Growth in 2014 for six countries in South East Europe was close to zero, according to the latest South East Europe Regular Economic Report (SEE RER).
Weather - in particular unprecedented floods in May and the residual impacts of earlier severe events - was a major factor hindering growth in the region, exposing the overall vulnerability of these economies to extreme weather events.
| Overview |
Working environment The countries that comprise the western Balkans are still coping with the consequences of large-scale displacement caused by the conflicts in the region in the 1990s. In addition, persisting social and economic challenges continue to drive the movement of nationals within and from the region, primarily to the European Union.
BRUSSELS, 27 October 2014 - A new cross-border multi-hazard early warning system will be developed in the Western Balkans and Turkey to increase resilience to floods, landslides, droughts and heat-waves which often hit the region and to build on the lessons learnt from the devastating floods of May 2014.
This report has a simple and urgent goal: to connect decision-makers and relevant actors with strategies that prevent and respond to violence in the lives of children.
CAMP KONIK, Montenegro, July 23 (UNHCR) – Tefik Berisa is a difficult man to reach. Calls to his home are often answered by a polite childish voice: "My father is not available, he is at work."
In person, his face reflects the hard life he's been through but his posture reveals a man who believes dignity is built through hard work. In 1999 he and his family fled Kosovo for Montenegro with little more than the clothes on their backs. Their belongings and documents were left behind.
Nine Balkan militaries agree to jointly assist the civilian population in times of disasters.
By Miki Trajkovski for Southeast European Times in Skopje -- 22/07/14
In the wake of damaging flooding in Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) this year, military leaders of nine countries in southeast Europe are promising to work together to co-ordinate emergency response to future natural disasters.
U.A.E. has offered more than Dh one billion in foreign aid between 2009-2013 to help ensure water supply in 61 countries, according to the Ministry of Development and International Co-operation (MICAD).
By Biljana Markova
BRUSSELS, 13 June 2014 – This week, the city of Cetinje (population: 16,800) became the first city in the Balkan state of Montenegro to join UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient Campaign.
“Reducing disaster risk and adapting to climate change is crucial for the sustainable future of our city and community” said Cetinje Mayor Alexander Bogdanovic, at a signing ceremony.
It didn’t take long after the flooding began for Lea Kujudnzic’s phone to start ringing off the hook. The Head of International Affairs for the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina was receiving offers of assistance from many Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in neighbouring countries.
“We’re very thankful and grateful that our neighbours have shown such big hearts in this disaster especially because we know that many are not in good economic situations,” said Kujudnzic.
CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, 14 de mayo 2014 (ACNUR) – La oficina en México del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados, ACNUR, y Radio UNAM llevaron a cabo el pasado jueves el lanzamiento de la serie radiofónica “Otro principio”, con testimonios de personas refugiadas en México.
Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons
Rapporteur: Mr René ROUQUET, France, Socialist Group
There are currently some 2.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in Europe, mostly living in temporary shelter and in conditions that are incompatible with human dignity and the values advocated by the Council of Europe, despite the initiatives taken, including by the Council of Europe Development Bank.
Natural hazards, such as earthquakes, droughts, floods, wildfires, and extreme winter weather, affect a range of countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA) 2. In addition, rapid urban growth and environmental degradation in some countries have led to overcrowding and settlement in hazard-prone areas. Protracted conflict and limited governmental disaster management capacity in many EMCA countries compound the risks associated with natural disasters.
Natural disasters, including drought, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires, as well as ongoing complex emergencies and limited government capacity in the region, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA). Between FY 2004 and FY 2013, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided assistance in response to a range of disasters, including floods, wildfires, winter emergencies, and complex crises.
The European Commission’s 2013 Enlargement package indicates a number of positive developments in the enlargement countries over the past year, but also recognises the challenges at hand. Like in the European Union, the impact of the economic crisis is being felt throughout the region, with the Western Balkans falling back into recession.
By Apostolis Fotiadis
ATHENS, Sep 20 2013 (IPS) - While the relentless war in Syria continuously adds to the number of refugees travelling west to Europe, Greece is fast becoming a nation they are choosing to avoid.
The majority of Syrians, and also others fleeing their countries, are now trying to reach northern Europe through other routes. And the tough Balkans is emerging as one such alternative.
As the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, could the humanitarian crisis afflicting the country and its neighbors provide an entryway for regional cooperation? This policy paper examines how regional responses to humanitarian crises have succeeded or failed to meet humanitarian objectives in order to inform approaches to contemporary crises. It also assesses whether such regional responses contributed to strengthening regional integration and cooperation, paving the way for increased regional stability and an improved capacity to respond to emergencies.
The prolonged problem of refugees and internally-displaced people that followed the 1990s breakup of the former Yugoslavia is still a key humanitarian and political issue in Southeast Europe.
Almost 2 million people displaced by the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s are still refugees. Half settled in more than 150 countries worldwide, and the rest in parts of the former Yugoslavia.
Serbia tops the European list in refugee numbers. In 1996, there were more than 600,000 refugees; now the number is about 60,000.