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Press Releases, 5/21/2010

Wider Europe Initiative and Framework Programme for the Western Balkans: Security and Development research activities launched

Press Release 162/2010
21 May 2010

The security cluster based on the Wider Europe Initiative and the Development Policy Framework Programme for the Western Balkans has launched its research activities on Security and Development.

The overall funding for activities in 2009–2013 is 2.5 million euros with a 500.000 euro annual allocation. The Framework Programme for the Western Balkans will receive 176.500 euros in 2010–2011.

The main objectives for the security cluster activities are to promote the connection between security and development in accordance with the extended security concept, enhance interaction and networking between research institutions, and build capacity and trust in the target areas in Eastern Europe (Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus), South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia), Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) and the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) and, through these measures, widely promote stability and prosperity in the partner countries. Stability is one of the prerequisites for development. Another objective is to increase awareness and regional understanding both in the target areas and in Finland.

The security cluster activities involve Finnish research institutes for foreign and security policy and the following Foreign Ministry departments and units: the Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Department for Europe, the Department for Development Policy and the Unit for Policy Planning and Research.

Ambassador Matti Kääriäinen discussed the focal points of prospective research in a meeting of the advisory group: ”Environment and security is our special brand and a part of our considerable competence. Therefore we want more research on the subject.” Ambassador Kääriäinen mentioned development of regional cooperation, clearing of obstacles for trade between countries, corporate governance, and rooting out of corruption as important issues.

Initial research project agreements were made in December 2009. The Aleksanteri Institute, the Tampere University Peace Research Institute (TAPRI) and the Karelian Institute of the University of Eastern Finland have started complementary research projects as a research consortium. Aleksanteri Institute is studying conflicts, cooperation and development in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. TAPRI is researching pan-European conflict resolution and power politics in the operating environment for security and development policies in the states in a wider Europe. The research target countries are Moldova, Armenia, Tadzhikistan and Kazakhstan. The Karelian Institute is studying regional stability, borders, minorities and immigration. The research network project is carried out in Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and Azerbaijan.

The steering group for the security cluster had its first meeting on 22 March, 2010 and the advisory group met on 23 April, 2010. The steering group guides the activities of the security cluster and discusses and adopts project proposals, while the Foreign Ministry has the final power of decision. The advisory group meetings are open for all security research organisations. Their purpose is to accumulate information, change views on project proposals, identify synergies and overlapping, and report on new research ideas for the steering group to develop the cluster activities. The idea is to involve the research institutes in and connect their research activities with the objectives of the Wider Europe Initiative and the Development Policy Framework Programme for the Western Balkans.

A call for applications to fund new research ideas will be launched in the near future.

The Institute for Russia and Eastern Europe has been administering the research operations since 9 March, 2010.

Further information: Ambassador Matti Kääriäinen, Counsellor, the Foreign Ministry's Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, tel. +358 9 1605 6094, firstname.lastname@formin.fi, Counsellor Harri Kämäräinen, the Foreign Ministry's Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, tel. +358 9 1605 5604, firstname.lastname@formin.fi, for the Development Policy Framework Programme for the Western Balkans: Counsellor Martti Eirola, the Foreign Ministry Department of Europe, tel. +358 9 1605 6354, firstname.lastname@formin.fi

 

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Updated 6/15/2010

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