Balkans

FREEDOM HOUSE ACCUSES HUNGARY AND POLAND OF SPREADING ANTI-DEMOCRATIC PRACTICES

A new report by US-based democracy watchdog Freedom House argues the two countries “stand out for their unparalleled democratic deterioration over the past decade”. The countries of Central and Southeast Europe are continuing to witness declines in democracy, media and election freedom, and respect for human rights, according to the …

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Sofia Looks At Links Between Czech Blast And Bulgarian Incidents, Summons Russian Envoy

The Russian envoy has been summoned to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry after the authorities launched an investigation into six citizens of Russia suspected of involvement in a series of blasts at four weapons and armament facilities in Bulgaria between 2011 and 2020. “From the evidence gathered so far, it can …

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North Macedonia’s ‘Stateless’ Spy End to Struggle for Citizenship

A political deal is giving new hope to thousands of people who remain officially invisible because – even though some were born in the country – they cannot get citizenship documents. They were born or have lived in the country for years but have never managed to regulate their legal …

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Kosovo Needs Rescuing From its Middle Eastern Imbroglio

Kosovo’s involuntary involvement via the Washington Agreement in the thorny issue of Jerusalem’s status threatens to permanently damage its relations with the Arab and Muslim world. The proximity of the Western Balkans to the European Union bestows it with particular geopolitical significance and in recent years, an increasing number of …

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Albania Elections 2021

Stay tuned for all of the latest developments, election results and reactions as Albanian citizens head to the polls to elect a new government. Voters in Albania head to polling stations on Sunday to elect 140 members of a new parliament after a tense campaign marked by heated polemics and …

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DEMOCRACY DIGEST: CZECHS BRING ‘BALANCE’ TO DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH RUSSIA

The deterioration in Czech-Russian relations reached a nadir this week as Prague ordered scores of Russian ‘diplomats’ to leave. Starting a new job is always stressful – it always takes a few weeks to get your feet under the table. Much sympathy must go to Jakub Kulhanek then, who was …

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Greece to loan Patriot missile units to Saudi Arabia

Athens is lending a hand to help defend Saudi Arabia amid continued barrages as the United States moves its assets elsewhere. Greece will lend a US-made Patriot missile air defense system to Saudi Arabia to help protect energy infrastructure, according to an agreement signed by the two countries in Riyadh …

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Police, Soldiers among Albanian Ruling Party’s Voter Tracking ‘Army’

Critics see echoes of Albania’s feared Communist-era ‘Sigurimi’ in the discovery of a database that purportedly belongs to the ruling Socialists and contains detailed personal data of almost a million voters, each of them assigned to a party apparatchik often on the public payroll. The contents of a database leaked …

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Constitutional Reform In Contemporary Bosnia – Analysis

Bosnia and Herzegovina has one of the world’s most notoriously dysfunctional constitutions. Although at 5,000 words the document is also one of the world’s shortest constitutions, brevity is not always a benefit. The constitution was prepared by US lawyers overseeing the peace negotiations ending the Bosnian war in Dayton, Ohio …

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Serbia’s Ex-President Tadic Still Dreams of Final Comeback

Boris Tadic lost his presidential post in 2012 and has been demonized by his successors ever since – but despite growing irrelevancy, he’s still eyeing another starring role. “We will see each other in some new movie,” Boris Tadic said in May 2012 after losing the presidential race to Tomislav …

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