INTERNATIONAL PROBLEMS, NO. 1-2, 2002
GLOBALIZATION, THE MARKET, THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY - A NEW ECONOMY, NEW SOCIETY, NEW DEMOCRACY (article in English)
The high-tech revolution, which took place during the early eighties, produced, in less than 20 years, institutional and structural changes which go beyond any possible prediction. In this context the e-commerce triggered so many radical innovations that we may speak in terms of new economy (at least as far as many different fields are concerned). These innovations have already determined, in turn, an upsetting not only in the labour market, but also in cultural production and in the organization of scientific research, in psycho-relational settings and in interpersonal communication. All that has lead to a re-thinking of the legal and institutional background, as well as a confrontation among scholars of different matters, and it might be the most appropriate way to enhance a rather interdisciplinary approach towards these issues, without expecting any definite solutions.
ONCE AGAIN ON GLOBALISATION (article in Serbian)
Globalisation in general is a combination of all process that globally connects people, groups, organisations, institutions, companies, nations, states and civilisations. It is a relatively new term for some old processes. We could mention the following synonyms for globalisation: »mondialisation«, »universalisation«, »global integration«, »internationalisation«, »transnationalisation«, »no-frontier Westernisation«, etc. The opposite processes are as follows: »localisation«, »feudalisation«, »Balkanisation«, »isolation«, »fragmentation«, »disintegration«, »polarisation«, etc. The thing that is universally recognised as something good or superior can be globalised but the same can be done with something evil or inferior. There can also be globalised a thing that is good and evil at the same time, whereby it is good for some people, while the others consider it evil.
Today, globalisation is going on in many fields, but the first one had occurred very long time ago - at the dawn of human prehistory. It was the migration of human race from the region where it first appeared (in Africa?) to another five continents. The first globalisation was, consequently, demographic, and it is most likely that the last one will also be of the same kind (when fully free movement of people and their settlement all over the world is achieved!). Globalisations in all other fields occurred more recently.
The second in the history, and the first among the latest ones, was the traffic globalisation that resulted from the invention of the big sailing boat (this was followed by inventions of the iron ship and jet airplane). The traffic globalisation made possible globalisations in a number of other fields - trade, culture, technology, politics (colonialism), but also the globalisation of many contagious diseases! The next significant step was the globalisation of communications that was enabled by the invention of the telegraph (and then: telephone, radio, television, fax, computer and mobile phone). The latest invention in this field is the mob telecom that combines mobile phone, computer, radio and TV that technologically enables any man, at any time and any place to use, if not all, but many important knowledge and information on the world he lives in. This communication and information revolution makes possible great acceleration of globalisations in all other fields, including the economic one in the sphere of international economic relations.
The economic globalisation is, above all, the process of accelerated growth of international flows of goods, services, capital and people, and today it also includes the process of transition or the process of passing over from ultra centralised government control (“communism”, “socialism”, and “real socialism”) and other economic systems to capitalism (usually euphemistically called “market economy”).
The rate of economic globalisation depends on a number of factors (from technology to ideology), but practically, it most depends on the rate of liberalisation of international economic relations. As for liberalisation there have become two prominent concepts of thinking: the first is the neoliberalistic that glorifies free operation of market laws and consequently, supports privatisation, deregulation, and reduction of capital yield taxes. The second one is neointerventionistic and it takes as a starting point the thesis that the market provides privileges not only to the most efficient actors but also to the economically most powerful ones. For this reason it supports the idea that the state should, at least provisionally, offer protection to the domestic economy that competes with more powerful ones, as well as to protect the society whenever its broad and important interests are endangered by the aspiration of the private sector to externalise costs (for example, environmental protection expenses). There is the third, compromise concept of thinking and its guiding ideas are as follows: »the market should be established where possible and the state intervention should be taken where necessary« and »some things are too important to be left to the market«.
Acceleration of international flows of capital and goods play the key role in the process of economic globalisation. Communication and information revolution has turned the real capitalism in the sphere of international finance into a virtual or »cyber capitalism«. This can be best seen in the explosive growth of transactions at the foreign exchange markets that increased from $15 billion a day in 1973 to about $1,600 billion in late May 2001. However, transnational and multinational companies play the most important role in organic linking of the world economy. Today, there are 60,000 of them with 510,000 affiliations and their share in the world production is 1/3, 2/3 in the world trade, 4/5 in the total foreign direct investments and 3/4 in the patent rights and technology transfer.
International trade has remained the most globalised aspect of international economic relations, since it always, and at the worst, involves flow of »real structures«, being a digital activity only in its initial phase. International trade grows rapidly and it is only in the last two decades that the share of the world exports in the world production has increased from 10 to 20 per cent. Since 1950 up to the present days tariffs have been reduced from 40 to 5 per cent, while the world exports increased 18 times and the world production 6 times.
Mega integrations such as APEC, NAFTA, European Union and ASEAN seem at the first sight as regional negations of the process of globalisation of the world market of capital, goods and services. However, they present only one stage and another form in rapid joining the path to economic globalisation. »Global alliances« of transnational companies play the similar role and they rapidly create transnational, or actually, true mega structures in the corporate sector.
If, after the European Union has become a single economic area, the agreed deadlines are met for creation of the following free trade zones: within ASEAN till 2003, till 2005 between North and South Americas, till 2010 among the industrialised members of APEC, and till 2020 among all members of APEC, and if the Transatlantic free trade zone is also created (what is mostly likely to occur), then over 90 per cent of the world trade will be carried out in a single free trade zone. In less than twenty years giant economic blocks or mega integration will, consequently, bring about almost full globalisation of national markets of goods, services and capital. This does not apply to labour market, excluding the most qualified and scarce experts in some countries or the groups they belong to!!
Japan and China are a sort of paradoxes in their attitudes towards globalisation. Taking into account the fact that Japan is one of the two most powerful super industrialised countries in the world it would be natural that it is one of the champions of globalisation. However, it is not like that and very often this country sees it as an attempt to impose the American model of capitalism that does not correspond to its culture and tradition. The Chinese, however, think that for many centuries China lagged behind in its development as a result of its closeness to the outer world. It now belongs to the group of medium developed countries acting as a champion in opening to the world as well as of liberalisation of foreign economic relations and development of intensive co-operation with transnational and multinational companies.
While supporters of globalisation glorify this process its opponents condemn it considering globalisation the neoimperialistic concept that the most powerful countries apply in their attempts to dominate the world economy. On the other hand, realists pledge for a rational approach that should include efforts to maximise the positive and minimise the negative characteristics of globalisation, thus turning it into one of the main factors of all-sided progress, and above all, the economic one. While the guiding idea of supporters of globalisation is »Think globally and act locally!«, the one of its opponents is »Think locally and act globally!«. Then, the guiding idea of realists should be: »Think globally and locally and act in the same way!«, concludes the author.
THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA IN CONTEMPORARY DIPLOMACY (article in Serbian)
The paper discusses the context and history of the contemporary issues of cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, both from a legal, and from a diplomatic point of view. It discusses elements of public international law that constitute FRY’s obligation to cooperate with ICTY, as well as the FRY Constitution and the federal criminal legislation in the parts where they are directly related to this issue. The paper concludes that there is a clear and undeniable obligation of FRY to cooperate fully with the ICTY, but at the same time there are equally clear and undeniable controversies in the organisation and operation of the ICTY which the FRY diplomacy ought to consider its highest priority to address constructively through the General Assembly of the United Nations. However, the inclination by the Serbian Government during 2001 to effect all aspects of cooperation with ICTY in areas that belong exclusively to the domain of the federal government, such as extradition of the accused, has led to a certain relativisation of the roles of ICTY and the federal state, and has induced the Chief Prosecutor to start openly lobbying for one rather than another political option on the internal political scene in FRY. Such was the speech given by the Prosecutor to the Security Council in November 2001, where she openly sided with the political option represented in the Serbian Government, and criticized the political option present in the federal government. Similar trends are detectable in some of the UN organs active within FRY, which appear to forget their status and formal relationship with the FRY government, and openly take sides in the internal political debate leading up to the next election in Serbia.
The above reasons illustrate how seemingly “legalistic” and “theoretical” principles have a greater longer-term practical value than the seemingly extremely “practical” solutions that lead to breaches of the established rules of conduct in international relations. While on the one hand it might have seemed highly “pragmatic” to take on the competencies of the federal government and extradite the indicters to the Tribunal by the Serbian government, in the longer term it is proving to be counter-productive, because it encourages the transformation of the role of ICTY, and relativises the rules by which this organization ought to operate, making it acceptable for the Tribunal’s organs to engage in exerting open political pressure on the internal democratic political scene in Serbia. This is why the relationship between the seemingly “pragmatic” and the seemingly “legalistic” should be re-examined in diplomatic terms.
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AND LATIN AMERICA (article in Serbian)
The terrorist attacks on the USA launched on 11 September 2001 made a direct effect on resoluteness of Latin American governments to harmonise their positions with the ones of the US government and other regional organisations in taking joint actions in their combat to eliminate terrorist activities on the American continent. This effort is supported by the measures adopted at the bilateral level as well as by Inter-American and Iberoamerican organisations. Only in 2000 out of 247 terrorist attacks made in the world 28 were launched in this region, this including Columbia with 25 attacks, Peru with 1 and Mexico with 2. This fact instigated the Latin American countries to show resoluteness in taking urgent and comprehensive measures in their combat against terrorist activities in the region. As the authors point out the events of 11 September 2001 undoubtedly instigated USA and Latin America to make a decision on redefining their bilateral relations in the field of security, and that is a segment of co-operation that for disappearance of the bipolar system in the world has been considerably neglected so far. Now, that the conditions have changed USA and Latin American countries have expressed their willingness to include illegal manufacturing and trade of narcotics in a new treaty as well as other forms of terrorist activities directed against constitutional systems of the countries all over the region.
The first step in specifying a new continental strategy in the combat to eliminate international terrorism was made by the Organisation of American States - OAS. On 21 September 2001 the Permanent Council of this regional organisation adopted at the Meeting of Consultation OEA of Ministers of Foreign Affairs the Resolution on »Strengthening of Hemispheric Cooperation to Prevent, Combat and Eliminate Terrorism« (RC.23/RES.1/01). It referred to the Resolution previously adopted at the XXIV Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty) entitled »Terrorist Threat to Americas«. As the authors point out it is important to note that this has activated mechanisms of Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE). At its meeting that took place on 15 October 2001 in Washington, D.C. this Committee adopted a special declaration against terrorism emphasising that »attack on one (OAS member) is an attack against all«.
The analysis of the origin and development of terrorism in Latin America as well as adoption of measures and modes for their elimination clearly points to the fact that Latin American countries, being themselves threatened by terrorism, attach great importance to this matter and make considerable efforts in their combat to eliminate terrorist activities in this region and the world, too. This can be supported by the activities they take in UN and in their regional organisations. The authors point out that, apart from the actions the states individually take, combat against international terrorism is also sanctioned by the decisions of Latin American regional, inter-regional and other organisations and they are binding for all countries in the region.
Due to the high degree of economic dependence of the region on the developments in the North American economies (USA and Canada) the events of 11 September 2001 produced negative effects on the Latin American economies. As early as in the second half of the year the indicators of economic trends showed a considerable fall of economic activities in Latin America, thus announcing the beginning of recession of this region. All these facts suggested the possibility of further aggravation of political, social and economic situation in Latin American countries what would bring about increase in terrorist activities.
THE EUROPEAN MONETARY UNION AND EURO (article in Serbian)
The euro is the name of the new European currency. The euro makes it easier to travel and to compare prices, and the common currency gives a stable environment for businesses, stimulating growth and competitiveness.
On 1 January 1999, 11 of the European Union countries adopted the euro: Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland. On that date the conversion rates between the euro and the old national currencies were fixed. From 1 January 2001. Greece is also part of the euro zone. During this period the euro is already used for transfers, payment with credit cards, etc. Euro bank notes and coins are available from 1. January 2002. After that date you can pay with the same notes and coins everywhere in the euro zone.
If they are to join the Euro, the Member States must bring their economies closer together (this is known as achieving “convergence”). Four convergence criteria have been established for that purpose: Member States must avoid excessive government deficits. Their performance is measured against two reference ratios: 3% of GDP for the annual deficit and 60% of GDP for the stock of government debt; inflation should not exceed by more than 1.5 percentage points that of the three best performing Member States in terms of price stability in the previous year; the country’s currency must have remained within the normal fluctuation margins of the European Monetary System (EMS) for al least two years; long-term interest rates should not exceed by more than 2 percentage points the average of the three Member States with the lowest rates in the Union.
Economic and monetary union (EMU) means a single monetary policy within a single economic market, and is therefore the logical complement to the single market. The EMU is run by a European Central Bank independent of national governments and Community institutions.
The advantages of a single currency are numerous. For one, a single currency means that travelers across the Community no longer have to change money, while losing money on every transaction. Small business and consumers, a single currency will also take away the uncertainty about the price for which goods are sold. Furthermore, if goods and services are priced in one and the same currency will be strengthened considerably, much to the Community’s benefit as a whole. In this way, the single currency will also help simulate growth and employment.
