The inderdisciplinary

research and policy

analysis center

The South and East European Development Center (SEED) is established as an interdisciplinary research and policy analysis center at the University of Thessaly, Greece. It intends to contribute to the design, analysis and evaluation of development policies applied to the less advanced regions of Europe. It is now beyond any doubt that the South and the East include those European States and regions facing the greatest difficulties with the on-going processes of integration and transition.

Especially the ten years long process of transition from plan to market, demonstrated that the countries in the South and the East face tremendous problems. There is a widening gap in their economic performance, compared to countries of the European Union as well as to other central European countries. Beyond the problems concerning the national strife in the former Yugoslavia, countries in this region are facing recurring economic crisis, prolonged macro-economic instability, severe structural deficiencies, lagging infrastructure and human resources and continued declining standards of living.

These countries are currently experiencing an unstable phase of restructuring and economic formation and there is little disagreement that their chances of recovering are very low, unless there is substantial support from the international community and especially the European Union institutions.

The economic problems of the region have not received the required attention in scientific and applied research. What appears to be necessary is a comprehensive strategic planning effort by scientific and other institutions that posses substantive knowledge in research and development policy. In this respect, the research teams of SEED aim to approach the development issues of the region in a multi-national and multi-disciplinary way, presenting reports and policy recommendations to appropriate policy bodies, such as international organizations and governments.

Copyright © Seed, University of Thessaly, 2005.