Archive for the ‘Balkans’ Category

A Land Swap Won’t Solve the Serbia-Kosovo Conundrum

Monday, July 27, 2020 Comments Off on A Land Swap Won’t Solve the Serbia-Kosovo Conundrum

The European Union is again taking the lead role in mediating between Serbia and Kosovo after a planned Washington meeting came to nothing – and that means the idea of resolving the problem with a land swap is unlikely to resurface soon.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Bulgaria’s New Protest Movement Must Avoid Old Mistakes

Monday, July 27, 2020 Comments Off on Bulgaria’s New Protest Movement Must Avoid Old Mistakes

By bringing together opposition Socialists, environmentalists and the urban middle class, the protest wave in Bulgaria has real potential – if the lessons of past failures are learned.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Beyond Kosovo: How Protests Transformed Serbia’s Relations with Russia

Monday, July 27, 2020 Comments Off on Beyond Kosovo: How Protests Transformed Serbia’s Relations with Russia

Serbia’s authorities broke an old taboo when they blamed pro-Russian radicals for instigating some of the recent violence in the country, and Russia-Serbia relations may never be the same again.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Slovenia Seen Emulating Hungary, Poland with Media Reforms

Monday, July 27, 2020 Comments Off on Slovenia Seen Emulating Hungary, Poland with Media Reforms

Slovenia’s right-wing prime minister, Janez Jansa, is taking a leaf out of Viktor Orban’s book with changes to the way public service media are funded and run, watchdogs warn.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Were Prosecutors Right to Publicise Charges Against Kosovo’s Thaci?

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 Comments Off on Were Prosecutors Right to Publicise Charges Against Kosovo’s Thaci?

The announcement that war crimes charges had been filed against Hashim Thaci and Kadri Veseli caused a political storm, but questions persist about whether prosecutors in The Hague were justified in making the accusations public.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

The Netherlands Looks Again at its Controversial Role in Srebrenica

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 Comments Off on The Netherlands Looks Again at its Controversial Role in Srebrenica

Young Bosnian-Dutch activists are campaigning to raise the low level of public knowledge about the 1995 Srebrenica genocide and the Netherlands’ role in the UN peacekeeping mission that did not prevent the mass killings of Bosniaks.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Forget Expectations: German EU Presidency no Magic Wand for the Balkans

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 Comments Off on Forget Expectations: German EU Presidency no Magic Wand for the Balkans

It is foolhardy to think Germany’s presidency of the EU or the bloc’s revival of Belgrade-Pristina talks signal a radical shift in enthusiasm for enlargement to the Western Balkans. Balkan states themselves must make concrete plans if they are to deepen relations with the bloc.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

How a Syrian Bulgarian wrestler became a ‘terror’ suspect

Monday, July 20, 2020 Comments Off on How a Syrian Bulgarian wrestler became a ‘terror’ suspect

Bulgarian authorities accuse Mohammed Abdulqader of fighting in Syria based on photos. His family says he is innocent.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Conspiratorial Corona: Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories in the Balkans

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Comments Off on Conspiratorial Corona: Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories in the Balkans

With the spread of conspiracy theories and hoaxes, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to further undermine democracy in the Western Balkans.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

China Has Overtaken Russia as Serbia’s Great Ally

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Comments Off on China Has Overtaken Russia as Serbia’s Great Ally

If Serbia now praises China to the heavens, it may be because Belgrade has judged that the West now takes China much more seriously than Russia.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Balkan States Find Prosecuting Terrorism a Challenge

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Comments Off on Balkan States Find Prosecuting Terrorism a Challenge

Evidence in terrorism cases is proving difficult to find, while experts warn that the reintegration and rehabilitation of foreign fighters is an even greater challenge.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Bulgarians Protest Against Over-Construction on Black Sea

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Comments Off on Bulgarians Protest Against Over-Construction on Black Sea

Bulgarians took to the streets of towns and cities on Tuesday to express their frustration with the damage that seemingly unrestricted construction is doing to the Black Sea coastline.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Kosovo

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 Comments Off on Kosovo

Despite initial steps by new coalition govt toward restarting Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, broader efforts stalled following indictment of President Thaçi for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Bosnia And Herzegovina

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 Comments Off on Bosnia And Herzegovina

Bosniak and Croat party leaders overcame longstanding political impasse to reach power-sharing agreement in Mostar, ending years of political paralysis in city. In line with 2010 Constitutional Court ruling and 2019 European Court of Human Rights ruling, Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) 17 June signed landmark deal on new […]

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Fear Makes Kosovo’s Wartime Rape Survivors Guard Their Secrets

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 Comments Off on Fear Makes Kosovo’s Wartime Rape Survivors Guard Their Secrets

Kosovo offers welfare payments to survivors of sexual violence during the 1998-99 war – but some women are afraid to register in case their relatives or neighbours find out and they are ostracised because of the enduring stigma.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Trump Administration’s Bet on Kosovo’s Thaci Fails to Pay Off

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 Comments Off on Trump Administration’s Bet on Kosovo’s Thaci Fails to Pay Off

The White House’s envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue hoped to rush both countries’ leaders into a deal and score a win for Donald Trump – but the announcement of Hashim Thaci’s war crimes indictment exposed the problem with Washington’s strategy.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Kosovo Ex-Guerrillas Vow Protests Against President Thaci’s Indictment

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 Comments Off on Kosovo Ex-Guerrillas Vow Protests Against President Thaci’s Indictment

Former Kosovo Liberation Army fighters say they will demonstrate against the pending war crimes indictment of President Hashim Thaci and other former guerrilla chiefs, calling the charges an insult to their struggle for independence.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Two Decades on, Kosovo’s Guerrilla Boss Thaci May Finally Face Trial

