Why Recon is so important for the region? What can I contribute? What should be done, changed and why?
I will start this essay with my saying: I say:” knowledge is power” so throughout this time I have been trying to absorb as much as I can. We are all in this together and should act as one single world towards one single goal. Greater things are yet to come but I welcome challenges. The transformative effect of service continues to mold and shape my life, giving me reason to light my small candle every day in hope of a better world.
Reconciliation is necessary but it is not easy. But it is possible. And what makes it possible is the realization that God has forgiven us much more than we will ever have to forgive others.
The countries of the Western Balkans have been slow to adopt the EU integration agenda. The dissolution of the former Yugoslavia was accompanied by three major wars: in Croatia (1991-1995), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995) and Kosovo* (1998-1999). In addition, there were two smaller-scale, shorter conflicts in Slovenia (June-July 1991) and in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (January-August 2001). These conflicts were marked by gross human rights violations, including ‘ethnic cleansing’ and atrocities unseen in Europe since World War II.
The legacy of this violent past still lingers across the region of former Yugoslavia endangering the full enjoyment of human rights, democracy and rule of law. The return to normalcy has been slow and major obstacles remain. The lack of a systematic approach across the region to tackle past gross human rights violations has resulted in impunity and the erosion of rule of law. Concerning war-related criminal proceedings, witness protection systems remain limited in their capacity and reportedly fail to inspire confidence and trust among existing and potential witnesses. War victims do not have access to adequate, effective or proportionate reparation for the harms they have suffered.
The most important issues such as these countries’ economic and political problems remain unresolved. This is because the countries of South East Europe have been unable to resolve the regional challenges and achieve a political consensus. These challenges could delay the necessary economic reforms and the process of EU enlargement for these countries. Western Balkan aim to fill the conditions as the main top priority if they want to integrate with the EU such as: the absorption capacities regarding IPA funds, regional ownership as a mechanism for further cooperation in region, as well as the institutional capacity. The current enlargement process suggests that the Western Balkan region could face serious challenges relative to EU enlargement.
There is also a lack of a comprehensive regional mechanism to establish and recognize the truth about the gross human rights violations perpetrated by all sides during the wars. In this context, some 13,500 cases of missing persons as a result of the wars remain unresolved. This is a major prerequisite to any genuine process of reconciliation in the region.
More than 400,000 refugees and other displaced persons from the 1990s are still waiting for durable solutions. A fair resolution of these pending issues is crucial in order to achieve ethnic reconciliation and social cohesion. The Commissioner has visited collective centers for refugees and internally displaced persons and provided recommendations to national authorities on how they could find durable solutions for these people. He has also emphasized the need for states in the region to accelerate efforts to clear the extensive areas still contaminated by landmines and cluster munitions.
“The Commissioner has noted the plight of a significant number of stateless persons in, or from, the region – many of whom are Roma. He recommends that the countries that have not done so accede to the 1997 European Convention on Nationality and to the 2006 Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in relation to State succession”
During his country visits and continuous dialogue with national authorities and civil society, the Commissioner takes note of the progress achieved. He also identifies obstacles to the effective resolution of the pending issues concerning post-war justice and reconciliation and provides advice on ways to ensure the respect for human rights and thereby durable peace in the region of former Yugoslavia.
The conclusion suggests the main steps that should be undertaken by the EU in order to intensify the EU integration process of Western Balkan countries and especially for Kosovo as a country in an early stage of the EU integration process. Reconciliation with the past, along with increased regional cooperation, where cited as crucial for the European perspective of the Western Balkans, according to participants at the „Regional Cooperation and European Integration“. European Union has expectations that the Western Balkans will set aside historical differences and proceed „irreversibly on the path to the EU,“
My contribution to the Regional Reconciliation!
I believe in perseverance and I believe we can overcome the challenges on our way. The world we desire it is possible and reachable. It makes me say that everything’s got a solution. Human rights? It’s 21st century, and our countries are considered “democratic”, how can even this question still be asked? Poverty? Please, share! Keep only what you need and the remainder belongs to someone less fortunate than you…I claim that everything made by humans is controllable by humans. HUMAN has the solutions to all the problems that for so long, have been worrying the human race. And by HUMAN i mean YOU.
We “Young People” from the region are the Future of our countries and I don’t doubt on it sooner or later we have no other choice we will organize such meetings as “Youth Reconciliation Ambassadors” that was held in Belgrade 3-8 September 2012, only this way Regional cooperation is needed for all of us in the region in order to overcome the problems inherited from the past and to capitalize on opportunities for the future, adding that although the region had made significant strides in this respect since the bloody conflicts of the 1990s there were still several significant outstanding political issues to be resolved.
Let’s act for our generation and for all those generations that are about to come. Let’s stand up and leave our footprints. I believe in small steps, they promise long journeys. I believe in the power of youth and I am excited about the future we will crave. Are you a believer like me? When we get old, people will look at us, and say: hey, they made their story! (Huh, how that must feel). WE as a YOUTH and YOUNG PEOPLE, we can exchange it daily politics we will organize more meetings as YRA we will share our ideas skills, and within our Balkan region we could create a European Union where each country is open of dialogue and each country lives in peace and harmony with each other. I believe we are capable of making a change starting from our own community.
A tree can start the forest, a word can frame the goal, a step can start a journey and we can make a DIFFERENCE. I’m just ONE, but there are hundreds of US but there are many challenges waiting for us as: The fight against crime and corruption is one of the main obstacles faced by all countries of the Western Balkan region. There is no possibility of creating a common future, without the ability to deal with a common past. European countries had to overcome historical differences and create the „European Agreement“ that stressed reconciliation.
That agreement is the basis of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) which prospective EU member states must sign.
CONCLUSION: RECOM initiative is very important for the region. If people are unable to talk to one another it is very difficult to work for a common future. This is why visa liberalization is important – young people needed to know what is happening outside the region. That is why at a time when the EU faces economic and financial problems it is difficult for those supporting the enlargement process, but it is important for peace and stability in the region.
The unresolved political issues in the Western Balkans could pose a serious obstacle to regional cooperation, a good neighborhood, investment promotion and the European integration process. A further serious challenge in these countries is the political commitments of the elites who govern the countries; in most cases they do not understand the importance of the process of EU integration and its complexity.
(In my opinion) The greatest quote that was ever said about changing is “Be the change you want to see in the world”, encouraging people not to feel too small to make a difference. This perfect combination of words in one sentence, made people realize, once again, that superheroes are humans too. Remember “You don’t need to be a superhero to make things happen. Everything is possible. So start working today and you will be part of something new that is about to happen. The secret to getting there is to know where you’re going, and I know my way. It is my goal to inject kindness into everyone I make contact with. I know I can make a difference, a better one.”