This is a conference report. In May 2000, 25 representatives of Southeast European non-governmental organizations met in Romania to discuss the impact the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe has on the region’s civil society and the potential for cross-border activities. This four-day meeting was organized by the Foundation for Democratic Change (Bucharest), and the Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management (Berlin) and took place in the picturesque mountains of Sinaia (Carpathian Mountains). During several working sessions held in a creative atmosphere the participants developed a list of recommendations concerning the support of civil society in the region.
In the last decade of the 20th century 43 countries have been considered as countries emerging from violent conflicts. Most of them were affected by intra-state wars and civil wars, and most of these belong to the category of the poorest (“less developed countries” according to criteria of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). An extraordinary high percentage was located in the African continent. The international community pledged more than one hundred billion dollars in aid to war-torn societies. These were designed to build up infrastructure, to persuade formerly warring parties to resolve conflict in a non-violent way and to contribute to economic development and participatory governance. Experts and political actors have stated that international agencies often used too narrowminded a concept in the past, reducing their activities to technical reconstruction after the end of violent conflict. A broader conceptualisation is needed to support the difficult long-term process of transformation from war to peace. This chapter gives an overview of the variety of tasks required to make post-conflict recovery successful in the sense of preventing further conflict and some tensions and dilemmas are identified and discussed.