A Stranger in the Night: Canadian Assistance to Southeastern Europe (1990-2005)
Official Development Assistance to the Balkans in the 1990-2005 period seem to reflect two different and contradictory donor â€˜geopolitical visionsâ€™. Some countries (like Greece and France) tended to consider the Balkans as a homogenized â€˜aid spaceâ€™. On the contrary other countries (like Japan) or international organizations (like the European Union) tended to divide the Balkans into two â€˜aid spacesâ€™: the Western and the Eastern Balkans. The second â€˜geopolitical visionâ€™ led to differentiated aid policies. The Balkans were considered as being consisted of two groups of recipients: Western Balkans that received humanitarian and short-term reconstruction aid and Eastern Balkans that received more â€˜developmentalâ€™ aid. In the last fifteen years the Balkans were one of the priority regions in Canadaâ€™s foreign policy. Canadaâ€™s military involvement in the Kosovo war was the largest military of the country since the Korean War. Also Canada has deployed an average of 1500-2000 peacekeepers at any given time in the Balkans and accepted more than 30.000 refugees from the region. But above all Canada provided hundreds of millions of $ for the reconstruction of the region. The paper focuses on Canadaâ€™s bilateral aid to the Balkans, examines Canadaâ€™s aid motives and attempts to identify the main differences between Canadaâ€™s aid efforts in the region and those of other OECD countries. Above all the paper analyses Canadaâ€™s regional geopolitical vision and tries to determine how its adoption influenced aid policy decisions.
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