The following excerpt taken from EMES - International Research Network , provides an insight:
Konstantina, PhD student from Vienna University of Economics and Business, explains that the paper is an update on her master thesis pursued during her studies on Southeastern European Studies at the University of Athens.
She clarifies her motives for a very unusual choice of countries: “Given the fact that I was looking also into the influence of international actors, I focused on the status/ relation of each country with the EU: A longtime member (Greece), a new member (Croatia) and a candidate country (Serbia). The interest in the region is also because the region is “in between” Austria and Greece, and has a very interesting interconnected past, presence and future as my involvement with The Balkan Forum teaches me every day.”
More concretely, besides the analysis and comparison of the legal and institutional frameworks in Croatia, Greece and Serbia, her paper focuses specifically on how international, European and national actors are shaping the development of social enterprises in these countries. The paper attempts to identify the stages of development, similarities, differences and challenges of this emerging sector.
Further she adds some observations about particularities and challenges of this region:“When we speak about the development of the sector, we often tend to take examples from countries and regions where access to financial and human capital are advanced and taken for granted in many ways. In the region, you can see the notion that this is not the case and that it takes cooperation, mindfulness with the use of resources and consciousness that different models are possible.”
As Konstantina says “The EMES research conference was my first international academic conference where I presented and therefore the honour of getting awarded was even more intense. As practitioners we are in between spaces like activism, policy, academia and we understand the significance that we create bridges so that understanding and knowledge from all of them are connected and thrive.”