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Tag: Balkans

In Croatia, ecology and art mend the wounds of the past

At the age of 36, Vladimir Miketa retains few memories of the war and his past. However, what bothers him most is people’s attitude towards the environment in his area and how authorities manage waste in the region. As a passionate mountaineer and nature lover, he often explores the surrounding area during his hikes. It was during one of these excursions that he discovered a road leading to the village of Lončari.

Before the war in Croatia between 1991 and 1995, the small village of Lončari, situated in the central part of the country and belonging to Zadar County, was home to approximately 120 people, primarily of Serbian nationality. After they fled in 1995 following the military operation “Storm”, during which the Croatian army liberated a significant portion of territory previously under the control of Serbian rebels, the homes inhabited by Serbians remained abandoned for years. Many of these homes were used as stables by local residents, who kept goats and sheep in them.

June 22, 2024 - Tatjana Dordevic

Everything you need to know about Serbian sentiments: from economic worries to foreign policy

Opinions within Serbian society are shaped by a complex interplay of historical perceptions, national propaganda, and actual circumstances. A new poll underscores the nation’s multifaced anxieties and highlights the persistent fissures within Serbian society. While the majority of Serbs voice socio-economic concerns shared across Europe, their foreign policy outlook remains sceptical of western integration.

May 29, 2024 - Leon Hartwell

Double elections end North Macedonia’s de facto duopoly, but sometimes more is less

Dissatisfaction with the Social Democrats and nationalist demands from Bulgaria have shifted the country to the right.

May 14, 2024 - Kristijan Fidanovski

Kosovo’s Council of Europe aspirations spark controversy in Serbia

The Council of Europe has become the latest flashpoint in relations between Serbia and Kosovo. While Pristina has expressed its desire to join the body, Belgrade has threatened to abandon the organization altogether. Such a move would only further challenge the delicate rights regime that exists in the country.

May 2, 2024 - Tea Kljajić

Kidnapping EU: misuse of the veto power on enlargement

On December 15th 2023, the leaders of Ukraine would have been shocked to hear that the EU might not provide its 50 billion euros as a result of Hungarian Prime Minister Orban's veto. The EU's right of veto has often been unduly used and exploited by EU member states against their neighbours, generally for issues unrelated to EU values.

March 8, 2024 - Rigels Lenja

Land of contrast: a review of John Watkins’ “Enver Hoxha’s Long Shadow: Travels in Albania”

Albania still remains a rather unique subject of travel writing today. In his new work, John Watkins uncovers the country’s communist past and its many legacies, comparing and contrasting his own visits to the nation across the decades.

January 22, 2024 - Antonia Young

Elections in Serbia: a testimony of autocracy versus incompetence

The recent elections in Serbia were characterized by irregularities, surpassing previous instances of misconduct. This was even acknowledge by international observers. Yet, the opposition's post-election campaign has come to a halt, merely reiterating claims of theft without presenting specific actions or strategies to challenge the ruling party and address corruption within institutions.

January 12, 2024 - Filip Mirilović

Pride and tensions in Kosovo

On November 28th, Albanians commemorate their independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912. But this is not only celebrated in Albania, with Kosovo’s 92 per cent ethnic Albanian population joining in too. The high level of public support for the young country’s war heroes of the now disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army is clear to see, even though some of its former leaders are currently detained in The Hague awaiting war crimes trials.

January 9, 2024 - Kian Seara Rey

Anything but a “Little Putin”: why Serbia under Vučić is not Russia under Putin

Western media often compares Serbia under Aleksandar Vučić to Putin’s Russia. While both states may often embrace authoritarian rhetoric, it is clear that Moscow is the only one to act on it at all times. This reality is especially important when considering Belgrade’s relations with the EU and NATO.

November 6, 2023 - Stefan Mandic

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

Multilingual and multiple minorities. Who are the Balkan Jews?

The documented history of Jews in the Balkans can be traced back to the early Middle Ages and has been studied by researchers from diverse perspectives. Undoubtedly, it is a vibrant, dynamic and tumultuous story, set at the crossroads of multiple intersecting cultures and social groups. Although the Second World War profoundly impacted the Jewish world, it did not bring about its end.

In less than three years, we have lost three women who had made a tremendous impact on Balkan Jewish culture. The first to pass was Flory Jagoda, who died in January 2021. Born in 1923 in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) as Florica Papo, Flory emigrated to the United States after the Second World War. She was an accomplished singer and composer devoted to the preservation of the Ladino and Sephardic traditions.

September 11, 2023 - Katarzyna Taczyńska

Femicides in Kosovo: a product of a society that normalises gender violence

From the outside, Kosovo may look like any other society in Europe. Beneath this façade, however, lies a deep societal issue regarding the treatment of women and girls. If society is to advance, it must come to terms with this uncomfortable truth.

July 3, 2023 - Gezim Qadraku

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