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Investor programs: attempting to cure the struggling European economies?

Jelena Dzankic
Investor citizenship

While the return of capital may prove beneficial to Europe, the proliferation of investor programs raises the question of what citizenship is all about? It is not only the matter of the passport, but a far more complex notion. Hence by reducing the link between the individual and the state to a business contract, states effectively commodify not only citizenship but also individual rights, as these will be accessible to the ‘investor’ citizens on grounds of wealth.

While the epidemic of the economic crisis is still troubling Europe, many of the Old Continent’s countries seek out creative ways to secure a much needed injection of capital into their struggling economies. Investor programs, which enable wealthy individuals to gain residence in one of the European countries and eventually access their citizenship, are on the increase.

Muslims’ support for European integration: Albania and Turkey Compared

Arolda Elbasani
Beken Saatçioğlu
Islam in Albania and Turkey

Why do Muslim-inspired organizations espouse different positions towards European integration and the democratization reforms that it entails? What explains Albanian Muslim Community’s uniform and Justice and Development Party’s withering support for the EU Integration project?

In Turkey’s June 2011 elections, the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) won another landmark victory to form its third, consecutive majority government. The firm return of Islamic political identity to the public sphere has led to many questions about the direction of Turkish politics and the future of Turkey’s European integration.

Constitutional provision on EU citizenship – The case of Croatia

Tina Oršolić
Zagreb

Croatia is the first State to adopt a provision concerning European citizenship in its Constitution - none of the current Member States’ Constitutions include such an article. Of additional concern are the possible impacts that the constitutional amendment on EU citizenship might have on the exercise and enforcement of EU citizens’ rights in Croatia. Namely, there is a likelihood that the move to adopt the EU citizenship provision will be interpreted by both the citizenry and the judiciary as a suggestion, or worse, a requirement to rely on this constitutional norm instead of relevant EU law provisions when seeking to protect EU citizens’ rights in Croatia.

As a candidate country for European Union accession, Croatia has recently introduced a number of legal reforms in order to fulfill the membership criteria. One of these concerns the amendments made to the Croatian Constitution in June 2010.

Subversive Forum: What is the future of Europe and its citizens?

Nick Holdstock
Subversive Forum

The 5th Zagreb Subversive Festival included the Subversive Film Festival, an international conference named The Future of Europe at which leading stars of the local and international intellectual and activist scene will gather, such as Slavoj Žižek, Samir Amin, Tariq Ali, G.C. Spivak, Michael Hardt, Gianni Vattim, Stéphane Hessel, the Subversive Forum – a platform for alternative social mobilization, and the Balkan Forum in which over forty organisations, trade unions and individuals will come together in an attempt to lay the foundations for future collaboration and networking in both European and worldwide movements with the aim of further integration.

 

Nick Holdstock attended the Subversive Forum in Zagreb from May 13th-May 18th. In the following piece he revisits some of the themes and questions that this gathering of intellectuals, academics and activists considered during the Forum.

The European Crisis

The politics of numbers and identity in Albania

Gezim Krasniqi
The politics of numbers and identity

The current debates on nationality and census in Albania follow the ones in Macedonia where the census was stopped last October due to irregularities in the field, as well as disagreements between the Macedonian and Albanian members of the commission. Undoubtedly they attest to the highly volatile nature of politics of numbers and identity in the Balkans.

(Also available at www.eudo-citizenship.eu)

Another Decade of Roma Exclusion?

Marginalisation

Though many states continue to emphasise their commitment to improving the Roma’s live, it remains difficult to assess the success of many of these initiatives, as there is usually poor monitoring of these projects’ outcomes.

The constitutions of most European countries contain some form of commitment to ensuring the rights of minorities, as do the laws of supranational bodies such as the European Union and the United Nations.

Whose citizens? Kosovan Serbs between Kosovo, Serbia and Russia

Gezim Krasniqi
A never-ending tunnel

Serbs in the northern part of Kosovo remain trapped in a political dispute between Pristina and BelgradAlthough both Pristina and Belgrade treat them as their respective citizens, they were included in neither the Kosovo organised census in spring 2011, nor the one organised by Serbia in autumn 2011. While they boycotted the first one (unlike Serbs living south of Mitrovica and other minorities), Serbs from the northern part of Kosovo were left out of the Serb census. This certainly has strengthened the feeling of isolation and abandonment among this community. Therefore, the demand for Russian citizenship should be seen in this context.

(Also available at www.eudo-citizenship.eu)

Frontex in the Balkans – security before human rights?

Security before human rights?

Even the most rigorous attempts at enforcing the EU’s borders are unlikely to prevent illegal immigration. The issue thus cannot simply be one of security and enforcement, but also how to ensure the welfare of migrants in a way that promotes social cohesion.

The notion of a Europe with increasingly porous internal borders (due to the Schengen agreement and limited visa liberalisation) has gone hand in hand with increased attempts to control

The Yugosphere- A Useful Concept?

Nick Holdstock
Sphere(s)

If the concept of a Yugosphere has any utility, it is probably in the cultural sphere. In both the literary and dramatic spheres, there are reports of joint publishing ventures and cross-border productions, and a general renewal of the cultural ties disrupted by the Yugoslav conflict. However, whilst this trend is to be applauded, such trends are far from unique to the region- co-operative financing, with sources from multiple countries, is a commonplace of film, television and theatre productions.

How should we refer to the seven countries that comprised the Yugoslav federation? ‘The former Yugoslavia’, the most common phrase, is somewhat problematic. Though factually correct, it is also a backward-looking description, one that privileges what these countries were over what they are, and might become.

Europeanise.me – Montenegro changes its citizenship law

Jelena Džankić
A long road to the EU

Along with the adoption of the Election Law in September 2011, the process of Europeanisation (through EU’s political conditionality) has also yielded a change in Montenegro’s citizenship legislation, resulting in a facilitated naturalisation for citizens of the former Yugoslav republics.

When Montenegro received its candidate country status in November 2010, the European Commission (EC) recommended that the country fulfil seven conditions before opening accession talks. The requirement that topped the EC’s list was the need to adopt a new Election Law.

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