Melentie Pandilovski on Sat, 3 Apr 1999 16:20:14 +0200 (MET DST)

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Syndicate: The Balkans to the Balkanians

The Balkans to the Balkanians

Let's create peace. Let's rebuild our own region. It coincides with the boundaries of the Balkans.
This time on safe ground. Openly face and overpass all hardships. Get acquainted to
each other. Maybe for the first time properly. A creative explosion will come from this. Let us
conduct a thoughtful reorganization of the Balkans where cultures interact one with another
constructing thus a new socio-economic system that will make good use of the existing cultures
on our peninsula. Expand the conscience for spiritually and materially prosperous Balkans. Have
us use in a good direction the historical conscience of our people. Let us reject the untruth and hatred.
Praise the joy of people, praise their peace. Allow for reconciliation of the Balkanian people and settling
of their disagreements. Negotiate how to demilitarize, transform. Preserve the cultural heritage of the
Balkans. The Balkans are flexible enough to adjust to sociological, economical, and political changes
accepting all religious beliefs. Holy places are holy for all. It only makes them more holy if more people
regard them as such. Let us surpass the destroyed economy, the end of millennium catasBalkantrophy.
In accomplishing this let us try not to harm anyone. Do not work on splitting the region but work on its unity.
It's so easy to split and so difficult to unite. But so much worthier. We need wisdom more than courage.
We need a constant revolution of the heart. We need a concept of togetherness. We need creative
minds with love for the people. We do not need leaders with hunger for power. Nor do we need stubbornness
but rather adaptable, power sharing people. Nobody is alien on the Balkans so nobody should be
discriminated on issues of nation or faith. Religion is a private affair of the individual.
Fear no one and nothing. Let the people of the Balkans determine the faith of the Balkans.
If we don't someone else will.

What are the Balkans now and what are the most urgent issues, which the Balkans are facing?
Primary Issues

In analyzing the posterior situation on the Balkans we can observe that it provides a certain mutation which
has followed a set of particular complex routes in some case resulting in bloodshed.
The era of state regulated society has been retreating occasionally with higher or lower rates in the past
decade in the Balkan part of the European continent. There has been a complete change of the appreciated
values, following the change of the economic framework which has of course on its side influenced gravely
the social structures. A fragmentisation of the whole region has occurred. The political governments on the
Balkans find them selves today in a complete confusion unable to redefine their societies and solve the
problems derived from the shift of systems such as low rates of production, high rates of unemployment,
emigration of intellectuals. To make it more serious the Balkan leaders suffer of inferiority complex with a
high interest in their own position and power. Therefore leaders are lying to their people and getting much
of it. Corruption enters all cells of society and easily maneuvers through the new regulations. The creative
people are massively leaving the region. The non-tampered zone of environmental issues continues in
the same direction despite or because of the dictating economic situation. The rate of pollution has many
times increased. Dirty technology has been brought from the West. Greatest part of the countries income
go into military machines. Nobody wants to invest into the region. The education policy is highly problematic.
The freedom of the press is attacked. War is constantly appearing as a means of primitive solution of
problems in the region. Refugees are flooding the Balkans. The Balkans are almost dying. The 
generations following will think that Dark ages on the Balkans in Europe happened on the dawn of 21st century.

