Macedonia-Greece – Confidence Building Measures, view from civil-society
In December 2016 Analytica think tank and ELIAMEP (Greece) started working on one year joint research project examining various layers of cooperation between Macedonia and Greece such as cross-border cooperation as well as education.
Moreover, the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece has deeply affected almost all segments of academic/scientific cooperation and generally civil society interaction. As a result, the civil societies of the two countries have not managed to date to build strong channels of unofficial communication and collaboration that would be instrumental in helping official diplomatic channels between the two countries. At the same time though the two countries have as of recent initiated a process of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) with the hope that cooperation in ‘low politics’ and among civil society actors will strengthen the otherwise weak and problematic bilateral relations.
More specifically, the objectives of the project are to:
- Assess key areas of collaboration between the two countries and provide ‘lessons learned’ for future similar activity as well as to propose ideas for facilitation of new collaborations. Through the task of assessing the merits of existing cooperation the proposed project will likely also contribute to the undermining of deeply embedded stereotypes that exist about interaction and cooperation between the two countries.
- Build trust and establish grounds for further cooperation between the two proposing organisations.
- Support the CBMs process initiated by Greece and Macedonia by providing knowledge and expertise in relevant areas, such as more effective cooperation in European programmes (CBM action 2) and education and culture (CBM actions 4 and 5).
The project is financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Sweden.