Unification and Secession: How do Votes in International Organizations influence Cost-benefit Analysis?

  • Alban Lauka
Unification or secession efforts, especially those based on nationalistic principles, have been made continuously since at least the 19th century, but the way states exert their influence on the international arena has undergone major transformations. Could these transformations change the motivation of certain states to unify or that of different regions to secede? What is the benefit of having one or more additional state representatives in international organizations? To answer these questions, this paper examines the importance that voting processes in international organizations can have for the cost/benefit calculations of states or particular regions in their national unification or secession efforts.

Rule of Law Through Judicial Reform: A Key to the EU Accession of the Western Balkans

  • Ardit Memeti
This paper focuses on the importance of judiciary reform as a key segment of rule of law enforcement for the EU accession of Western Balkan countries as a process mainly driven by EU assistance. The Western Balkan (WB) countries, namely Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are considered 'potential candidates' for European Union (EU) membership. In the EU accession process of these countries, strengthening the rule of law is considered to be of vital importance. Although the concept of the rule of law is much broader, when it comes to the rule of law requirement, judiciary reform represents the most significant component for reform in the EU accession of Western Balkan countries. Judiciary reform is so crucial to the rule of law reform that it is at times interchangeably used as having the same meaning.

The 2013 Parliamentary Elections in Albania: Lights and Shadows

  • Blendi Kajsiu
The parliamentary elections in Albania took place on June, 23, 2013. They marked the end of a turbulent mandate, 2009-2013, by an odd ruling coalition between the biggest right wing political force, the Democratic Party (DP) led by Sali Berisha, and the second largest left wing party the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI) led by Ilir Meta. The coalition was odd because the two leaders before 2009 had been bitter political enemies who for years had accused each-other of corruption, authoritarianism, and connections with organized crime. In fact the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI), a 2003 splinter group from the Socialist, had run on an anti-Berisha campaign during the 2009 elections.