

9:00 AM - 10:55 AM

In my paper I will try to explain the new context of EU enlargement and its implication for the Western Balkans Countries within the new EU methodology of 2020. EU integration of the Western Balkans will be different compared with all previous accessions. This new context of enlargement is due to 2 new EU strategic documents: “New Methodology” of Enlargement and “Blueprint action plan for rule of law” of the European Commission. There is a new context of enlargement, where the process is becoming: more gradual, more conditional, more predictable, and reversible. New Methodology launched by EC on 5th February will also increase political weight of member states, which will be together with the Commission from the beginning of the negotiation process, could intervene in any phase and revert it. Politically, member states with get more political weight in the accession negotiation process, and technically instead of previous model of opening and closing 35 chapters, EC and member states will negotiate with candidate state, within 7 clusters which include more chapters. The Republic of North Macedonia and Albania are the first two countries, which are expected to be invited till the end of this year at the first EU inter-governmental conference, which will sign the start of accession negotiation process. But at least one year and half is needed for bilateral screening, than progress report by EC- approved by all member states, in order to start accession negotiation within the first cluster. Likely, during actual German Presidency of EU, two countries with be invited in December 2020 to inter-governmental conference, but less likely that they will start negotiations before beginning of 2022, during the French Presidency of EU. Apart from internal reform (as vertical condition), both countries are facing with external challenges, (as horizontal condition), due to possible veto of Bulgaria against North Macedonia (for the history and language); and of Greece against Albania, (for the sea border).

11:20 AM

A Stage-Structured Model of Progress toward EU Accession in the Western Balkans

Eglantina Kalluçi Xhaja, University of Tirana
Ridvan Peshkopia, University of Tirana

Lipjan, Kosovo

11:20 AM - 12:50 PM

Whereas much of the extant literature on the effects of EU membership conditionality on policy change in and progress toward EU accession represent conceptual research, qualitative analysis and statistical models, we still lack a comprehensive model of Western Balkans countries’ compliance with EU membership conditions. Qualitative data remain susceptible to subjective interpretations and biased conclusions, whereas statistical analysis relies on scarce data and limited external validity. Mathematical models could fill that gap. We build a stage-structured model that captures the dynamics of EU membership compliance over the last 20 years in the Western Balkans, as they go through the seven stages of the EU accession process. Our model builds on Lefkovitch’s population growth model as updated by Fujiwara and Diaz-Lopez, but makes the necessary modifications to properly apply to our case. Our efforts become relevant as all of the six countries of the region, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia aspire to join the Union, yet they remain in different accession process stages. Serbia and Montenegro are EU candidate countries well ahead in the accession negotiation process; Albania and North Macedonia, two other EU candidate countries, have just received the green light to start accession negotiations; and BiH and Kosovo have signed their Stabilization and Association Agreements with the EU, one of the idiosyncratic accession stages of the EU accession process in the region.

Democratic stability of pluralist societies

Flora Kadriu, University for Business and Technology

Lipjan, Kosovo

11:20 AM - 12:50 PM

The motivation for this paper is to try and explore the topic of pluralistic complex societies and democracy. The pluralist version of John Sudenham Furnival, which defines pluralist societies as societies where individuals are geographically mixed but avoid social contact with each other and that such societies are incompatible with democracy, motivated me to stay and explore the topic. I would also like to emphasize the stability of such a society, i.e. the moderate effect of overlapping membership. Namely, majority rule and the political model of government-versus-opposition implies democracy and hence the theses of which model of political governance should be applied in multiethnic plural societies. Namely, I do intend to point out the views and opinions of various authors who have written on this topic and as a synthesis to draw conclusions about the moderate political (democratic) stability of the pluralist societies.

