The Association
Despite its strategic place and role in Europe, the Balkans is a region whose demography – in the broad sense of the term – has attracted relatively little attention. It is also a region where changes in the last twenty years have been so profound that all aspects of its environment have been radically affected.
On questions concerning population distribution and dynamics, the effects of changes in health and social conditions on the life expectancies of populations, the demography of ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities, migration potential or population ageing and its long term effects, there is a real need for knowledge in Europe, and among the international community as a whole.
In an attempt to fill this knowledge gap, a group of demographers decided to set up a network in 1996: DEMOBALK, Demography of the Balkans. In 2007, the network was transformed into an international association based in Greece and hosted by the University of Thessaly in Volos, at the Laboratory of Demographic and Social Analyses (LADS) of the Department of Urbanism, Planning and Regional Development.
DEMOBALK's expansion and its acquisition of a legal status have not modified its initial objectives:
Stimulate cooperation between scientists and institutions working on population questions in the Balkans;
Promote the exchange of documentation and information;
Set up a national and regional demographic database;
Stimulate research and comparative studies;
Assess the consequences of demographic trends and alert institutions to the risks of drastic change;
Organize scientific meetings;
Disseminate the most interesting research findings.
As well as creating and continually updating a large demographic database (linked to a map collection and a geographical information system) the DEMOBALK Association is also engaged in an ambitious programme of international conferences and publications.
Via its members, it is also closely involved in several data collection operations that have taken place in the Balkans over recent years.
DEMOBALK also contributes to various academic and vocational training courses in demography and statistics.
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