News archive - Event Review: Stability in South-Eastern Europe – a Challenge to Information Service

The 36th Scientific Working and On-going Educational Conference of ABDOS e. V. is making a contribution to networking research and information. Please read in the following a short report on the outcomes of the event provided by Ms. Djekovic-Sachs and Ms. Elke Knappe.

The conference was held from May 14-16, 2007 at the Austrian National Library on “Stability in South-Eastern Europe – a Challenge to Information Service” organised by the Austrian National Library, ABDOS e.V. (the Work Group of Libraries and Documentation Organisations for Eastern, Eastern-Central and South-Eastern European Research), the Munich-based South-Eastern European Society and ASO Ljubljana (Austrian Science and Research Liaison Office Ljubljana).

ABDOS e.V. was established in 1972 by librarians from the German-speaking countries to support the exchange of information and experience in library and documentation sciences, in particular for acquiring and making accessible printed and electronic media. Another high priority item on its agenda is promoting the exchange of ideas among librarians, information specialists and scholars, which is why they hold conferences on an annual basis.

Erhard Busek, former Austrian Vice Chancellor and from 2002 on Special Co-ordinator of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe, held the keynote speech to familiarise the 90 academics and librarians from a total of 18 countries, including a wide range of Eastern and South-Eastern European states, attending in the State Hall of the Austrian National Library, with the unrelentingly explosive issue of political developments in South-Eastern Europe.
Oliver Jens Schmitt from the University of Vienna read a paper to give an idea of the development of cultural orientation and identities among Albanians with a whole series of entirely new and profound insights for many of the listeners.

Issues of economic and political stability in South-Eastern Europe were pivotal again in the following session on “Stability in South-Eastern Europe”. Johann Marte, retired Director General of the Austrian National Library and chairperson of the Vienna-based PRO ORIENTE, addressed the role of orthodoxy for Europe and in particular for the European Union, taking in the whole panorama from historical facts right down to the current events in South-Eastern Europe. Gisela Kallenbach, a member of the European Parliament in Strasburg, also made the present situation in South-Eastern Europe in the framework of the enlarged European Union her topic. Christian Wehrschütz, correspondent for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) in Belgrade, in his presentation on “The Balkans between Integration and Stagnation” grappled with the problems that are interrupting or slowing down integration efforts in the Balkan States. That was also the point of Dominik Zaum’s paper from the University of Reading. He used the Balkans as an example to analyze the way governmental structures are rebuilt after civil wars and to raise awareness for people’s loss of confidence after war-like incidents. Finally, the papers read by Elke Knappe (Competitiveness among Regions in South-Eastern Europe), Peter Jordan (Administrative Decentralisation and Regionalisation in South-Eastern Europe as a Contribution to Political Stability) and Daniel Göler (Start-Ups in South-Eastern Europe as a Factor for the Regional Economy’s Stability) provided the committee with information on economic, administrative and political processes in South-Eastern Europe.

The second day was dedicated to an important milestone in the work of cultural and academic institutions: cultural sponsoring, translating and the activities of companies in information and knowledge sharing via electronic media. At the end of this part of the conference there was a podium discussion with persons talking about the work of the cultural and academic institutions they represent (Hansjörg Brey from South-Eastern Europe Society in Munich, Miroslav Polzer from the Ljubljana-based Austrian Science and Research Liaison Office, Bettina Radner from the Goethe Institut in Belgrade and Markus Bunk from the Vienna-based Volksbanken Academy).

The final sessions gave persons from libraries and information offices as well as scholars from Austria, Belorussia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraina and the USA the opportunity to exchange ideas and information on new developments in their institutions and to promote networking and knowledge sharing among libraries, which was high on the agenda of this event.

At the conference two new books were presented: Elke Knappe from the Leipzig-based Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography showcased the book of Ulrich Ermann and Margarita Iliewa: “Bulgarien – Aktuelle Entwicklungen und Probleme” (Current Developments and Problems in Bulgaria), issue 9 from the series “Data, facts and literature on the geography of Europe”. Eva Hüttl-Hubert presented “Süd-Ost-Europa”, volume 46.2007,1 of the magazine “BIBLOS: Contributions on the book, library and scripture”, edited by the Austrian National Library, which had been published especially for the ABDOS conference.

The conference was set up to give sufficient room to discussions within the event, especially in the breaks. And the persons attending took full advantage of this opportunity and reacted favourably to the amount of information provided at the conference and the opportunity to exchange ideas given the burgeoning demands libraries and information offices are confronted with.

Liliana Djekovic-Sachs, Elke Knappe

Entry created by Elke Dall on August 13, 2007
Modified on August 13, 2007