Invasiveness, Intrusiveness and Influence: Three New Metrics for Measuring Communication between Political Echo Chambers

Eglantina Kalluçi Xhaja, University for Business and Technology - UBT

Lipjan, Kosovo

11:20 AM - 12:50 PM

The emergence of digital social networks introduced the concept of political echo chambers, networks aligned to specific political ideologies whose membership don’t trust people from the other side. Political echo chambers exist under an implicit assumption of insulation from other competing echo chambers. However, beyond the presumptive insulation underpinning both the echo chamber scholarly definition and popular perceptions about it, empirically we know almost nothing about echo chamber insulation, its socio-technological character as well as its impermeability. Only recently scholars have begun to establish some conceptual toolkits about political echo chambers’ inner dynamics and their communication with the outside world. Those conceptual efforts notwithstanding, the problem of empirically measuring cross-echo chamber communication persists. How do we measure the communication between political echo chambers? If political echo chambers are not that insulated from the outside world―and other political echo chambers― as previously assumed, how can we measure their exchange with those other political echo chambers? How can we measure their import-export information flow as well as their influence vis-à-vis other political echo chambers? We respond to those concerns by proposing three graph-level metrics, invasiveness, influence, and intrusiveness, where invasiveness measure how much a certain network manages to invade its opponent’s space (and comparatively, which network invasiveness dominates the other); influence, measures the quality of that information flow, and intrusiveness measures the penetrability of information into an adversary echo chamber.

Parallel state in Kosovo – on the way to building statehood

Marzena Żakowska, War Studies University Warsaw, Poland

Lipjan, Kosovo

11:20 AM - 12:50 PM

This study examines the process of building a parallel state by Kosovo Albanians with emphasize on the state structure, needs and interests of the political actors. The problems of developing administrative institutions, education and a healthcare system are discussed. Realism and human needs theory were the main theoretical approaches applied in this research. The relationship between the political actors involved in creating the parallel state and the official state authority are presented based on the implemented three factor model: needs – interest – position. The study focuses on addressing the research question: What kind of factors make the existence of a parallel state similar to that of an independent state? This review of primary and secondary data leads to the formulation of key implications for further research that functioning parallel states stimulate the desire in society to establish independent state.

The importance of public participation in building up democracies in former Yugoslav states. Case study: Kosovo and Croatia

Florentina Hajdari Hajra, Faculty of Contemporary Social Science, SEEU, Republic of North Macedonia
Dritero Arifi, University for Business and Technology

Lipjan, Kosovo

11:20 AM - 12:50 PM

There is a large body of scientific literature in social science and governmental documents which deals with abstract norms and principles for assessing and judging public deliberation and participation. Almost all political scientists agree that public participation enriches democracy by helping to ensure better decision-making and strengthening politicians’ accountability to the people. But, what is the effect of public participation into transforming political systems, and what are the key factors that cause these transformations? These questions remain still unsolved completely. Through this article, the main purpose is to elaborate the effects of public participation on building up democracies (similarities and differences) in former Yugoslav states, Kosovo and Croatia, by analyzing the Transformation Index BTI, Croatia and Kosovo Country Reports and also Varieties of Democracies - Public Variables on Public Participation for Kosovo and Croatia. The hypotheses raised are based in transformation studies that put an effort on explaining the importance of public participation in different political changes, especially on bringing up democratic values. Given a history that in many respects can be considered similar, Kosovo and Croatia as two states that built the legal framework based on the principles of the European Union, seem to have their differences in the development of democracy with a focus on public participation in decision-making that are rated very differently into the Transformation Indexes.

1:00 PM

COVID 19 RECESSION THROUGH POLICYMAKERS HIBRENATE ECONOMY Case study: Kosova

Ardian Uka, University for Business and Technology - UBT

Lipjan, Kosovo

1:00 PM - 2:20 PM

In the first half of the year 2020 we have witnessed a pandemic spread all over the globe. The harmful impacts of Covid-19 on the health of humans that could end in “death- penalty” were tried to be prevented by locking down almost all businesses/economy expect the medical sector and businesses that offer essential goods and bakery. The lock-down had massive negative effects on the businesses that were effecting therefore global economy is facing a recession. The main aim of this paper is to understand the policymakers’ decision towards the “Covid-19 first era” by tuning economical tools such as lower interest rate by central bank; justifying tax & fiscal policies; cut the government spending; the lock-down and the post-pone of the utility payments (roll over debt), rents and other regular payment such as loans (don’t pay debts) which will hibernate the economy. Furthermore, this paper elaborates the economical tools that should be taken in concern in order to overcome the pandemic recession also known as “the post “Covid-19 first era”. This paperwork objectives are defined through dependable, intermediary and independent variables, in order to overcome the hibernation of the country’s economy. The Covid-19 impact in Kosova economy’s to overcome the recession through sustainable pro-jobs investment, fair taxation and other economical tools such as Remittance and Kosova Pension Trust Fund, in order to accelerate the economy.