The prediction of some economists (Robert Mundell) is that after the year 2002. the European monetary Union will include its current 12 members plus Sweden, Denmark, and Britain. By 2005, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Estonia will also be in. And by 2010, assuming all goes well and the monetary union is prosperous, no country in Europe will want to, or be able to, afford to stay out. Thus, Slovakia, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, FR Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria will all join the monetary union.
The dollar-euro exchange rate is going to become the most important price in the world, and neither Europe nor the United States is going to want to have big fluctuations in that price. This will be a movement toward stabilization, institutional or otherwise, de facto, to stabilize and reduce fluctuations. When that happens, Japan will not want to let its exchange rate diverge very much from the dollar-euro rate, so that by 2010 we will be back to a world where we get more fixed exchange rates, and the International Monetary Fund will be dragged back to its original function.
A MODEL OF AMERICAN FOREIGN TRADE POLICY (article in Serbian)
Foreign trade policy is increasingly becoming a significant part of foreign policy of every state. As The United States of America is economically the most powerful state its foreign trade policy is of great importance for the whole world. As the author points out one should keep in mind the fact that the American foreign trade policy is also a significant instrument for attaining the US foreign policy objectives while the political factors in USA also serve to realise its foreign trade interests. For better understanding of the American foreign trade action it is necessary, to get to know in detail the system of the American foreign trade policy making, says the author. The paper presents the most important institutions that participate in this process, describing the legislation that defines this process and also analysing the basic dimensions of this policy - and these are bilateral regional and multilateral trade relations between USA and the rest of the world.
Considering the institutional structure of US foreign trade policy creation and taking into account the fact that there is no ministry of foreign trade in USA, its creation is being done at several levels within the presidential administration, while the Congress has considerable authorities in ratification of trade agreements with other states. One of the significant bodies is the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that conducts negotiations on trade preferences with other states. Together with US legislation, this institutional mechanism creates a framework for American foreign trade policy creation.
The author points out that
customs ceased to be the dominant instrument of the US foreign trade
policy what resulted from reduction of tariff rates and this was
effectuated by GATT and later by the World Trade Organization. However,
non-tariff barriers imposed by USA are an unavoidable obstacle for
access of foreign exporters to the US market. One of the measures
employed by USA are
US trade relations with other states are primarily regulated bilaterally. The most important partners of USA are Canada and Mexico as well as the states from its surroundings. Other significant US trade partners can be divided into two groups: European and Asian ones. USA has established developed political relations with majority of its most significant trade partners and they are often its allies. Only in case of PR of China tense political relations with USA frequently follow developed trade relations.
In 1994, what was comparatively late, USA opted for regional trade co-operation. Then was established NAFTA - regional economic integration in North America. It is planned to expand the regional integration that would involve the whole Latin America and this would be done by establishment of Free Trade of Area of the Americas (FTAA). This is in line with the concept of political domination of USA over this region. USA has also established regional trade co-operation with the Asian and Pacific regions through APEC. It is also planned to establish regional trade co-operation with EU in the form of the proposed Transatlantic market.
US multilateral foreign trade policy is pursued by participation of this state in the work of international economic organisations. Since it has a large number of votes in international financial organisations and also provides with large funds the budget of the World Trade Organization USA exercises control over these organisations. In this way, it exerts impact on making of economic policies of other member states of these organisations. This is particularly noticeable in international financial organisations where most member states apply for credits. To be granted them, and USA finances most credits, these countries should first fulfil some economic and political conditions that are imposed to them.
The author finally points to the fact that it would be of great importance for FR Yugoslavia to monitor US foreign trade policy making, since it is expected that it should soon restore its status of the most-favoured nation in trade with USA. This is of vital significance and it would also have an impact on its membership in the World Trade Organization.
THIRD WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM (article in Serbian)
Under the auspices of the United Nations the Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance took place in Durban from 31 August-8 September 2001. Its goal was to consider the progress made in the combat against racism and racial discrimination, to make recommendations for further acting in this field as well as to define the way in overcoming the existing problems. The purpose of the Conference was also to define specific recommendations for more efficient implementation of the existing standards in functioning of the United Nations through the programmes whose aim would be to strengthen the efficacy of activities in the combat against racism; then to formulate particular recommendations that would serve to further direct the combat against all forms of racism at the national, regional and international levels as well as to make specific recommendations as to ensure funds and other necessary instruments the world organisation needs.
According to its agenda the Conference discussed the most significant problems of racism and they were as follows: sources, causes and contemporary forms of racism, as well as other forms of related intolerance; victims, measures of prevention, education and protection to be directed towards elimination of racism in general; provision of efficient legal measures and compensations; strategies of action including the international co-operation and strengthening of the system of United Nations in the combat against racism.
The Declaration and Programme of Action were adopted by consensus, although there were great difficulties in adopting some of their parts, this particularly concerning those treating the Middle East and reparations for slavery and colonialism. The documents of the Conference were created on the basis of the achieved compromise, after the delegations of USA and Israel had left the meeting disagreeing with adoption of the resolution that would condemn Israel for racism, apartheid and genocide. Israel was not condemned in the final documents, while slavery was qualified as a crime against humanity, this involving the right to ask apology, but not reparation in money as a form of support to the programmes of development of societies that were its victims.
The discussion in the Conference was primarily focused on the Middle East problems and reparations for the period of colonialism what could turn its course from the global directions and dilute its goals. The participants of the Conference affirmed that racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance are serious violation of human rights and they imperil enjoying of these rights. They are indivisible and mutually depend on each other, requiring national and international commitment at the political, economic, social and cultural fields for the purpose of improving the living conditions on all continents. The participants noticed that these problems keep on affecting the world, causing serious danger that even greater conflict could occur and also increasing international tension. Actually, socio-economic development is jeopardised by widely spread internal and external conflicts that are caused by, among other things, violation of human rights, including those that result from racism and related intolerance as well as from the lack of democracy.
The Programme of Action includes measures for prevention of discrimination to be adopted at the national level or actually by working out national plans in this field. This involves adoption of legislation and protection measures in particular, education against discrimination, strengthening of the role of private sector, media and non-governmental organisations, elimination of religious discrimination, discrimination of native population, migrant workers, refugees and displaced persons.
Partial success of the Conference points to the fact that we are facing the crisis in negotiations within United Nations on some general issues upon which states take different positions. The Durban Conference pointed to the great gap between North and South and rich and poor - all places where economic, social, legal or status inequalities are deepening or taking roots are a rich soil for racism.
