The proposal builds on the findings of an earlier project and aims to tackle an important problem affecting both the domestic socio-political scene and the foreign affairs of Greece. The objective of the proposed project is to continue building an academically solid and policy-relevant knowledge base on the contours of the popular perceptions of problems and challenges in the Albanian-Greek relations. The project aims to encourage the public dialogue and provide important insights about a key foreign policy issue of relations with neighbouring Albania. Since the declared goal of both countries is to deal with bilateral issues so that Greece can help Albania’s democratization, development and European integration, knowledge about the process that creates and reproduces negative representations and stereotypes in each country about the other will be of crucial importance in the near future.
About fifteen semi-structured interviews will be conducted with selected experts (journalists, academics, NGO representatives, politicians, state officials). The researchers aim to gain insights into the factors that shape media coverage of Greek-Albanian relations as well as its impact on public opinion and policy-making. The results from the study will be also discussed in the light of the report conducted in the previous phase of the FES-sponsored Greek-Albanian project and the findings from the opinion polls that were conducted in the two countries (see reports: “The Greek public opinion towards Albania and the Albanians – Social attitudes and perceptions”, published by ELIAMEP in December 2013 and “Albanian Greek relations from the eyes of the Albanian public-perceptions 2013”, published by the Albanian Institute for International Studies and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in March 2014).