Jul 7 2015

The Association of Serbian Municipalities: “The Sum of all Fears”

Leave a comment

Joanna HansonSerbs in the North of Kosovo, whose status was at the centre of the 2013 Brussels Agreement, were not a part to the negotiations. Today, their still unclear position is causing “uncertainty, dissatisfaction, distrust and fear” among the community. A recent report has attempted to tell the story through their voices. Joanna Hanson runs through the key points.

Mitrovica city centre: the town is divided by the Ibar river both geographically and politically. North Mitrovica's population is inhabited by 76.6% Serbs, 16.6% Albanians and 6.8% others. Photo by Agron Beqiri, Wikimedia commons CC-BY-SA-3.0

Mitrovica city centre: the town is divided by the Ibar river both geographically and politically. North Mitrovica is inhabited by 76.6% Serbs, 16.6% Albanians. Photo by Agron Beqiri, CC-BY-SA-3.0

Continue reading

Posted by: Posted on by Blog Admin Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Jul 2 2015

The paradoxical Kosovo ‘special court’ was a guarantee of political stability – that is why the ruling class wanted it

Leave a comment

Andrea Lorenzo CapusselaAndrea Capussela discusses the many paradoxes of Kosovo’s special court, which was supposed to investigate and deliberate upon the serious human rights abuses during and after the 1998-1999 war – and asks six questions. 

 

ICJ – Public Hearing of the “Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo”. CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Continue reading

Posted by: Posted on by Blog Admin Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Jun 24 2015

Trouble at the Top: Corruption, anti-corruption, and the battle for political survival

Leave a comment

Dan Brett x 100 option 2The latest corruption scandal in Romania has brought charges against Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Despite calls from President Klaus Iohannis for Ponta to resign, Ponta is so far refusing to go, claiming that the case will be “meticulously dismantled … through clear proof and certified documents”. The scandal threatens to produce another summer of political conflict and polarisation with attention focussed on corruption and internecine political battles rather than economic, social and international issues. Words by Daniel Brett.

Politician and businessman Liviu Dragnea and PM Victor Ponta during the recent floods n Romania - from media.hotenews.ro

Politician and businessman Liviu Dragnea and PM Victor Ponta during the recent floods in Romania – from media.hotenews.ro

Continue reading

Posted by: Posted on by Blog Admin Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Jun 19 2015

Postcard from Visegrad: five lessons for South East Europe

Leave a comment

wisniewskiSouth East Europe could take inspiration from its Central European neighbours and focus on regional cooperation to boost its talks about Euro-Atlantic integration, Jarosław Wiśniewski suggests. 26 years after the region ‘returned to Europe’ following the first partially free elections in Poland, he outlines five key lessons for the Balkans.

V4+ Western Balkans summit in Bratislava, November 2014. Photo: AFP

V4+ Western Balkans summit in Bratislava, November 2014. Photo: AFP

Continue reading

Posted by: Posted on by Blog Admin Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Jun 12 2015

Croatian war veterans: Coup de théâtre or coup d’état?

Leave a comment

Ana LjubojevicSince October 2014, Croatian war veterans have been camping in front of the Ministry dedicated to them. They are protesting against the government in power and requesting more rights for themselves – though, relatively speaking, they have been treated as a privileged group so far. How political is their protest? Ana Ljubojević gives an overview of this sensitive issue. 

 

Protesters requesting the ousting of the Minister  of Veterans' Affairs Predrag Matić, of his deputy Vesna Nađ and of his assistant Bojan Glavašević. From braniteljski-portal.hr

Protesters requesting the ousting of the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Predrag Matić, of his deputy Vesna Nađ and of his assistant Bojan Glavašević. From www.braniteljski-portal.hr

Continue reading

Posted by: Posted on by Blog Admin Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jun 9 2015

The Four Plagues of Macedonia

3 Comments

TBoutherinWhat stands at the roots of the current Macedonian crisis? Thibault Boutherin takes a bird’s eye view and locates the four main problems of the country – four ‘plagues’, he calls them – in the lack of rule of law, in the ever-increasing ethnic divide that is being exploited by the political parties to their advantage, in the shady practices that have left space for external players to enter the Balkan chessboard, and in the loss of influence of the European Union. 

Anti-government demonstration, 17 May 2015. Photo Reuters / Ognen Teofilovski

Anti-government demonstration, 17 May 2015. Photo Reuters / Ognen Teofilovski

Continue reading

Posted by: Posted on by Blog Admin Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Jun 3 2015

The EU needs to step up its involvement in the political crisis in Macedonia

2 Comments

Christian CostamagnaDavide DentiEuropean neglect of political crises in the Western Balkans has long been lamented: many are convinced that the EU can – and should – still make a difference. The latest statements by Commissioner Hahn are arguably a step in this direction. Will it be enough? Christian Costamagna and Davide Denti propose concrete EU actions to step up the game in the region. 

From: www.delo.si // REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski (MACEDONIA DIPLOMACY POLITICS)

From: www.delo.si // REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski (MACEDONIA DIPLOMACY POLITICS)

Continue reading

Posted by: Posted on by Blog Admin Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

May 21 2015

In need of a final solution: property rights in Albania

Leave a comment

While Albania continues its saga of economic and legal reforms and prepares to join the European Union, issues around property rights remain one of the major barriers that impede the integrated economic development of the country. Despite periodic mentions in the EC Progress Reports, the situation seems to be far from resolved. A different monitoring approach, based on a wider inclusion of stakeholders and civil society, could raise the effectiveness of institutional initiatives, argues Arlind Rama

Construction in Tirana. Photo: Gazeta Dita, Albania

Construction in Tirana. Photo: Gazeta Dita, Albania

Continue reading

Posted by: Posted on by Blog Admin Tagged with: , , , ,

May 15 2015

Why is Klaus Iohannis outsourcing Romania’s foreign policy?

Leave a comment

Klaus Iohanitoiunnis’ election was seen by many to signal a shift from the ‘old’ corrupt ways of doing politics in Romania and a historical moment that would mark the start of deep processes of transformation in Romanian politics and society. He offered the promise of making politics more efficient and less driven by short term, narrow interests of corrupt politicians. What is left of these hopes after his first six months in office?, asks Dr Cristian Nitoiu.

 

The people of Romania has chosen Iohannis as their new President. Photo: iohannispresedinte.ro

The people of Romania has chosen Iohannis as their new President. Photo: iohannispresedinte.ro

Continue reading

Posted by: Posted on by Blog Admin Tagged with: , , , , ,