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The dramatic turn of political discourse in Romania

Never in recent memory has Romanian society been so divided. Over the course of the last decade, political rhetoric has become more violent and polarising. The recent referendum to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the constitution, which did not legally pass, can be considered the height of these developments.

Anyone watching the speeches of Romanian MPs and discussions between members of the different Romanian political parties from the late 1990s and early 2000s would be amazed to see how different they were from the debates of the last decade. It is a matter of fact that the political discourse has taken a radical turn in the past number of years, and it would not be difficult to pinpoint the moment when the discourse began to deteriorate – when ad hominem attacks, name calling, and the demonisation of one’s political adversaries and their supporters became the norm.

January 2, 2019 - Paul Gabriel Sandu

The state of decentralisation in Ukraine

Decentralization seems to be the least controversial of all the post-Maidan reforms in Ukraine. Yet it is one that has directly affected a large number of citizens.

The Lyubar unified territorial community in Zhytomyr oblast was established in October 2017 during the decentralisation reforms in Ukraine. The community is made up of the majority of the Lyubar administrative district within the Zhytomyr oblast. It includes 37 villages and the town of Lyubar itself.

January 2, 2019 - Kateryna Pryshchepa

Georgia in the move to a multi-polar world

Georgia finds itself in an increasingly multipolar environment. Internal tensions within the West mean Georgia can no longer count on the same policy stability from its traditional partners.

The flag of the European Union remains ubiquitous on the government buildings of a country on Europe’s outermost fringes: Georgia. Tbilisi International Airport welcomes visitors with signage highlighting Georgia’s status as an “EU-associated state”. The platforms of all its leading political parties include an aspiration to join not just the European Union but NATO as well. Ten years after Georgia’s war with Russia, Tbilisi’s geopolitical orientation appears unwavering, as frozen as the conflicts with the Russia-backed breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

January 2, 2019 - Maximillian Hess

Georgia after presidential elections. Old order, new rules.

Temporarily uniting the opposition, an active campaign and intensive negative rhetoric towards his opponent was not enough to bring Grigol Vashadze to victory in the Georgian presidential elections.

December 7, 2018 - Bartłomiej Krzysztan

Talk Eastern Europe – Episode 3

Ukraine on the defence, Moldova on the cusp & Transnistrian identity

December 6, 2018 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Is the lesser evil still evil? How Poroshenko will run for re-election

The next presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine, which will take place in spring and autumn 2019 respectively, are likely to be the most brutal and emotional in the country’s history. Both the stakes and the level of popular discontent are higher than ever.

December 4, 2018 - Oleksandra Iwaniuk

At the forefront of the battle for a clean energy future

Interview with Adam Koniuszewski, co-founder of the Bridge Foundation. Interviewer: Adam Reichardt

December 3, 2018 - Adam Koniuszewski Adam Reichardt

There is clear progress in Ukraine

Interview with Paweł Kowal, a post-doctoral fellow at the College of Europe in Natolin and former Member of the European Parliament. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

November 26, 2018 - Iwona Reichardt Paweł Kowal

Ukraine’s unity and the Euromaidan’s legacy

The Euromaidan protests over the Association Agreement were for some an epitome of two Ukraines: one focusing on the west and one on the east.

November 22, 2018 - Robert Steenland

Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity. Five years later

Interview with Marci Shore, associate professor of history at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Interviewers: Kate Langdon and Jordan Luber

November 21, 2018 - Jordan Luber Kate Langdon Marci Shore

The decline of the West and the joy in the East

Interview with Andrzej Chwalba, Polish historian and professor of history at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. Interviewer: Andrzej Zaręba

ANDRZEJ ZARĘBA: The title of your book about the First World War is (Samobójstwo Europy) (The Suicide of Europe). Suicide suggests a certain will and a lack of determinism. Hence my first question: What would have happened on June 28th 1914 had Archduke Franz Ferdinand not been assassinated? Would war not have broken out?

ANDRZEJ CHWALBA: There were many assassination attempts on many important people at that time. There was no month without at least one assassination attempt. In the months before 1914 there were at least a dozen successful attempts, including the killing of the king of Serbia, the king of Italy, the Russian tsar, two US presidents as well as many prime ministers. Based on data from Austrian intelligence, there were eleven attempts to assassinate Franz Joseph – the goodhearted and beloved leader. There were attempts on Franz Ferdinand’s life as well – the June 1914 assassination, as we know, was the successful one.

November 5, 2018 - Andrzej Chwalba Andrzej Zaręba

Is the blockchain revolution starting in Russia?

Russia, with its cheap electricity and talented tech professionals, has become an important hub for cryptocurrency. And it seems the Russian authorities are starting to see the benefits of blockchain technology, especially in terms of overcoming US sanctions.

“Can you see this bag?” Sanjarbek Nasirbekov, an Uzbek technology expert and bitcoin trader, asks me pointing to a black sporty backpack resting on a hanger. We are sitting in his Tashkent office on the third floor of a hip co-working space with a gym and a game room, sipping afternoon tea. “This is where I carry the cash when I go to Moscow,” he explains. Sanjarbek’s trips to Russia with the black backpack began when his business started growing and his clients’ demand for bitcoin increased. At the time, buying two bitcoins per day from his Moscow-based partner was no longer a sustainable option. Sanjarbek needed more. And his Russian partner could help him.

November 5, 2018 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

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