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Managing the “Helsinki Spirit” in the Balkans: The Greek Initiative for Balkan Co-operation, 1975–1976

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The analysis examines the origins and implementation of the Greek diplomatic initiative for multilateral co-operation amongst the Balkan states in the aftermath of the Helsinki Act of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). Notwithstanding pressing domestic and security concerns, d├ętente and, in particular, the spirit of the CSCE process significantly influenced Greek Prime Minister Constantinos Karamanlis’ decision to instigate Balkan co-operation on a multilateral and not just on a bilateral level. The “Helsinki spirit” opened a window of opportunity for regional Powers from different blocs to come together. Despite its limited results, the political significance of the Athens Conference lay in the fact that it took place at all in view of Cold War realities and inter-Balkan rivalries.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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