Aug 8 2014

South Stream epitomises Russia’s divisive energy politics in Europe

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Wojciech JakóbikThe South Stream gas pipeline is counter-effective when it comes to diversification of gas sources and, on top of that, it is absurdly expensive. But the economics do not matter here: Russia will pursue the project purely out of political reasons, writes Wojciech Jakóbik.

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Jul 31 2014

Russia sanctions: Balkan countries react

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Dimitar Bechev 90widthMontenegro and Serbia’s strong economic ties with Russia are today sitting at odds with their respective bids to join Western institutions – as the war in Ukraine has left these countries with no other option than to take sides. How are they reacting to the proposed sanctions? How is the South Stream pipeline fitting in the picture?  Dimitar Bechev gives an overview. 

 

Cafe Putin - Novi Sad

“Buffet Putin” will open next week in Serbia’s second-largest city Novi Sad – see moscowtimes.com

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Jul 29 2014

The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? A framework for understanding youth unemployment in Croatia

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Nikola Bukovic“Youth unemployment in Croatia did not simply explode during the Crisis: it was there all the time, it is structural in nature and was systematically ignored.” Nikola Buković of the Croatian Youth Network lays out a framework to understand and tackle this monumental problem via three dimensions – governance (policy-makers), labour market supply (education) and labour market demand (economy). 

Banksy's 'No Future' mural in Southampton

Banksy’s ‘No Future’ mural in Southampton

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Jul 21 2014

Lessons from Bosnia: what is the real impact of peacekeeping?

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stefanocostalliThe conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine have been accompanied by calls for intervention from foreign countries. One possibility for this form of intervention would be a peacekeeping mission of the kind conducted by the UN in Bosnia during the 1990s, but do such missions actually have the capacity to stabilise conflict-torn regions? Using data from the Bosnian war, Stefano Costalli writes on the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations and finds that there was no link between the deployment of UN peacekeepers and an actual reduction in violence.

UN peacekeepers at Sarajevo airport in 1993, during the siege of Sarajevo. Photo by Mikhail Evstafiev (CC BY-SA 3.0)

UN peacekeepers at Sarajevo airport in 1993, during the siege of Sarajevo. Photo by Mikhail Evstafiev (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Jul 17 2014

The Turkish-German Balkan equation

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Dusan Spasojevic 100Over the past two and a half centuries, relations between Turkey and Germany have come a long way – from the Prussian-Turkish friendship agreement in 1761 to a sui generis rivalry at the beginning of the new millennium. The two countries are now using the Balkans as a soft power battleground, argues former Serbian ambassador to Turkey Dušan Spasojević. 

 

merkel-erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Angela Merkel – from www.balkaneu.com

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Jul 12 2014

Croatia: one year later

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croa A year after Croatia’s accession to the European Union on July 1, 2013, we asked an academic and a journalist to write their accounts of the much anticipated ‘return to Europe’. Nenad Zakošek and Ines Sabalić argue that while the government has proven to be inefficient, ordinary Croats have started to enjoy the benefits of membership.

Croatia joined the European Union on July 1, 2013.

Croatia joined the European Union on July 1, 2013.

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Jun 30 2014

Serbia, Sarajevo and the outbreak of the First World War

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dejan The assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Habsburg throne, and, by accident, duchess Sophie, by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 triggered the First World War, the causes of which are deeply complex. Disagreements regarding the responsibility for and legacy of the war seem to have exacerbated in the centenary year, which provides an opportunity to revisit and contextualize the assassination. Words by Dejan Djokić.

Postcard for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. (Source: Europeanna 1914-1918)

Postcard for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. (Source: Europeanna 1914-1918)

 

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Jun 28 2014

The legacy of Young Bosnia: Our own America

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 Muharem BazduljFranz Ferdinand’s (somewhat casual) assassin, Gavrilo Princip, was loathed as the most wicked of murderers and hailed as a liberation hero. One hundred years on, the role of the group that orchestrated the plot, Young Bosnia, is still debated. The Bosnian writer Muharem Bazdulj sketches a portrait of the underground movement that triggered the start of the Great War – and the unification of the South Slavs.

 

The centenary of the Sarajevo Assassination, the event which triggered World War One, sparked a renewed interest for the “Young Bosnia” movement, the unofficial group gathering illegal associations of Bosnian students at the beginning of the past century. Members of the movement were Gavrilo Princip and his friends and fellow conspirators, as well as Ivo Andrić, later awarded with a Nobel Prize for literature.

Members of the Young Bosnia movement in 1912. Top right, Nobel prize winner Ivo Andrić.

Members of the Young Bosnia movement in 1912. Top right, Nobel prize winner Ivo Andrić.

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Jun 19 2014

Power politics on the outskirts of the EU: why Transnistria matters

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Kamil CałusIn September this year, Transnistria, the separatist region located in the Eastern part of Moldova, is set to celebrate the 24th anniversary of its de-facto independence. And yet there is little scope for celebrations – as only the contested states of Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia recognise its independence. To understand why the Transnistrian dispute has not yet been solved, and why two decades of negotiations have never brought us any closer to the solution, we have to look at the interest of the three main actors involved: Russia, Moldova and the West. Kamil Całus explains.

 

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Jun 13 2014

Poposki: “We don’t want to ‘win’ against Greece – we want to be real partners”

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Slika Nikola Poposki 90Gender equality, media freedom, fair elections, the South Stream pipeline, academic plagiarism and the infamous name dispute with Greece: the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia, Nikola Poposki, speaks to LSEE’s Tena Prelec and EUROPP Blog managing editor Stuart Brown. 

 

You came to London to attend the ‘Time To Act’ summit on violence against women in warzones. Why is this important for you?

Coming from a region that was struck by extreme violence not long ago, we have a duty to take interest in this important topic. It would be quite ambitious to say that with this event we will be able to end sexual violence in warzones, but we will have at least raised awareness about the problem, and more people will be standing behind the cause.

NPoposki SBrown TPrelec - interview

Macedonian FM Nikola Poposki, EUROPP’s Stuart Brown and LSEE’s Tena Prelec

 

Since violence against women takes shape within a wider cultural context of male dominance, what are you doing in Macedonia to promote gender equality?
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