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Author: Ida Orzechowska

A Revolution that Devoured its Children Before it even Happened

Since February this year, the Macedonian opposition party, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), has been continuously releasing documents incriminating the ruling party, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE), of mass wiretapping, frauds, corruption and notorious abuse of the – in theory – democratic system for personal and party purposes. The information sparked mass protests, but the situation in the country has remained generally peaceful. The only exception is a few odd and inexplicable incidents which happened around Macedonia in the past months, such as minor explosions, an attack on a police station in Gosince, and the two-days-long battle between police forces and alleged Albanian terrorists related to the Kosovo Liberation Army in Kumanovo. The peak of the protests came in mid-May after information about a governmental cover-up of the murder of 21-year old Martin Neskovski by a policeman in 2011 was released.

July 2, 2015 - Ida Orzechowska

The Hidden Growth of Islamic Extremism in Kosovo

The recent arrest of 40 alleged Islamic radicals in Kosovo together with the arrest of one of the Kosovo Imams suspected of being an inspirer of jihad in the region brought serious questions about the radicalisation of Islam and terrorism in Kosovo, in the Balkans and in Europe. Even though the issue of Kosovo Albanian volunteers or mercenaries fighting alongside the anti-Bashar forces in Syria and supporting the radical leadership of the Islamic State (earlier the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has been present in the public debate in Kosovo for at least a year, the debate itself was rather shallow and trivial.

August 22, 2014 - Ida Orzechowska

Serbia and the West 15 Years after the NATO Bombing: Dislike or distrust?

Exactly 15 years after the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavian Serbia, the Serbian political arena has been overwhelmingly dominated by the Serbian Progressive Party, an odd conglomerate of Slobodan Milošević’s blue-eyed boys, radicals and nationalists who unexpectedly turned into pro-European politicians advised by American consultants and who signed the breakthrough agreement on the normalisation of the Serbia – Kosovo relations.

March 24, 2014 - Ida Orzechowska

Starbucks Independence in the Land of Wonders


Celebrating independence with foreign flags and military camouflage. On Monday February 17th, just two days after Serbia’s National Day, the youngest European state, Kosovo, was celebrating the sixth anniversary of its declaration of independence from Belgrade.

February 28, 2014 - Ida Orzechowska

Kosovo Elections: The south steps forward, the north moves back

The April 19th Brussels agreement on normalisation of the Belgrade-Prishtina relations represented a symbolic breakthrough in the European and Balkan narratives on Kosovo.

November 10, 2013 - Ida Orzechowska

Kosovo Elections: The south steps forward, the north moves back

The April 19th Brussels agreement on normalisation of the Belgrade-Prishtina relations represented a symbolic breakthrough in the European and Balkan narratives on Kosovo.

November 10, 2013 - Ida Orzechowska

Ahtisaari for Slow Learners

“The future of the Balkans is within the European Union,” stated the leaders of the European Union member states at the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003. “The enlargement process will not be completed before the admission to membership of the entire Balkans,” Slovak foreign minister Miroslav Lajčak underlined 10 years later at an anniversary conference held […]

May 26, 2013 - Ida Orzechowska

Into the Wild

Ida Orzechowska reviews Divlje društvo – kako smo stigli dovde (Wild society. How did we get here) by Vesna Pešić. This review originally appeared in New Eastern Europe issue 1(VI)/2013. “A major problem with the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, as executed by extreme nationalist and political elites was the apparent absence of alternative solutions that would […]

February 14, 2013 - Ida Orzechowska

Balkan Security Beyond the Crisis

“The euro crisis should not mean the end of EU enlargement,” wrote Dimitar Bechev, one of the key-note speakers at the Belgrade Security Forum (www.belgradeforum.org) held in mid-September in Serbia, recently in his policy brief. Coping with the crisis, which became the key issue discussed during the Forum, creates significant challenges to democracy and security, […]

October 2, 2012 - Ida Orzechowska

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