Resurgence of transition economics: Brexit as an expected example, experience and lesson

Ruzhdi Matoshi, University for Business and Technology
Isa Mulaj, Department of Economic Research, Institute for Economic Policy Research and Analyses, Republic of Kosovo

Lipjan, Kosovo

1:00 PM - 2:20 PM

Transition economics was and still is a topic mostly associated with the post- communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The cause of its emergence as a theory was not purely economic – the spearhead was politics – leading to the collapse of the Eastern Block, to be followed by the disintegration of three federal states: Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia, with many civil wars and ethnic conflicts. The experience proved a relaxation to the western liberal developed democracies as it strengthened the belief of their superior model which the transition economies want to embrace. First of all, the transition provided a new opportunity for interaction between European East and West. On the eve of its 30th anniversary, with more than half of these countries experiencing “the end of transition” and joining the European Union (EU) while the rest considered not yet meeting the “standards”, another transition is on the way, and this one not going into but coming out from the EU itself, Brexit respectively. Just like in former communist countries, it too, originated from politics, namely the results of June 2016 referendum that decided for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, a move that is about to force considerable changes in the economy, already labelled as “transition.” Although an intensive phase of research and debate is underway, the aim of this paper is to explore the implications of Brexit in terms of its international economics and contribute to a more general theory of transition economics which so far has been reserved for, and as a reference to, post-communist countries in CEE.

The impact of COVID-19 on International Trade - political and economic effects in the new era of globalization

Xhemail Çupi, University for Business and Technology
Fisnik Muça, Ministry of Justice, Macedonia

Lipjan, Kosovo

1:00 PM - 2:20 PM

Throughout history and in the 19th and 20th centuries, humanity and states faced financial crises: The Great Depression and the Financial Crisis of 2008-2009, which have had an intense impact in terms of rules and principles of trade and actors in international relations. From the end of 2019 until today, countries face the world pandemic known as COVID-19, which has impacted not only human health but also many other aspects internationally; setting rules and restrictions by the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the movement of people and trade; in the decline of the volume and value of international trade in goods and services; production reductions by manufacturing companies; restriction of transport services; as well as a substantial decline in passenger airlines and air transport companies; limiting even the executive power of states in some cases. This research aims to highlight the impact that the pandemic has had in terms of international trade and the perspective of states' role in establishing rules and principles regarding the international political economy, especially in the new era of globalization, taking as a case study the states of North Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo.

The Influence of Religion on Kosovo Politics

Arben Arifi, University for Business and Technology - UBT

Lipjan, Kosovo

1:00 PM - 2:20 PM

In every country that has emerged from the transition and has a long history with minorities and different religions, which definitely has great religious implications, national policies were transmitted through them. Kosovo is a country with a very very ancient religious history. Starting from Neolithic prehistory and later being the epicenter of early apostolic Christianity with the ancient Ulpiana- Justiniana Secunda, the episcopal see which together with Justiniana Prima and ancient Skopje were the capitals of Dardania, as well as the main headquarters of Christianity in the time of the byzantine Emperor Justinian with Dardanian origin. During antiquity and medieval period, religion continued uninterruptedly, where after the great schismatic division in 1054, the Orthodox churches of the Byzantine rite began to appear. During this time from the end of the IX–th century even the Slavs officially accept Christianity and they began to appear strongly in Kosovo that in addition to the Serbian popullation were also Orthodox Albanians who constituted the core of the Orthodox religion. From the Middle Ages begins the great religious politicization of the Serbs, who were strengthened as a result of the weakening of the Byzantine Empire. The Middle Ages produced the Serbian myth, calling Kosovo the cradle of Serbism, which till nova day is causing great problems. After the Ottoman conquests, the Albanian population in Kosovo gradually began to Islamize and as a result, the Albanian Orthodox element in Kosovo would decrease significantly and be dominated by the Serbian element who were vassals of the Ottomans. Thus Kosovo became like the of the religious Gordian knot where they would cause conflicts and wars, it sufficient to mention the Nachertanija of 1844 which was drafted by the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Academy of Sciences which political platform began to apply unprecedented violence against Albanians and which consequently it became part of Serbian daily politics. This tense situation continues to this day where religion greatly influences Kosovo politics especially after the declaration of independence and reflects the political developments where the Serbian Orthodox Church has become a constitutional category. The area of northern Mitrovica and other enclaves and the danger in the partition of Kosovo today come as a result of the influence of religion in politics.

