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Author: Nikodem Szczygłowski

The ability to reconcile is a mark of a nation’s maturity

A conversation with Milan Kučan, the first president of Slovenia from 1991 to 2002. Interviewer: Nikodem Szczygłowski

NIKODEM SZCZYGŁOWSKI: In 2004, at the time of the EU’s enlargement, Slovenia was considered one of the most developed countries in the region – much more so than Poland, the Czech Republic or Lithuania. Now, 20 years later, we can see that the achievements of Poland or Lithuania were greater than those of Slovenia. Slovenia was at the highest level when it joined the EU, and it is still at a high level, but Poland or Lithuania have caught up much more and are much closer to Slovenia. What are the reasons for this?

MILAN KUČAN: Slovenia was ahead of all these countries in terms of development parameters at that time. But then, it actually developed more slowly. This was due to the specific features of the economic and privatization reforms in Slovenia, but also a number of other factors. At a certain point, Slovenia actually stopped or paid much less attention to economic development than to internal ideological debates, political divisions and so on.

June 22, 2024 - Milan Kučan Nikodem Szczygłowski

“We need to tame Przemyśl with its own complex history”

Interview with Igor Horkov, director of the Ukrainian House in Przemyśl. Interviewer: Nikodem Szczygłowski.

May 17, 2024 - Igor Horków Nikodem Szczygłowski

The Patriarchate of Constantinople is finalizing the creation of its own structures for the Orthodox Church in Lithuania

Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has caused reverberations in the world of Orthodox Christianity. While the church in Moscow has fully backed the Kremlin’s war, many priests in places such as Lithuania have found adherence to this belief an impossible task.

February 7, 2024 - Nikodem Szczygłowski

Former Yugoslav nations deserve peace

An interview with Gojko Božović, a Belgrade-based Serbian poet, literary critic and publisher. Interviewer: Nikodem Szczygłowski

NIKODEM SZCZYGŁOWSKI: It has been 30 years since the break-up of Yugoslavia. In an essay published in 2021 titled Yugoslavia. 30 Years, the Slovenian writer Drago Jančar compared the countries that once made up Yugoslavia to islands in an archipelago. The publishing house which you head is also called Arhipelag, which in English means archipelago. What is your mission and what kind of literature do you opt to publish?

GOJKO BOŽOVIĆ: The Arhipelag was founded in 2007. At that time the reality was very different from the one we live in today. It was before the global economic crisis, before the great wave of populism that swept the world and still has no intention of leaving it. At that time, there was much more democracy in Eastern European and Balkan states and societies, especially in Serbia.

September 11, 2023 - Gojko Božović Nikodem Szczygłowski

A regional player?

Following the elections in April 2022, the new Slovenian government has displayed ambitions to make the country an active regional player and an intermediary between the Western Balkan states and Central Europe. However, the geopolitics of the wider region, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, may force it to face some uncomfortable trends.

In the Balkans July and August are always the peak tourist season, with flocks of North European vacationers coming here to enjoy the beauty of the Adriatic coast and the warm Mediterranean sun. Traditionally, their preferred destination is Croatia, with its stunning Dalmatian beaches, beautiful Istria, numerous islands and national parks. Neighbouring from the north Slovenia is less popular. It is more often used as a transit country for travellers who are en route to Croatia.

September 11, 2023 - Nikodem Szczygłowski

“Freedom is the most important thing for human beings, it is something we all have in common.”

Interview with Pär Johansson, president of the Swedish charity Blåljus i Samverkan. Interviewer: Nikodem Szczygłowski.

August 28, 2023 - Nikodem Szczygłowski Pär Johansson

Slovenia under water

For a whole week, large parts of Slovenia, mainly Carinthia (Koroška) and Styria (Štajerska) as well as the Gorenjska region, were (and partly still are) under water. The flood has already been hailed as the worst natural disaster in the country's history. Today's heroes are the firefighters, paramedics and police officers who have been working non-stop in the past week doing their best to save the lives of those threatened by the raging disaster. 

August 14, 2023 - Nikodem Szczygłowski

Ukraine, Mayday

While Russia’s war in Ukraine has become a regular story in European and world media, its physical connections with the wider world have become severely restricted. Now reliant on railways and roads to transport both people and goods, the war-torn nation now dreams of a future in which airplanes will no longer bring destruction and death.

My last visit to Kyiv was on February 16th, 2022. It was the day that American intelligence determined to be the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities an initiative called “Reconciliation” was held on that day as well. It was meant to “strengthen the consolidation of the Ukrainian society, increase its resilience when faced with growing hybrid and propaganda threats as well as the psychological pressure that was being put on the Ukrainian society”, as stated by the president’s decree “On urgent means to consolidate the Ukrainian society”’ issued two days prior.

July 4, 2023 - Nikodem Szczygłowski

The war in Ukraine looks paradoxical and rather obscure from a Croatian perspective

Interview with Miljenko Jergović, an award-winning writer based in Zagreb. Interviewer: Nikodem Szczygłowski.

May 22, 2023 - Miljenko Jergović Nikodem Szczygłowski

The war in Ukraine makes us realise how fragile our world is

Interview with Andriy Sadovyi, the mayor of Lviv. Interviewer: Nikodem Szczygłowski.

July 27, 2022 - Andriy Sadovyi Nikodem Szczygłowski

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