Volume XXXIII No. 4 (October-December 1998)
Never before have the Bretton Woods institutions, and particularly the IMF, been at such a low ebb. Not only were the South Korea and Thailand programmes strongly criticised and the gamble with Russia fail, but concern for the moral hazard entailed in the public resources lent by the IMF has made part of academia call for its dissolution. In official quarters there is much insistence on a new architecture, while the prospects, however, are for management improvements.
The article maintains that the difficulties the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership is facing depends less on occasional than on structural factors which range from the political fragmentation and strategic incongruity of the EMP grouping; to different security perceptions and policy objectives between the Union and non-EU members; to institutional imbalances in the EMP as well to the EUs weakness as a political player in international relations. To reinforce the EMP, the article suggests five demarches: (a) stressing soft security within a firmer conception of comprehensive security; (b) reinforcing EMPs conflict prevention capacities; (c) introducing sub-regional articulations; (d) giving EMP the character of a joint strategy within the CFSP; and (e) re-balancing the EU and non-EU institutional components in the EMP.
The Kosovo Conflict
The article argues that faster progress on deployment of the Kosovo Verification Mission and its back-up NATO reaction force in Kosovo is needed to ensure that the delicate security situation in Kosovo will not break down completely. Crucial to ensuring this, is the need for political agreement on the interim arrangements for governing Kosovo which, in turn, requires the underpinning of the KVM, inter alia. Both are considered essential, as both sides, but especially, the UCK, believe that more can be gained through further use of violence. Momentum has partly been lost with slippage in the original timetable. However, gradual erosion will mean eventual collapse.
The US reacted to the escalation of armed conflict in Kosovo by calling for a diplomatic solution that would grant the province autonomy within the boundaries of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A campaign of coercive diplomacy was successful in forcing a partial Serbian withdrawal and imposing negotiations in October 1998, but the underlying sources of discord remain intact. US policy in Kosovo and the Balkans continues to be plagued by a lack of consensus over long-term strategic goals.
This article explores the regional and domestic environment of contemporary Macedonia against the background of the conflict in Kosovo. It is argued that although the Republic of Macedonia has made significant progress towards guaranteeing minority rights, the reduction of discrimination, and ethnic co-existence, the violence in Kosovo and the volatile ethnic conditions within Macedonia continue to provide a formidable challenge to this new democracy. Much of Macedonias success in keeping ethnic violence at bay came as the result of a series of preventive measures initiated over several years on the part of domestic elites and international and regional organizations. Several of these preventive actions, such as the creation of an OSCE Spillover Monitoring Mission or the UN preventive deployment force, will remain crucial for maintaining peace in Macedonia, and the region as a whole. Concluding, the article suggests that Macedonia must continue to facilitate ethnic integration and proceed toward regional cooperation as an integral element of a preventive approach to foreign policy.
The article analyses the characteristics of the transition process under way in the countries of Central-Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, arguing that the differences in situations and results is largely due to the original approach taken to stabilisation policy and systemic transition: the major drawback was the inability to distinguish between the problem of stabilisation, which had to be solved rapidly and with urgent measures, and the problem of transition which required immediate action, but also an awareness of the complexities and the long time frame involved in setting up market relations and institutions. As of 1994, significant changes in economic policy strategy were undertaken in the three major Central and Eastern European countries, recovering a degree of governance over the ongoing processes. This did not occur in Russia, where policies unable to prevent gross distortions in the creation of a market continue to dominate. From analysis of the transition processes, the article concludes that the construction of functioning and efficient markets calls for a maximum, not a minimum, of governance.
The Arab-Israeli Peace Process and the Role of EU
This article compares and contrasts the complex nature, the conflicting dynamics and the interrelationship between the Barcelona Process and Arab-Israeli Multilateral talks and examines the role played by the European Union in these two multilateral frameworks. Although seemingly similar in their long-term objectives, in the agendas under discussion and in the participants involved in their deliberations, this article argues that they should be not be seen competing but rather as complementary frameworks and that they have offered a valuable division of labour and differing functions in the efforts to bring about a lasting peace between Israel and the Arab world. The article concludes that it is Europes interest to remain engaged in the multilateral talks and it should actively support efforts aimed at revitalizing the regional dimension of the Arab-Israeli peace process.
Alongside Israels well-developed economic relations with the EU, its generally negative attitude toward more active EU involvement in the Arab-Israel peace process derives from a broad spectrum of historic and political considerations, some of which are linked to Israels relationship with the US. Certainly for such an EU role to succeed, Europe must be seen by Israelis to adopt more balanced policies. From the Israeli standpoint, the preferable EU strategies for dealing with the Arab-Israel peace process are the Moratinos track, coupled with additional attempts to foster Track II dialogue.
With a quick glance at the history and globalisation of football, the article goes on to argue that it is no longer a simple leisure activity, it has become a social, political, cultural, economic and diplomatic issue; a valid component of international relations. And it is one of the first spheres in which geopolitical tendencies are reflected. Globalisation and changes in the criteria for power have bestowed an increasingly important role in the international arena on this leading sport.