Which is the rational choice view on political parties, their role in politics and their coalitional behaviour?

Labinot Greiçevci, University for Business and Technology - UBT

Lipjan, Kosovo

1:00 PM - 2:20 PM

Political parties are the main links between citizens and governments. They represent different interests and values of citizens in the election and representation of their interests in legislature and formation and leading of governments. Therefore, political parties matter and play a significant role in the operation of democracy and politics in general. But, in the rational choice analytical structure, the political parties role as an essential component of politics and democracy until the late 1980s was rejected or at least has been seen of secondary importance. Moreover, it is yet the case nowadays that political parties are one of the less fully developed components of the rational choice approach. Thus, this rejection until the late 1980s of the role of political parties in politics and the gap that still exists in the rational choice approach about political parties raises the importance of dealing with this topic. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyse the view of the rational choice about political parties and their role in politics and democracy and their coalitional behaviour in making and breaking governments. In order to reach this goal, the paper will cover the following issues: Firstly, it will address in short the view of the most critical scholars of political parties more specifically about the concept of political parties and their role in politics and operation of democracy in order to facilitate the further analysis. Afterwards, it will move on to analysing how rational choice conceives political parties and their role in politics and democracy. Finally, the last part of this paper will comprise the rational choice view in coalitional behaviour of political parties in making and breaking governments.

2:30 PM

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND WORLD ORDER

Shpendim Oxha, University for Business and Technology - UBT
Fatos Rushiti, University for Business and Technology - UBT

Lipjan, Kosovo

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

International organization is a relatively new practice of the functioning of societies around the globe. Both as a practice and as a defined idea, it appears relatively late in history. Although various forms of wider organization of some societies (states) in temporary unions are also noticed in ancient civilizations, yet this is not the essence of this phenomenon in the contemporary meaning of the word. Ancient communities were of a military nature. Unions of some against others were formed for military needs and as soon as wars ended, such unions disbanded. However, the development of capitalism even in modern times strongly imposed mutual dependence on the world. Such state of affairs gave the interaction process regional and international proportions, despite old autarkic tendencies. States were necessarily oriented towards mutual cooperation and common solutions to the problems of the region and the wider international community. This need and practice actualized the question about the ways, means and forms through which they can respond to the new challenges of mutual life in the vast expanses of the world stage and human creation. The answer to this were the first manifestations of international organization in all spheres of social practice. These first efforts will later rise to the level of regular and well-known phenomena in the realization of processes and international relations, known as international organizations. Nowadays, international organizations are necessary mechanisms for the realization of international life in all its aspects, both regionally and globally. Their functioning showed that, with them, the world has instruments for solving the most subtle and complex regional and world problems. Globalization only emphasizes their position and power in contemporary life.

LEADERSHIP OF FORMAL AND INFORMAL BUSINESS BY WOMEN: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS FOR POLLOG REGION

Selami Syla, University for Business and Technology - UBT
Shpresa Suli, SEEU, Ilindenska nr, Tetovo, RNMacedonia,

Lipjan, Kosovo

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

The Republic of North Macedonia is still in the transition phase. Entrepreneurship and the creation of small and medium-sized businesses play a key role in creating new jobs, opening the way to the free market of the European economy, sustainable development and economic growth. The labor market in the country is characterized by high and long-term unemployment rates. The high level of unemployment is one of the main macroeconomic problems. Based on the official data published by the State Statistical Office on labor force, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the skills of entrepreneurial women, the differences that exist in running a formal and informal business, in the present case, in the Polog Region for the period of time (2011-2019). Although entrepreneurship is still under development, because even the few businesses run by women, still men are behind them. In Polog, women and men have no equal economic power as supposed to developed countries where women make various social revolutions and contribute constantly to their improvement. The paper concludes that in the case of Polog Region, women face financial difficulties, lack of experience, low level of education, and lack of adequate training to cope with management difficulties by utilizing the opportunities and capacities they have.