THE OVIEDO CONVENTION - EUROPEAN CHARTER ON BIOETHICS (article in Serbian)
The growth of new knowledge is visible in almost all fields of human activities. New findings in biomedicine attract special attention. The reason for this lies in the fact that such knowledge can be applied on man. Possible abuse of such findings and the effects they can produce cause great concern and even wonder how to efficiently set limits in this sphere reducing and preventing events no one wants to occur. The uncontrolled application of scientific findings could be opposite to the principle of scientific creativity regardless of the promising and prospective usefulness of such inventions for the man. The character of possible abuses is such that it could seriously jeopardise fundamental interests and human rights. Therefore, within the framework of legislative field there is an evident need to arrange these relations as fully and adequately as possible.
In this paper the author presents the attempts made so far to define this exceptionally significant scientific field through international law. As he says, numerous rules in this field are literally scattered around and can be found in various documents, what by itself, does not meet the correct requirement that such rules must be defined in detail and codified in an appropriate way.
The first international agreement that regulates this subject is Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regards to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. It is usually called the Oviedo Convention. The Convention was adopted after long preparations by the Council of Europe on 19 November 1996. It came into power on 1 December 1999. According to the Convention the nature of the human being must be respected and protected in cases it clashes with the scientific findings that would be of such a character as to abuse knowledge in the field of biomedicine. The author analyses in detail the most significant provisions and principles of this document. He points to the fact that its importance lies in the fact that this is for the first time that the rules in the field of biomedicine and bioethics are codified by such an international agreement. At the same time the author is of the opinion that very rapid and complex development of scientific knowledge in this field produces new problems, and therefore, it is necessary to codify as comprehensively as possible the rules in biomedicine and bioethics.
The lack of universally relevant and valid international legal framework implies that the contemporary mankind insufficiently concerns itself with this problem. Noting the complexity of biomedical and bioethical issues the Council of Europe issued in 2001 Directive taking in this way an explicit position on the necessity to adopt such legislation that would be in accordance with the significance of this important issue. It is, therefore, realistic to expect that in the future there would be created a system of common values in the field of law. It is necessary to establish a universally agreeable legislative framework since it makes a part of indispensable measures that the anthropological entity carries out in building of an acceptable, desirable and legally arranged acting in this field. The author concludes that there should be soon adopted a convention or charter of universal character regulating this field as precisely and fully as possible.
INTERNATIONAL PROBLEMS, NO. 3, 2002
THE BALKANS - A VIEW INTO THE FUTURE
WITHOUT INTERNAL AND REGIONAL STABILITY THERE IS NO INTEGRATION INTO EUROPE (article in Serbian)
For the first time in history, all the countries of the European South East share the same basic foreign policy orientation - to become a part of the European integration. The other important factor is that, also for the first time in history, no one in Europe has special interests in and designs on individual countries of the Balkans - the integrated Europe has an objective that fully converges with the orientation of Balkan countries, having adopted the strategic decision to enlarge in the South East of Europe.
If one can say that the road toward Europe for the countries of the region has been clearly marked, it is certainly not a path strewn with roses. On the contrary - it is bumpy, potholed and rather long. However, the very journey toward Europe is even more important than the final destination itself.
Two dimensions of this process have been very much present in every and each country of the region. One, the most important, is internal transformation of our societies and states, transition and building-up of the democratic institutions; the other is the integration or preparation for the integration into European and Euro Atlantic institutions and political processes: accession to the Council of Europe, membership in NATO's Partnership for Peace and later to NATO and negotiating a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union. The third, equally important dimension, which should serve as a connective tissue between the two - regional cooperation - has been mostly neglected, having been present more verbally than in essence. Integration does not start in Brussels, but at home, in the region. It would help very much if the EU supports such an attitude by including the regional cooperation into the conditionality context. Namely, there is a certain discrepancy between the individual negotiating and assessment of the progress of each of the countries in meeting the EU criteria and the need for a process of regional cooperation which should take place parallel of even precede the process of integration into Europe.
One can say that we have now some peace and some stability and security in the region. The peace is fragile and more the state of no-war than stable peace. Sure enough, stability is much stronger today than before the international forces arrived into the region and before the democratic changes in Croatia and Serbia took place, but there is still long time to go to reach a full and long-term stability. Anyhow, the fact remains that the self-sustaining regional stability remains a good distance away. The region needs the coherent approach and active participation of the international community and its military presence in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia for years to come. Let's not delude ourselves: if the troops were withdrawn today who could tell what would happen tomorrow.
The sources of regional instability are in uneliminated consequences of the recent wars and in the fact that nowhere in the region the complete discontinuity with the policies, ideologies, way of thinking and institutional set-up inherited from previous regimes has been realized. As long as we have the situation that the human rights are still endangered, that the refugees cannot return to their homes, that the language of hatred, temporarily pressed back, has been renewed in many media and public statements of the politicians, that there has been no readiness in our societies to face the truth about the crimes committed on behalf of our nations (making instead a distinction between the war criminals as "ours" and "theirs"), as long as there is still no effective civilian control over the armed forces and police - we cannot say that the danger of interethnic and other conflicts or terrorist actions has been fully eliminated. To complete the picture one should add mass arms, drugs and cigarettes smuggling, human trafficking and other forms of organized transboundary criminal. In the situation that people are impoverished, war profiteers unpunished, economic development and standard of living stagnating, and social dialogue unrealized, and outbursts of social dissatisfaction can also be one of the sources of instability.
Problems of internal political stability in the countries individually and in the region as a whole are becoming crucial for the success of the reforms and for the speed of the process of association to the European integrations.
THE INTERNATIONALISATION OF THE COMPETITION LAW (article in Serbian)
The disputes caused by the exterritorial implementation of national rules of competition increasingly create problems in international economic relations. They often threaten to jeopardise not only the business transactions performed by companies or groups of companies concerned, but also the relations between the countries whose interests are affected by certain behaviour.
In order to overcome such problems a large number of bilateral agreements and several regional arrangements have been concluded. These bilateral agreements mostly provide co-operation between authorised bodies especially in the form of notifications and consultations, in maintaining competition in cases when implementation of national laws of one country might affects the interests of its partner. In these agreements the model of co-operation recommended by OECD is noticeable. The countries that have developed among themselves the relations of special economic and political solidarity, mostly within one region, in separate agreements have largely regulated their relations in the field of competition protection. This is above all, the case with the European Union and FTA, or actually, NAFTA countries. ANZERTA and APEC also include the competition policies in their discussions, although these agreements are not so ambitious in defining relations in that field.
Although these bilateral and regional agreements settle the disputes caused by the anti-competition behaviour in a rather successful way, these problems still remain in relations with the third countries. They can be resolved only globally by regulating this field at the multilateral level.
The first attempts to regulate this field were made pretty long ago. However, apart from some activities taken in this field within UNCTAD, OECD and GATT, no comprehensive rules considering the issues they define and a group of countries that implement them have been adopted at the international level, so far. Nevertheless, judging by the activities already taken and the explicitly shown need for regulating competition at the global level one can clearly conclude that with the process of globalisation the efforts directed towards adoption of multilateral rules in this field, will be continued or even intensified.
The fact that, however, is not quite clear is what sector of economy and what key international organisation will take a leading role in moving forward towards achieving greater internationalisation of competition policy and law. In the world business circles it is generally assumed that »hi-tech« sector actually composed of several sectors, as well as the sector of services will be especially interested in new rules of competition at the international level. As for the competent forum, two options seem today to be the most realistic - OECD and WTO. Although OECD has gained considerable experience in this field it has a significant limitation as well - actually, members of OECD are only the most developed countries, so developing countries and countries in transition, which make the majority of countries of the world, would be excluded from the whole activity and the rules that would possibly be laid down would not be applied on them. These limitations naturally lead to the other option - WTO. However, for the time being, this option seems to be difficult to accomplish, taking into consideration that there should be ensured implementation of the agreement among a hundred or so countries at the very different level of economic development and different ideas on the role of state in the economy and the market. Concerning this principal remark two problems could appear. If the achieved agreement would contains very general rules that might cause numerous conflicts and uncertainty in their implementation. However, if the agreement would entails more specific rules more operative by their contents, the adoption of numerous international agreements to prepare their implementation would be needed.
For the time being, it seems more realistic to reach agreements on some issues in the field of competition by taking a series of minor and unpretending multinational initiatives. For example, in this manner subsidies are regulated presently at the international level within GATT or actually WTO. Namely, since the reduction of tariffs, and the application of other measures resulting from successful negotiations at the global level, have made prominent the impact of subsidies on the world competition in recent years, the interest has grown to ensure transparency and discipline in this field as well. Created as early as fifty years ago within GATT the international rules defining the subsidies have been constantly improved, and the last significant contribution to their regulation is the 1994 WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.
SOME OPEN QUESTIONS AND PROSPECTS FOR CO-OPERATION OF THE DANUBE-BASIN COUNTRIES (article in Serbian)
The author is of the opinion that the basic problem in the field of co-operation among the Danube-basin countries is the insufficiency of mutual economic relations between them. In addition, the break-up of SFRY and the war have opened some new questions which take roots in the previous period of time. The insufficiency of co-operation is especially characteristic for the Central and Lower Danube basin, what encompasses the so-called former socialist countries or transition countries. In the future the international co-operation of the Danube-basin countries, together with the inflow of world capital, should ensure vigorous economic development, considering that the principles of sustainable exploitation of natural resources are respected.
The article points to the need to develop the international co-operation in the bilateral and multilateral forms among the Danube-basin countries, as well as in the form of their common approach to the other regions of the world. Taking as a starting point the conception that the purpose of the international co-operation is to achieve the common aims of all inhabitants of South-Eastern Europe, to attain growth of labour productivity, to increase the employment rate, to make progress in sustainable exploitation of resources, to increase the standard of living, to achieve development of national cultures and their mutual interweaving, and thus to ensure growth of material and cultural wealth of any defined community and the region as a whole, the author searches for directions of the prospects for the future co-operation in this region.
The study starts from the present opportunities or actually the existing resources in the Danube-basin, analysing then the state of co-operation in the region, and finally giving some suggestions for overcoming the adverse elements for development of co-operation as well as for establishment of regional co-operation in the field of sustainable exploitation of natural resources.
The Danube basin is a very rich region, considering it as a source of natural resources, already made facilities or cultural heritage it possesses. However, the basic value of the region, what especially applies to the Central and Lower Danube basin, is its geostrategic and strategic and economic position. The basic resource of the complex and many-sided wealth is the very Danube River, being a traffic link that connects not only North-Western with South-Eastern Europe, but the whole Europe with Asia, Africa and the whole world. That connection is made on the land as well as along the river waterway. Both are of exceptional significance for economic development of the region, creating at the same time opportunities (and commitments) for establishment of international co-operation among the Danube-basin countries.
The greatest opportunities for sustainable exploitation of natural and cultural resources, whether they come from its geographic position or from the wealthy and still well preserved nature and cultural heritage, are offered for development of tourism as a complex economic branch. As the author thinks, development of tourism would help instigate development of all other economic branches tourism is connected with and these are agriculture, food processing industry, traffic... By revitalising the activities at the corridors going through Yugoslavia not only the citizens of our country but the whole Europe have regained this great opportunity for achievement of economic and overall development. The European Union as well as the non-European economic powers have their interests to be more present in the Danube basin and to exploit the natural resources and the Danube for growing of its capital. It would be fair if all the countries of the Danube basin could make some profit from this. But profit is not given as present and is made by using one's own wisdom to ensure economic progress for itself by establishing co-operation with the foreign countries that invest their capital there, not allowing degradation of natural resources and taking good care of natural and cultural wealth.
The author discusses only some of the open questions in the field of co-operation among the Danube-basin countries she thinks are urgent, but also possible to resolve, leaving the irretrievable losses as a warning for the future. Out of all problems in bilateral relations the paper considers the question of borders on the Danube, while of those belonging to multilateral relations it explores the problem of navigation on the Danube.
The current dispute over the border between FRY and Croatia on the Danube emerged with acceptance of the boundaries between the former republics within the single federal state as the borders between the newly created states, although the situation was changed after the break-up of SFRY and there also occurred some changes in the river bed. Croatia claims the territory of 7,000 hectares that according to the cadastral survey of the former Yugoslavia belonged to it, while Yugoslavia proposes that there should be established a natural border that would be the Danube River.
The second open question relates to indemnification of the victims of war at least in the part it could be made, because many people are not alive any more. The necessity to indemnify the victims of war results from the fact that any crime committed in the name of »national« interests is an abuse. If it remains unclarified then the crime is ascribed to the whole nation and is a seed planted for new crimes. Thus, the chain of victims in the whole Danube-river basin of the crimes committed at the national, ethnic and religious basis is very long. The author proposes that the starting point in clarification of crimes and indemnification of victims should be the World War II since it is a period vivid in the memory of generations that are still alive.
The problems in navigation on the Danube in the Yugoslav section of the river emerged during the period of war and as late as in mid-2002 there have been made first steps in resolving them. More complete resolution of the problem should in the future involve considerable reconstruction of the waterway in the Yugoslav section. Such task would demand establishment of intense international co-operation of all Danube-basin countries along with the co-operation of other economically powerful European and non-European countries.
