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Tag: Romania

Another populist threat to NATO stability?

Romania now finds itself on the front line of NATO's defence against Russian aggression. Despite this, recent European Parliament elections reveal a persistent threat from radical right-wing parties which should not be underestimated. Addressing the grievances attracting people to such forces will help strengthen not only Romania but NATO as a whole.

June 17, 2024 - Maria Branea

A central and eastern EU elections summary

While the results of the EU parliamentary elections in Central and Eastern Europe did not lead to political upheaval as seen in France, it is becoming clear that the far-right representation in Strasbourg will increase from this part of Europe.

June 11, 2024 - Ottilie Tabberer

A super elections year: Romania’s 2024 political landscape

This year Romanians will experience an unprecedented four elections: local, European, presidential and parliamentary. The ruling mainstream parties have already demonstrated their joint strategy to curb the rise of populist and extremist parties. How the society will vote in this marathon of democracy remains unknown.

Romania has never had four rounds of elections in a single year. However, 2024 brings them all: European, local, presidential and parliamentary. Over the past year, there have been discussions about the possibility of merging some of them, especially European and local elections. Yet, until recently, the political calculations within the governing coalition did not favour this option as a means of simplifying the electoral calendar.

April 11, 2024 - Eugen Stancu

Serbian director finds way to confront dark past

Serbian film director Vladimir Perišić seems perfectly content belonging to a tradition of cinema that operates outside of the mainstream. There are no big budgets or huge audiences. But he is okay with that and can still find a cult audience across Europe that appreciates his work. “I like to work with small crews and non-actors and being in this marginal position allows me to have this artistic freedom,” he admits.

Vladimir Perišić is not intentionally trying to sound like Vladimir Putin. But the Serbian director is deadly serious when he says that “the break-up of Yugoslavia was a huge historical mistake.” He claims the six ex-Yugoslav republics – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia (including the regions of Kosovo and Vojvodina) – are today “all obsessed with their national histories, most of which are a total fantasy”.

April 11, 2024 - J P O’ Malley

What role can Romania play in facilitating Western Balkan integration?

Recent geopolitical developments have resulted in renewed discussions on the enlargement of the European Union – including in the Western Balkans. Many factors will determine how these talks go in 2024 but some local actors may have significant input. Through its experience, Romania can be one of these actors and play a unique role in this process.

The new geopolitical context stemming from Russia’s ongoing brutal war on European soil has had profound effects on the geopolitical dynamics of the European Union’s enlargement. After many years of inertia and stagnation, enlargement seems to be back at the top of the EU agenda. The geopolitical decision made by the European Council in June 2022 to grant Ukraine and Moldova candidate status was followed by the (re-)opening of previously stagnating accession negotiations with the countries of the Western Balkans (Albania and various ex-Yugoslav states).

February 7, 2024 - Marius Ghincea Miruna Butnaru-Troncotă

Three focus areas for Moldova’s EU-integration

The beginning of Moldova’s official accession negotiations with the EU will mark a pivotal moment in the country’s history. Despite this, full membership is still not an inevitability. Brussels must subsequently help Moldova to reform key areas of its society throughout the process.

November 27, 2023 - Amanda Sonesson Ion Manole

Roma refugees from Ukraine face additional adversity

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, a large portion of Ukraine’s Roma population escaped as refugees alongside their fellow Ukrainians. However, they were not always met with open arms and many faced additional challenges and discrimination.

In the face of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the subsequent hardships of Ukraine’s Roma population, both as refugees and internally displaced people, has drawn the world’s attention to the double standards refugee host countries hold even in the face of danger and destruction. It is estimated that of the approximate 400,000 Roma living in Ukraine (this rough figure is due to migration and lack of Roma documentation), 25 per cent have fled since the beginning of Russia’s February 2022 invasion. Yet, unlike non-Roma Ukrainians, who have generally felt welcomed when seeking refuge in Ukraine’s neighbouring Eastern European countries, Roma Ukrainians have oftentimes faced prejudice and distrust. This is similar to that which they face in their homeland.

November 19, 2023 - Madeleine Cuckson

Fear of Russian drones creates anxiety in Romanian villages

As Ukraine has been trying to re-route its crucial wheat and corn exports via its ports on the Danube river, Russia has begun targeting them. Their proximity to Romania creates a significant risk to the local residents, who feel their concerns remain unaddressed. Drones or fragment of drones have already crashed on this NATO country’s territory, with little recourse.

“The sky was lighting up from the tracer ammunition fired by the Ukrainians and you could see the outline of the drones. The last one crashed at 00:20 – I can show you on my surveillance cameras how loud the bang was. And I told myself: this is one hundred per cent in Romania,” recalls Neculae Marian, a resident of the city of Tulcea who owns a house in the village of Plauru. Following multiple crashes of Russian drones on Romanian territory around the settlement, confidence is low and frustrations towards the country’s decision-makers are at a high. Neculae becomes visibly irate when talking about the government’s response and argues that the authorities have been consistently disingenuous about the risks faced by the local population.

November 16, 2023 - Vlad Iaviță

A forgotten tale of violence from Romania’s recent past

The story of violent clashes that broke out in Sibiu in Romania during late December 1989 is one that many have forgotten since the revolution and regime change. Tudor Giurgiu’s latest film Libertate revisits that turbulent event in Romania. The film not only acts as a reminder of the ruthless terror and chaos of the time but also as a chance for Romanians to reassess their own history.

When Nicolae Ceaușescu's brutal regime collapsed in Romania 34 years ago, Tudor Giurgiu was 18 years old, living in his home city of Cluj-Napoca, in central Transylvania. “For many days and weeks, the country was directionless,” the 51-year-old Romanian film director explains from central Sarajevo, Bosnia, where he is showcasing his latest film Libertate. “People were not talking normally, they were going nuts and there was a lot of shouting, paranoia, and violence.”

November 16, 2023 - JP O'Malley

Romania’s Plauru hamlet: a collateral victim of the Russian invasion

Over the past two months, Romania has been a victim of the Russian army's clumsiness. Several Shahed drones have crashed in the hamlet of Plauru, on NATO territory. Local residents now live in const ant fear of future attacks.

November 15, 2023 - Théodore Donguy

Momentum for change in the Romanian energy sector

With the start of Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine, one of the main problems on the mind of every European became the insecurity and instability around energy supply. In a race to diversify their sources of supply, countries who are dependent on Russian energy began to explore options that had been previously avoided. As European countries struggle to cut ties with their unstable Eastern partner, Romania is increasingly seen as a future European energy hub.

December 5, 2022 - Alexandru Demianenco

Security in the Black Sea region after the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine in 2022 triggered a reshaping of the entire security architecture in the Black Sea region and the whole of Europe. How does the expert community perceive the changes to regional security? What are the lessons learned for the international and regional actors? What could be done to restore and maintain security in the Black Sea region?

September 29, 2022 - Hanna Shelest Maksym Khylko

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