Watchdog rates democratic development in Balkans

WASHINGTON, United State

Democracy watchdog Freedom House said on Tuesday (June 30th) that democratic development in Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania is stable, while a drop is seen in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). In its 13th report on “Nations in Transit”, the organisation described 2008 as a generally bad year for democracy, as negative trends were much stronger than in the past, and positive trends were weak. 

It described journalism as one of the most dangerous professions. Attacks on journalists hurt media independence in Croatia, while ethic divisions remained problematic in BiH. Freedom House noted parties boycotted work in BiH’s parliament, while problems flared between Serbia and Kosovo after Pristina’s declaration of independence. Nevertheless, Kosovo was described as “a rare bright spot” in the study, showing improvement in both local and national democratic governance, as UNMIK began handing these functions over to domestic institutions.

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