A constructive approach to resolving of the existing problems is the first step towards opening a bright perspective for development of the countries of the Danube-basin region, and in general, international co-operation on the Danube. Today, when the war conflicts are over the prospects have been opened for carrying out the old and new initiatives for co-operation. One of the latest initiatives »The Process of the Danube-basin Co-operation« has for its aim »to offer new political impetus for development of multilateral relations among Danube-basin countries without establishment of new institutions«. It deals with economic, navigational, environmental, tourist and cultural dimensions of co-operation. As provided for, ministerial conferences should be held every other year and business conferences in the period between them. They should be an organisational form for turning into reality some dimensions of the process. »The Process of the Danube-basin Co-operation« is a good step forward in joining together all initiatives made so far, since due to the political circumstances their materialisation could not even start until now.
There are also some initiatives that fit well into »The Process«. These are those that have been elaborated in the form of a large number of projects that open prospects for development of the Danube and international co-operation in the Danube basin based on the 15 year long research and acting of the association of researchers who deal with the Danube and its problems (International Scientific Forum »Danube -The River of Co-operation«. They involve projects of great volume proposed a long time ago, but that could be carried out as late as in the distant future as well as those that can be carried out sooner. Thus, they involve the projects such as the Morava-Vardar canal whose aim is to connect the Danube with the Aegean Sea, as well as the projects on building of tourist ports and other facilities in the Yugoslav part of the Danube.
At the 13th International Scientific Conference »Danube - The River of Co-operation« to be held in October 2002 in Kladovo, Yugoslavia, there will be launched only some of them: the project »Euro region Djerdap«, »The Danube Propeller« directed towards economic development of the Yugoslav part of the Danube basin and the project of foundation of a special-purpose bank, with bank stock structure and of international character. Its working name would be Development Bank »Danube International« whose business policy would be based on development programmes similar to »The Danube Propeller«. It would grant credits for the projects initiated by its clients.
THE ROLE OF MIGRANT PROFESSIONALS IN THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION IN YUGOSLAVIA (article in English)
The paper deals mainly with brain drain, primarily including emigration of professionals - scientists and engineers from the FR of Yugoslavia. The author discusses the magnitude of the brain drain in FRY and the main reasons of emigration. He argues that the brain drain is in general a loss for the country of origin and mainly a gain for the host country, and explains what could be the main contributions of these professionals to the reforms in their country of origin.
BASIC CONSTITUTIONAL CONCEPTIONS IN THE COUNTRIES OF FORMER YUGOSLAVIA - A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS (article in Serbian)
This article focuses on the constitutional framework of the newly established states within the borders of the former SFR of Yugoslavia: the Republic of Slovenia, Republic of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and Republic of Macedonia. For this group of states the author uses the term South Slavic countries because the prevailing population in these countries is of cognate Slavic ethnic origin.
The article is composed of six parts dealing with the most important fields defined by the constitutional law of these countries. Thus, the first part contains constitutional and legal definitions of these countries referring to the historical continuity of national sovereignty and determining the subjects of sovereignty. In the second part of the article the author deals with the regulations in the field of human rights by doing a comparative constitutional analysis of general and some specific features. He says that many solutions related to the frameworks and protection of human rights are similar in these countries noticing the tendency that almost all South Slavic countries have committed themselves to application of international standards and conventions that regulate the above mentioned field. In the third part the author explains the vertical organisation of these countries, thus specifying in more details the structure of states and their determination as unitarian or complex ones. A separate part of the article deals with the organisation of governance in these states. The author points out the fact that all constitutional enactments of South Slavic countries entail the principle of division of power to legislative, executive and judicial ones. He also studies the constitutional regulation of local self-government in these countries. Considering the fact that almost all these countries are multiethnic, the author paid particular attention to the constitutional definition of the position of ethnic minority communities.
CONSTITUTIONAL ORGANISATION OF SWITZERLAND
EXPERIENCES AND LESSONS
Stability of the Swiss political system that has been achieved in the highly complex multiethnic, multiconfessional and multicultural community is a sufficient argument for scientific interest of the above issue. Apart from the neutral foreign policy position and a long-standing internal political stability of coalition governments, some specific constitutional solutions that are discussed in this paper also contribute to the efficiency of the system.
The main features of the constitutional organisation of Switzerland, currently based on the constitution adopted in 1999, are: federal organisation of the state that guarantees maintenance of the specific features and autonomy of federal units (cantons) which at the same time does not jeopardise the efficient functioning of the state as a whole; the assembly system of the horizontal organisation of power that due to the specific position and competences of the Federal Government makes it close to the system of parliamentary government preserving at the same time the significant principle of the assembly system of organisation of power - the principle of the assembly and not judicial control of the conformity of the legislation with the constitution and laws of the country; vast constitutional opportunities and practical application of direct democracy (initiative and referendum); insisting on the application of the principle of proportionality in electing the basic authorities as well as the direct election of public officials; non-ethnic conception of the nation and the principle of residence and not membership of an ethnic community as a basis for acquiring Swiss citizenship.
The constitutional system of Switzerland largely reflects the specific features of its historical development. First created as a confederation of three tribes (primarily those of German and Romansch origin) as early as in 1291, and enlarged by accession of other territorially and politically independent entities (communes and cantons) by making bilateral and multilateral agreements, Switzerland became a federation in 1848 although officially it still uses the term confederation.
The system reflects the mixed ethnic and religious composition of the population in Switzerland. Out of almost seven million inhabitants who live today in Switzerland about 65 per cent speak German, around 20 per cent speak French, about 8 per cent speak Italian, while only 0.7 per cent of the population speak Romansch language. These four languages are official languages of the Confederation. By religious belief about 45 per cent inhabitants are Catholics, around 40 per cent are Protestants, while 10 per cent are atheists. Under such circumstances in Switzerland was created the idea of a nation as a political and not an ethnic community (Willensnation) and there was developed special political culture that cherishes compromises and coalitions.
Political and territorial power in Switzerland is organised at three levels - federal, cantonal and local ones. At the federal level Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung) is the legislature and supreme authority. It consists of two chambers. The National House (Nationalrat) represents all citizens of Switzerland, and the House of Cantons (Ständerat) consists of an equal number of representatives from all cantons. The Federal Council (Bundesrat) is the supreme executive and administrative authority; it is a kind of a coalition government composed of the leading political parties in Switzerland (two Liberals, two Christian Democrats, two Social Democrats and one representative of some smaller party). In forming the Federal Council there is applied the criterion of proportional party representation combined with the language and confessional criteria. The prime minister is also the president of the Federation (Bundespräsident). The Federal Court is the supreme judicial instance, but its constitutional jurisdiction is comparatively small. The Federal Assembly is authorised to judge the conformity of federal laws with the constitution of the country, as well as organisational disputes between the supreme federal authorities.
