16 March 2006
Gerald Knaus on misperceptions of the Balkans in the EU

Gerald Knaus spoke on common misperceptions of the Balkans region in the European Union at the eighth "Potsdam Spring Dialogues" under the title "The Balkans at a Crossroads - Prospects for a lasting peace":

  1. The region is perceived as a source of crime, although there are not any data to support this claim. However, data that exist show that crime rates in Bosnia and Herzegovina for example are not higher than in the German Federal State of Brandenburg.
  2. It is assumed that there is economic growth in parts of the region. But for Bosnia and Kosovo, for example, there are no serious data. What can be said is that unemployment is extremely high and productivity is very low.
  3. It is also assumed that the current EU-engagement in the Western Balkans is similar to the "Member-State-Building" with former accession candidates but this would require a long term perspective and serious assessments.
Marie-Janine Calic, Lulzim Peci, and Gerald Knaus
About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com