Politics and economy in the Balkans
Currently all of the states are republics, but until World War II all except Turkey were monarchies. Most of the republics are parliamentary, excluding Romania and Bosnia which are semi-presidential.
All the states have open market economies, most of which are in the upper-middle income range ($4,000 – $12,000 p.c.), however, Greece has high income economies (over $12,000 p.c.), and is also classified with very high HDI in contrast to the remaining states which are classified with high HDI.
The states from the former Eastern Bloc that formerly had planned economy system and Turkey mark gradual economic growth each year, only the economy of Greece drops for 2012 and meanwhile it was expected to grow in 2013.
The Gross domestic product (Purchasing power parity) per capita is highest in Slovenia and Greece (over $25,000), followed by Croatia (21,000) and then Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia ($10,000 – $15,000), Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo (below $10,000).
The Gini coefficient, which indicates the level of difference by monetary welfare of the layers, is on the second level at the highest monetary equality in Albania, Bulgaria and Serbia, on the third level in Greece, Montenegro and Romania, on the fourth level in Macedonia, on the fifth level in Turkey, and the most unequal by Gini coefficient is Bosnia at the eighth level which is the penultimate level and one of the highest in the world.
The unemployment is lowest in Romania (below 10%), followed by Bulgaria, Turkey, Albania (10 – 15%), Greece (15 – 20%), Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia (20 – 30%), Macedonia (over 30%) and Kosovo (over 40%).
- On political, social and economic criteria the divisions are as follows:
- Territories members of the European Union: Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania and Slovenia
- Territories currently in negotiation process for EU membership: Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey
- Territories official candidates for EU membership: Albania and Macedonia
- Territories with “potential candidates” status for EU membership: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo
- On border control and trade criteria the divisions are as follows:
- Territories in the Schengen Area: Greece and Slovenia
- Territories that are legally bound to join the Schengen Area: Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania
- Territories in a customs union with the EU: Turkey
- Territories members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
- On currency criteria the divisions are as follows:
- Territories members of the Eurozone: Greece and Slovenia
- Territories using the Euro without authorization by the EU: Kosovo and Montenegro
- Territories using national currencies and are candidates for the Eurozone: Bulgaria (lev), Croatia (kuna), Romania (leu)
- Territories using national currencies: Albania (lek), Bosnia and Herzegovina (convertible mark), Macedonia (denar), Serbia (dinar) and Turkey (lira).
- On military criteria the divisions are as follows:
- Member territories of NATO: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey
- Member territories of the Partnership for Peace with Individual Partnership Action Plan and Membership Action Plan for joining NATO: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro
- Member territories of the Partnership for Peace: Serbia
- On the recent political, social and economic criteria there are two groups of countries:
- Former communist territories: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia
- Territories with capitalist past: Greece and Turkey
- During the Cold War the Balkans were disputed between the two blocks. Greece and Turkey were members of NATO, Bulgaria and Romania of the Warsaw Pact, while Yugoslavia was proponent of a third way and was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement. After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina kept an observer status within the organisation.