Federalism - structural principle of organisation and division of power between the central state and its constituent parts - is here adapted to maintain specific features and autonomy of cantons and not to jeopardize the effective functioning of the community as a whole. In Switzerland there are 20 cantons and 6 half cantons, what altogether makes 26 entities which are not created by the ethnic or confessional (cultural) criteria. They have full autonomy with regard to the internal political organisation, this including the provision that they should fulfil the following two conditions: the constitutions of the cantons must be accepted both by the Federal Assembly and by citizens at the cantonal referendum that is obligatory in this case.
Cantons have their own institutions: assemblies, governments and courts. Duality of institutions does not constrain the co-operation between the two levels of power (federal and cantonal ones). On the contrary, there is a comparatively small number of exclusive competences of one or the other level of power. They are mostly mixed or common, and the Confederation assumes those assignments that require uniform standardisation, while the cantons supplement the provisions of the federal ones by adopting their own laws. The Confederation is mostly authorised to deal with foreign policy, monetary and foreign exchange system, customs, while cantons are authorised to act in the fields of education, culture, the relationship between the church and the state, etc.
Local self-government comes within the competences of the cantons. Therefore, there are differences among the cantons of the extent to which the competences are transferred by cantons to municipalities.
The Swiss system is also characterised by immense application of the various forms of direct democracy. The abstract idea of the people’s sovereignty is in Switzerland turned into vast constitutional opportunities and broad application of referendum and initiatives at all levels of power. The opinions on some issues which are within the domain of the federal policy are given both by citizens of Switzerland and cantons as well (for example, on the change of the constitution, on the inclusion of the country into international organisations and supranational communities).
Those specific and original constitutional solutions have contributed to the apprehension of this system as »the paradigm of political integrations« both at the national and regional levels, although regional and global integration processes will be the greatest challenge for Switzerland in the future, concludes the author.
INTERNATIONAL PROBLEMS, NO. 4, 2002
Dr. Zlatko ISAKOVIĆ
DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND ETHNIC CONFLICTS IN THE GLOBALISED WORLD (article in English)
The aim of this paper is to elaborate relationships between democracy, human rights and ethnic conflicts in the globalised world. The first part is devoted to an analysis of the impacts of democracy and human rights on the ethnic conflicts, and second elaborates impacts of the conflicts on the democracy and human rights. Both parts are supposed to elaborate the topic within the context of globalised world. The main conclusion is that if a system cannot be qualified as democratic one and respectful for human rights, appears the complex dilemma what should and would come first: developing democracy and/or respecting human rights or eliminating ethnic conflicts or preventing their escalations/deescalating them.
Dr. Vladimir RUKAVISHNIKOV
THE RUSSIANS AND THE AMERICAN "WAR ON TERRORISM": LESSONS LEARNED AFTER SEPTEMBER 11 (article in English)
Paper deals with the Russian perception of the American "war against terrorism" started after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. It shows how the Russian attitudes towards the American foreign policy have changed during the first year of this war - from September 11, 2001 to September 11, 2002. The American "global war on terrorism" is reviving and crystallizing deep-seated cultural and ideological differences between the United States and Russia, and becoming a factor jeopardizing global stability. The analysis is based on data of opinion surveys, official documents and messages conveyed to the public by the national electronic and printed media.
Prof. Ivan IVEKOVIĆ
ISRAEL AND THE BANTUSTANIZATION OF PALESTINE (article in English)
Contrary to repeated statements that Israel is a ‘democratic state,’ the author argues that it is an ethnocratic state. From its inception it has established a system of legal, political, residential and economic segregation of its Palestinian citizens. Since Israel has occupied the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in 1967, these were subjected to a systematic Jewish colonization and Judaization, which were met with Palestinian resistance. Both created a spiral of political violence. Israel’s ‘industrial’ state terror is now confronted with ‘artisan’s’’ terror of frustrated Palestinian groups. The author is of the opinion that a highly defective ‘peace’ deal offered by the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon would have transformed the Palestinian state entity in a Bantustan-like cluster of would-be ‘autonomous areas’.
Prof. Radovan KOVAČEVIĆ
THE LIMITATIONS OF THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC INTEGRATION (article in Serbian)
It is an important result of economic theory that integration might alter the allocation of resources within a country as well as between countries. Moreover, there are theory-based arguments suggesting that border regions might have an advantage in attracting resources due to their specific location in the centre of the integration area.
In this paper author have highlighted the continued empirical importance of national borders, even within the EU, which exhibits a much higher degree of economic integration than has been achieved at the global level. Perhaps even more surprising is that capital flows show distinctly similar patterns, a bias towards investment in the home market. In fact it would appear that these two phenomena are closely linked. Thus, whilst globalization has had profound effects on economic actors there is little to suggest that the traditional role for governments in OECD countries in providing social welfare and in regulating the domestic market economy are being undermined.
If these borders to international commerce are impervious to further policy initiatives, or if their removal would reduce welfare by, for example, undermining individual preferences, then the frictionless world foreseen by some where national administrations become largely impotent in affecting domestic economic outcomes is unlikely to occur. Thus, future discussions concerning global governance will take place between sovereign states that retain substantial discretion in economic policy making in an environment of considerable differences in economic and political power.
The author have noted, however, that this situation is apparent for the industrialized countries. In developing countries the situation may be very different. The range of policies that is available in OECD countries is not accessible to many developing countries. In addition the social and business networks and the nature of consumer preferences, which have evolved over many years in OECD countries, and which are key elements in differentiating national from international markets, are not developed to the same extent or take forms which may be inconsistent with and undermined by the increasing use of the market mechanism.
Dr. Džemal HATIBOVIĆ
AMERICAN “NEW ECONOMY”- ACHIEVEMENTS AND PROBLEMS (article in Serbian)
Contrary to the forecasts and expectations of many experts radical changes became prominent in 1990s in the dynamics of the overall growth of majority of the economically most powerful countries. US GNP rose by the rates twice as much larger than those of the European Union and tree times as much larger than those of Japan. The Russian GNP took a downward trend and was finally twice as much smaller while it rose in China at such a speed that it became three times larger in the ten-year period.
In 2000 US real GNP totalled $ 9,646 billion (22 per cent of the world GNP), that of the European Union $8,765 billion (20 per cent of the world GNP), that of China $4,966 billion (11 per cent of the world GNP), that of Japan $ 3,354 billion (8 per cent of the world GNP), than of India $ 2,432 billion (5.5 per cent of the world GNP), and that of Germany $ 2,054 billion (4.5 per cent of the world GNP). With GNP that in 2000 amounted to $ 34,260 per capita USA consolidated its position as the leading country in the world and it was followed by Switzerland with $ 30,350 per capita, Norway with $29,760, Belgium with $ 27,500, Canada with $ 27,330, Denmark with $ 27,120, Japan with $ 26,460, Austria with $ 26,310, Holland with $ 26,170, Ireland with $ 25,470 and Germany with $ 25,010.
