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Tag: Central Europe

The risks and rewards of investigative journalism in Central Eastern Europe

Between October 2017 and April 2019 four reporters doing investigative journalism were killed in Europe: Daphne Caruana Galizia from Malta, Ján Kuciak from Slovakia, Victoria Marinova from Bulgaria, and Lyra McKee from Northern Ireland. Their deaths happened in different circumstances, but they were always related to their profession. Given that investigative reporting is public interest journalism, it should be safeguarded by governments. However this is not always the case in Central and Eastern Europe.

The independent NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warns that in Europe “hatred of journalists has degenerated into violence, contributing to an increase in fear.” Whereas the EU is no longer a safe haven for journalists, the media environment in Central and Eastern Europe has been deteriorating. The Visegrad Four countries have been plummeting in the Freedom House's Freedom of the Press and the RSF's Press Freedom Index rankings since 2015. Hungary dropped from 67th to 87th place on the Press Freedom Index between 2016 and 2019, while Freedom of the Press changed the status of Hungarian media from “free” to “partly free” in 2012.

August 26, 2019 - Lorenzo Berardi

Promises and challenges. Internationalisation of the transition economies

Since 1989 internationalisation has profoundly influenced the former communist countries, primarily economically but also politically. The unfinished transition process has put into perspective the vast differences between the countries that emerged from the deep shadow of the Soviet Union and the enormous difficulties they had in constructing functioning political and economic structures. Three decades on, the future of the entire region is inexorably linked to the West and the ideas of open markets.

Internationalisation has been one of the critical dimensions of the economic transformation undergone by the former command economies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union since 1989. Openness and global interactions have had profound direct effects on their growth and development, and entry into international institutions has significantly shaped both domestic policies and institutions. During the past three decades of transition, all former socialist economies have moved decisively towards market-oriented ones.

August 26, 2019 - Kiril Kossev

In Between Europe #21: EP elections in the Visegrad Four

This episode is the first segment of a two-part series with Talk Eastern Europe (TEE) on the results of the European Parliament elections in Central Europe.

May 28, 2019 - Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics

In Between Europe podcast

In Between Europe is a podcast dedicated to Central Europe hosted by Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics.

May 23, 2019 - Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics

In Between Europe #20: Presidential election in Slovakia

This podcasts looks at how progressive newcomer Zuzana Čaputová secured a surprise victory in Slovakia’s presidential elections this past weekend.

April 3, 2019 - Adam Reichardt

The intellectual in Central Europe: Havel, Orbán and Walter

What option is open to Central European intellectuals today? How can they maintain their independent stance and moral principles, yet find a position where they can support democracy in their countries? This is a particularly pressing question today, when Central Europe is again traversing a rocky road paved with nationalism and populism.

At a recent conference of European editors of cultural journals, an English participant remarked, a bit puzzled, how only in Central Europe do people still talk in all seriousness about – and even quarrel passionately over – the role, place and responsibility of intellectuals. First, I felt slightly embarrassed recalling that Kritika & Kontext, the journal I founded in 1996, had devoted a whole issue to “The Intellectual and Society”. The debate then was both serious and passionate and, rereading it now, seems still valid today. Perhaps after all there is a special place for intellectuals in the heaven and hell of Central Europe.

January 2, 2019 - Samuel Abrahám

In Between Europe podcast #18 – Energy and Energy Security in Central Europe

In this episode of the podcast In Between Europe, the hosts Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics tackle the important question of energy security in the Central European region.

December 20, 2018 - Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics

In Between Europe podcast #17 – Central European Futures

This episode of the In Between Europe podcast discusses a new report titled Central European Futures - Five Scenarios for 2025 that maps five possible futures for the region and offers insight as well as recommendations. A true discussion starter!

November 23, 2018 - Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics

Slovenia’s politics = normal?

In Between Europe speaks to Aljaž Pengov Bitenc, a Slovenian journalist and fellow podcast host in this episode. Together they navigate the not-so-choppy waters of Slovenian politics, talk about the outcome of recent elections, the failure of Orbanisation and much more.

September 17, 2018 - Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics

Slovakia and the coming post-Fico era

After a little break the “In Between Europe” podcast is back with a special on Slovakia. In this episode Zselyke and Gergely talk to Milan Nič, a senior fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations. What has happened in Slovakia since the horrific murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancé this spring? How much influence does Russia have in the country? What direction will Slovak politics take once former prime minister Robert Fico decides to fully retire?

August 27, 2018 - Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics

New separatisms. Or what could happen if the West disappeared from Eastern Europe?

In Central and Eastern Europe, the West used to play a revolutionary role while Russia was that of a reactionary usurper. Today, the West has been hoisted by its own petard and the roles of the two powers in the region have reversed.

The West was once the defender and champion of the rights for those who suffered from unfavourable geopolitical arrangements after the Second World War. At least, it played this role in the territories where it competed with the Soviet Union and later the post-Soviet autocracies which emerged after the post-Cold War chaos of the 1990s. The West helped bring down communism in the region and its remains which were trying to survive in Russia and Serbia. It defended the rights of Kosovo’s Albanians, Muslim Bosniaks and Croats attacked by Serbs. Before that it was the main defender of the residents of the Eastern bloc, and all the nations that wanted to free themselves from Soviet rule. Today, the situation is entirely different.

April 26, 2018 - Ziemowit Szczerek

On mythical identities of mythical countries

A conversation with Miljenko Jergović, a Balkan writer. Interviewer: Aleksandra Wojtaszek

ALEKSANDRA WOJTASZEK: We are meeting thanks to the recent publishing of a collection of your essays by the Kraków-based International Cultural Centre tilted Muscat, lemon and turmeric. It seems that a common denominator for these essays is Central Europe, which binds the descriptions of cities and biographies in your texts together. Do you believe that a Central European identity exists? If yes, what are its features?

MILJENKO JERGOVIĆ: I believe that we could talk about it in an unorthodox fashion. What is common to all of the peoples living in Central Europe is primarily all the traumas of the 20th century, such as the concentration camps. We are also connected by historical experiences such as being a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, or the bloc of socialist countries after the Second World War. In one sense, we lived our lives in a border region.

April 26, 2018 - Aleksandra Wojtaszek Miljenko Jergović

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