Life should be joy and pleasure. We need freedom for this. 
We need to free the Balkans from the leg irons. Our history is our biggest imprisonment. The chains are our
biggest enemy. Break through it. Let go of it. If we cannot then we may look at it differently and more sanely.
The holy places are holy for all. For Serbs, Macedons, Albanians. One such holy place is Kosovo. It is a very
holy place for the Serbs, with its monasteries and perhaps even more sacred because of the epic resistance
of the last Serbian Tsar Lazar and his Christian army. Lazar in heroic resistance in 1389 against the Ottoman
Turks was himself captured and executed together with the Serbian nobility.  But it is also very important for
the Turks because they (Ottoman Turks) had won perhaps the most triumphal of their numerous victories in
Europe on the Kosovo field. It is also very signifying for their history because even Sultan Murat I had been
killed there. So, it is sacred for them as well. Hagia Sofia is holy for the Greeks and all Orthodox Christians 
being the main place of worship of the city of Constantine under the Byzantine Empire but it is also holy for the
Turks and all Mohammedans because it was converted into a mosque, and was appreciated by the
Ottomans up to a point that virtually every mosque in Turkey has been modeled on the design of this one.
If a place is regarded as holy it is such for all. There is no need for disputes or killing to go on regarding the
issue of holiness. On the contrary love should prevail over it. For holy is holy, and holy is for all.
It is absolutely clear that the Balkan region is with a huge growth potential, about 150 million people live on the
Balkans. Many of the people are young and in some countries the birth rate is extremely high. Being so large
and complex we need to devise a strategy of common mechanisms that will function in reality. A wide approach
towards processes must be paved and implementation of a variety of methodology models should be set 
that benefit the educational, civil, cultural, media, medical, and development systems.
Precisely the shift in the political and economic systems has to be re-directed towards the finding of a
concordant common social, political and economic structure. In order for the new emerging Balkan societies
to accept this direction a link will have to be produced which will connect to the more traditional values since a
certain tribute must be paid by the new culture to the cumulative cultural achievements of the past. I am therefore
proposing a system where the whole region should be regarded as a cultural facility, which in its frameworks
contains the economic and social platform opposed to separating these platforms into individual non-linked
value systems. In order to avoid accumulation of the same value and to spare substantial portions of money
and energy the Balkan societies will have to give advantage to substantially higher synergistic systems.
The Balkan countries should create an association and name it "Balkan Commonwealth", or "Balkan Union"
or something similar. Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, Greece
and Turkey should form it. Any of the bordering countries to the region may join it if they wish. It would have
quite many advantages. More than that it can be a Commonwealth spreading freedom and friendship between
the people. This synergy will be accomplished by formal and informal kind of linkings of cultural agencies or 
institutions through different computerized systems e.g.Internet systems, common databases, protocols, etc.
More developed countries should be aware that the dream of creating
a unified Europe in which people are still exploring the possibilities of a community that transcends national
borders, can to a relatively high point be supported by means of developing the Balkans. In this respect the
interested Balkanian bureaucracy and business should be engaged with the launching of such All-Balkanian
systems which will on its side become a medium attracting multinational business. The essential challenge
of the developers of the New Balkans is to investigate deeply, reaching the higher European standards,
and surpassing them. The new educational and cultural system should be based on the individual and his
natural potentialities, free of all chains. This will only result in people enjoying life, and freedom. If everyone
would find his or her potential this would be a flourishing region. Things are interactive after all. 
The viewpoint of society should be focused into understanding complexities. If we succeed in this then we will
succeed into creating a balance between the different peoples on the Balkans, the different religions in 
which prevailing are the Christianity (Eastern and Western) and the Islam.

How will we do it?
Identify common Balkan concerns and strengthen the ties among the countries.
Promote different approaches and dialog. Raise public awareness of shared issues in the social, political, 
economic and cultural transition in society by providing a creative space for discussion and debate in a 
regional context. Promote a Balkanian network, that facilitates exchange of information, resources, and 
institutional cooperation. Promote cooperation among individuals sharing their diverse experiences in
responding to the complex challenges. Ecology has to have a highest priority. People are suffocating in our
cities. We must create an environment  of tolerance and overcome stereotypes. We should demilitarize and
money should go to culture, education, tourism, clean industries, healthy food. Create possibilities and give
guarantees to foreign financiers that they will not lose their capital on the Balkans. Use creative energy and
support innovative thinking. Promote cultural diversity, information exchange. We must quickly define our
vision regarding the future of communications an upgrade the infocommunications infrastructure and other use
of networks capabilities in order to achieve large economic and social benefits. Benefits of an improved
info-communications infrastructure in overcoming these problems and building are enormous. Even more
than that the Balkanian countries need to establish very close ties with the international info-communications
networks in order to open up both ways to the rest of the world. A building of a Balkanian fiber-optic network
enabling broadband will expand interactive communications and create large positive economic effects.
The widespread application of info-communications functions will lead to a more open economic system 
and an accomplishment of economic growth. This will trigger the essential shift. A high-performing
info-communications infrastructure will encourage international business to invest on the Balkans and will 
expand opportunities for employment. A more sophisticated  infrastructure could substantially add to the 
value of intellectual creativity in the economic structure.
We must be engaged into the development of new industries such as the electronics but the trend has to be
followed and such industries should be supported in the field of info-communications, multimedia industries,
and the of cutting-edge technology, nano technology and bio-technology. Even more than that we must
create our own research centers.
However, in order to succeed do not forget to always call for expert governments in your countries. Presidents
and Prime ministers do not want to have them in principle because in this case they find them as competitors
and it is a position for them where they can hardly practice their ego trips. 
Finally urge the Balkanian diaspora to invest into the Balkans. We could have seen these days
that this works in times of danger. 

We can do it!

Melentie Pandilovski