USA recorded remarkable success concerning another two indicators of economic performances – employment and unemployment and consumer prices trends as well as reduction of the public debt, but its weakest point remained the current balance of payments deficits and rise in foreign debt. Since mid-2000 till mid-2001 growth slowed down while in the third quarter of 2001 there was recorded a fall of GNP and rise in unemployment. In the fourth quarter of 2001 GNP began to rise again.
The key role in dynamisation and prolongation of growth as well as in its slowdown, fall and recovery plays the “new economy” that involves, according to the author, at least four different things: 1) a branch of the industry that produces information and communication equipment based on the latest technologies, 2) a part of the economy that produces or uses equipment based on the latest information and communication technologies, 3) national economy that utilises at the utmost degree new information and communication technologies that are also used in non-economic spheres (“information” society), 4) the new world economy resulting from the economic transition and globalisation.
The “new economy” taken under the first three items does not result from the spontaneous acting of market laws that force entrepreneurs to make research and development efforts and innovations in order to maximise their profits, or from some genius in informatics like Bill Gates as well as from some spontaneous trends in the technological progress.
It has been a creation of the American state or a number of the American administrations that have made up long-term development strategies of key high and very high technologies in the fields of informatics and communications and that, within that strategy, abundantly financed a whole range of key, risky and expensive projects. At the beginning the motives of the state had been directed towards purely military purposes and later on their purposes were both military and civilian, while some recent projects have been designed purely for civilian use. Carrying out of these projects have enabled great technological breakthroughs in those segments of information and communication technologies that make a backbone of the “new economy”. Just due to this USA is a centre of the global Informatics City. In this centre there have occurred radical changes of the notion, role and significance of the factors such as “time” and “space” in the economic life, in functioning of the national and global market and the national and global economic structure and their segments.
Today, the power of the computer built in an ordinary American car is equal to the one of the computers that enabled the man to take a trip to the Moon. Also today, the whole contents of the American Congress Library can be transferred by means of electronics to the opposite part of USA at a price of $ 40 only while in 2010 long distance telephone calls will be almost free or actually, their users will be availed of a limitless number of such calls.
However, although things are as they are, even in a country that has made the greatest progress in the informatics revolution it is, actually, at its very start. In 1999 in USA there were 54 computers at 100 inhabitants, in Sweden 51, in Japan 22 and in Germany 32, but their power rises at such a pace that in 2010 a personal computer will be 10 million times more powerful than the one from 1975.
USA is the only country that entered the new century and new millennium with a “new economy”, but due to the concurrence of events its economic position is rather complex. It faces, on one hand, great economic problems and challenges caused by terrorism, which produce serious economic implications, and on the other, it possesses sufficient potentials to overcome those problems and successfully tackle the challenges before it, concludes the author.
Prof. Ivan ŠIJAKOVIĆ
THE CAUSES OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN THE COUNTRIES IN TRANSITION (article in Serbian)
Nowadays, respecting human rights is one of the most important indicators of freedom and democracy in a country. The struggle for human rights begun with the first rebellions against rulers’ self-will, resistance to tyranny with the desire to improve the working and living conditions. All international legal and political acts on human rights after the Second World War aim to show that human rights are not just an internal issue of each country, but an international democratic, economic and cultural standard. The United Nations, as well as some developed countries, are concerned with human rights and their violation.
Around the end of the XX century, the issue of human rights was made public owing to the activities of a large number of non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and their efforts to ensure the respect of human rights in the countries that had signed and ratified the international human rights contracts, and bring to attention their abuses.
Human rights are the rights that all people have as human beings, regardless of the country where they live, the economic development of that country, its legal and political structure, culture and tradition. Human rights belong to the sphere of ethical norms and values of a society. They are constantly developing and the new ones appear. Today we speak of the right to ecologically healthy environment, the rights of people with different sexual orientation, the right to access information, etc. This paper is a social analysis of some basic causes of neglect and violation of human rights in the formerly socialist countries, currently undergoing transition towards market economy and democratic political system.
Homogenization is the term that describes the concept of gathering people around an issue or a problem of either real or false violation of certain individual’s or group’s right. Homogenization always creates the possibility for manipulation, accusations, separation, rejection of different opinions and attitudes, and therefore is often the cause of human rights abuses. Ethnic homogenization is accompanied with strong emotions, unrealistic expectations, frustrations, and even irrational actions. Religious homogenization is also one of the causes of human rights abuses. Nowadays, religion is being transformed into ideology. Overtly or covertly, it is striving to become a dominant world-view in some formerly socialist societies. Religious doctrine has replaced the communist ideology, and is trying to become a public and collective matter, to make up for the time lost during the period of its repression. Political and ideological homogenization, expressed through different types of populism, racial, sexual and cultural intolerance in the countries in transition is another threat to human rights.
Economic security is the most important part of each person’s existence in a society, and a prerequisite for any other kind of security. In the countries in transition, government restricts liberal economy, frequently changes and tries to completely control the financial and market conditions, hindering their free development and autonomy from the political system.
In socialist countries, intellectual labour was not appreciated and valued, but was often considered suspicious, it was subject to criticism, and was closely watched by secret governmental agencies. The trend continued in some countries even during the period of transition. Political power rests mostly in the hands of people of modest intellectual capabilities and democratically narrow profile, who encouraged (or failed to prevent) social demagogy, frustrated nationalism and cultural and spiritual primitivism. In such environment, anti-intellectualism continues to develop, as one of the causes of human rights abuses.
It has long been known that those in power use the term “enemy” to homogenize citizens around the issue they are trying to impose. In former socialist countries, the “production” of enemy (internal and external) was the method used by the governments of those countries to keep their citizens in constant fear. Newly formed national states continue the practice of “producing” the enemy, with the only difference that this enemy is now regarded as the enemy of the nation, rather than the enemy of the communist ideology, as it used to be the case.
Economic, political and social instability in the countries in transition have created the value system dominated by crime, corruption, primitivism, political manipulation, accumulation of wealth without work, which all creates the atmosphere in which the perspective for work and creativity does not exist. Other problems plaguing the countries in transition are those related to the development of democracy, respecting the majority principle and protecting the rights of the minority.
There are many other problems and phenomena which must be eliminated before the countries in transition can get on the road towards the free market, economic development, political pluralism, democracy and tolerance, without which the conditions for full respect of human rights cannot exist. This process will be slow and will not proceed in the same manner in all formerly socialist countries in transition towards market economy, political pluralism and democracy, concludes the author.