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND THE REFORMS, ONE OF THE CONDITIONS FOR INTEGRATION TO THE EUROPEAN UNION

Suzana Mehmedi, University for Business and Technology - UBT

Lipjan, Kosovo

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Reforms in the public administration occupy an important role among other priorities of a country aspiring for membership and EU integration. Not that integration depends on public administration reforms, but it’s the quality of reforms that accelerate the pace and strengthen a country’s road towards EU integration. The basic idea is to prove that there is a connection between these two elements or procedures on one hand, and on the other the process of integration of Republic of North Macedonia into EU depending on the public administration reform. This means that the more effective reformation of public administration the RNM has made, the shorter term of meeting the conditions for EU integration it will take. From the very beginnings of the independence of the Republic of North Macedonia a lot of importance and value has been given to adjusting reforms in accordance to the new pluralist democratic conditions and those of the economy. Up to 1999, when the process of reforms was incited, a very small part of the specific engagements was accomplished in terms of improving the functionality of the public administration. The main goal to be reached through the implementation of the reforms in the RNM is the development of a democratic society and the development of the economy. The reforms in the public administration take a very important role among other priorities of a country that aspires to become a member and integrate in the EU. The integration does not depend on public administration reforms, but the quality of reforms does accelerate the tempo and strengthens the road of a country towards EU integration. The basic idea is to prove that there is a correlation between these two elements or procedures. The process of integration of RNM into the EU is very much dependable, among other things, also from the public administration reforms and if Republic of North Macedonia manages to conduct an efficient reformation of the public administration, it will comply with EU integration criteria faster.

Public diplomacy and the case of Kosovo

Ngadhnjim Brovina, University for Business and Technology - UBT
Dritero Arifi, University for Business and Technology
Fjollë Nuhiu, ILIRA University

Lipjan, Kosovo

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Diplomacy is the main tool of foreign policy, but not the only. It also depends on the economic and military power of the state. However, diplomacy today in the 21st century has advanced a lot and is divided into several types. In addition to the classical or traditional form, today is known as very effective modern diplomacy, public and digital diplomacy. In this scientific paper as a case study related with public diplomacy, is chosen Kosovo. The main purpose of this paper is related to public diplomacy as a tool of foreign policy and the adaptation of Kosovo;s foreign policy to these types of diplomacy. The materials elaborated in this paper mainly include local and international literature about the field of public diplomacy, but also from empirical research. The methodology applied in this scientific paper is mainly based on the analysis of these literatures and empirical research, i.e. it is used the analytical method. The results expected from this paper are intended to show the types of diplomacy, mainly public diplomacy, and how Kosovo's foreign policy should use this type of diplomacy to advance the interests of the state and to improve its image. With the conclusion of this paper, some concrete examples will be presented of how Kosovo has the opportunity to use public diplomacy, given that it is a small country, without military, economic and political influence and how it has often succeeded through public diplomacy.

The political process of state formation of Kosovo from the establishment of the international protectorate to Independence

Ruzhdi Jashari, University for Business and Technology
Donika Hoti, Assambly Kosovo

Lipjan, Kosovo

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

After the signing of the Rambouillet Agreement, NATO bombing began, where the citizens of Kosovo are forced to leave their t The March 2004 riots, which began in the northern part of Mitrovica, after the killing of two Albanian children, led to the burning of some Orthodox churches in some parts of Kosovo by some protesters. Following this situation, the UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, charged the Norwegian Mr. Kai Eide for a report, which would reflect the situation in Kosovo.erritory, due to violence from Serbia. This act sent Kosovo to oversee the administration of the United Nations. UN issues Security Council “Resolution 1244”, placing Kosovo under UN protectorate. In terms of "de jure", Kosovo remained part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. According to this Resolution, the UN was responsible for civil administration, while NATO was responsible for the security of the territory. It is alleged that the friendly countries that helped Kosovo in 1999 wanted to avoid including the term "Yugoslavia" in the resolution, but Russia, through its veto power in the Security Council, included this term in the Resolution. In December 2003, the International Community, through the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Harry Holkeri, sent to Kosovo a document known as the "Standards for Kosovo". The document contained the main tasks that Kosovo had to accomplish by 2005 and then initiate the determination of Kosovo's final status. Following this Report, the Kosovo-Serbia negotiation process and the finalization of Kosovo status were opened. Meanwhile, Ahhtisar's plan, the special envoy for the status of Kosovo, according to analysts, sent Kosovo towards independence, on February 17, 2018.