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 Comments Off on Two Decades on, Kosovo’s Guerrilla Boss Thaci May Finally Face Trial

The indictment filed by the Specialist Prosecutor charging Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was a long-awaited move that follows two decades of investigations into alleged wartime wrongdoings.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

The US and EU Have Both Failed Kosovo

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 Comments Off on The US and EU Have Both Failed Kosovo

The only ones benefitting from the failures of Brussels and Washington in Kosovo are the autocrat Vucic and his friends in Moscow and Beijing.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Serbia and Kosovo

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 Comments Off on Serbia and Kosovo

U.S.-mediated talks scheduled for Saturday between Serbian and Kosovo leaders aimed at normalising relations were cancelled after a special prosecutor indicted Kosovo’s President Thaçi on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to Kosovo’s 1998-9 conflict. Crisis Group expert Marko Prelec says the indictment could usher in seismic changes in Kosovo’s politics, which […]

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Trust in Democracy Fragile in Central Europe, Balkans – Report

Saturday, June 27, 2020 Comments Off on Trust in Democracy Fragile in Central Europe, Balkans – Report

Corruption, populism, nationalism and disinformation have eroded faith in liberal democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, according to a new Globsec report – which says many people would trade in some of their freedoms for greater security and traditional values.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Turkey’s Plans for Hagia Sophia Strain Greek Relations

Sunday, June 21, 2020 Comments Off on Turkey’s Plans for Hagia Sophia Strain Greek Relations

Plans to convert the famous 6th-century building in Istanbul back into a mosque, after being a museum since 1935, have further tested relations with Greece – already damaged by over other regional and international disputes.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia, Turkey

US and EU Policy on Kosovo is in Disarray

Sunday, June 21, 2020 Comments Off on US and EU Policy on Kosovo is in Disarray

The Trump administration is pushing for a quick deal between Pristina and Belgrade after the European Union failed to restart the dialogue – but the rift between the US and the EU is bad news for Kosovo itself.While there have rarely been more envoys and special representatives mandated to help solve the Kosovo-Serbia dispute, it […]

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

North Macedonia, Greece: Rewriting History after Prespa

Sunday, June 21, 2020 Comments Off on North Macedonia, Greece: Rewriting History after Prespa

Arguments over statues and the teaching of history may be gripping the UK and US – but they are nothing new to North Macedonia, where they are being settled through diplomacy.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Three’s a Crowd: the Albanian Crime Gang that Wasn’t

Saturday, June 20, 2020 Comments Off on Three’s a Crowd: the Albanian Crime Gang that Wasn’t

In 2018, Albanian authorities said they had busted an organised crime group with tentacles reaching across Europe. Then a newly-created team of special prosecutors backtracked.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Migrants Trapped in Balkan Camps Find Ramadan a Trial

Friday, May 22, 2020 Comments Off on Migrants Trapped in Balkan Camps Find Ramadan a Trial

For migrants and refugees isolated in camps in the Balkans during the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrating the holy month of Ramadan is an extra ordeal.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Lebanon summons German ambassador over Hezbollah ban

Monday, May 11, 2020 Comments Off on Lebanon summons German ambassador over Hezbollah ban

Lebanon’s foreign minister summoned the German ambassador on Tuesday to explain Berlin’s decision last week to ban the Shi’ite Hezbollah movement on its soil.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Violence and Hunger Stalk Refugees and Migrants in Albania

Monday, May 11, 2020 Comments Off on Violence and Hunger Stalk Refugees and Migrants in Albania

Dozens of refugees and migrants trying to cross Albania have been reduced to begging for food on the streets of Tirana, victims of gang violence and under-funding at a state-run reception centre.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

China’s Balkan Investments Are Paradoxically Speeding Region’s EU Integration

Monday, May 11, 2020 Comments Off on China’s Balkan Investments Are Paradoxically Speeding Region’s EU Integration

If the EU suddenly seems more interested than it was in integrating the Western Balkans, it is partly because the expansion into the region by large regional powers such as China has got Brussels worried.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Movement Ban Worsens Migrants’ Plight in Serbia, Bosnia

Thursday, April 23, 2020 Comments Off on Movement Ban Worsens Migrants’ Plight in Serbia, Bosnia

The complete ban of moving in and out of camps imposed in the current pandemic has left those locked inside them feeling more isolated, frustrated and information-starved than ever.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia, South East Asia

Third Entity Would Destroy Bosnia’s Croat Political Elite

Thursday, April 23, 2020 Comments Off on Third Entity Would Destroy Bosnia’s Croat Political Elite

The bosses of the main Croat party in Bosnia and Herzegovina may like talking about a third entity but in reality such an outcome would – as they well know – end their power and their party.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Coronavirus is Not the Only Disease Afflicting the Balkans

Monday, April 13, 2020 Comments Off on Coronavirus is Not the Only Disease Afflicting the Balkans

Finding a cure to the current pandemic sweeping the Western Balkans – and the world – may well be easier than purifying the region of the malign influence of its political class.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Balkan Private Sector Workers Hardest Hit by Coronavirus Fallout

Monday, April 13, 2020 Comments Off on Balkan Private Sector Workers Hardest Hit by Coronavirus Fallout

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed private sector workers in the Balkans to sudden job losses, salary cuts and forced unpaid leave as rights violations stack up.

This was posted under category: Balkans

North Macedonia Officially Joins NATO

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 Comments Off on North Macedonia Officially Joins NATO

North Macedonia has officially become NATO’s 30th member, the military alliance says.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

People Promoting Facts, not Fake News, in Balkan Coronavirus Fight

Monday, March 23, 2020 Comments Off on People Promoting Facts, not Fake News, in Balkan Coronavirus Fight

With hundreds of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Balkans, a few people have taken on the burden of keeping the public calm and well-informed. BIRN takes a look at some of them.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia