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Tag: Romania

The AUR and the rise of Romanian nationalism – a new beginning or the remnants of the past?

After the December 2020 parliamentary elections, the subject of nationalism resurfaced in Romanian politics. Even though the topic has been a key issue across the rest of Europe over the last decade, it only entered the public stage in Romania after the recent elections.

March 26, 2021 - Alexandru Demianenco

Ultranationalist utopias and the realities of reconciliation (part two)

Constantin Iordachi and Ferenc Laczó discuss the aftermath of the Second World War and Romanian–Hungarian relations.

March 4, 2021 - Constantin Iordachi Ferenc Laczó

Ultranationalist utopias and the realities of reconciliation (part one)

Constantin Iordachi and Ferenc Laczó discuss fascism and the Second World War in Romania.

February 25, 2021 - Constantin Iordachi Ferenc Laczó

Romanian elections and the shaping of a new coalition – the last chance for change

The latest parliamentary elections in Romania registered the lowest voter turnout in the country's post-communist history and ended with surprising results for everyone. Rather unexpectedly, nationalist forces gained representation in the parliament. This has seen Romania follow a similar path to many other EU member states.

December 15, 2020 - Alexandru Demianenco

The revolution of 1989 – A case of Romanian exceptionalism?

A conversation with Marius Stan, a scholar and co-author of Romania Confronts its Communist Past: Democracy, Memory and Moral Justice. He is currently the research director of the Hannah Arendt Center at the University of Bucharest. Interviewer: Simona Merkinaite.

December 7, 2020 - Marius Stan Simona Merkinaite

We took our victories for granted

An interview with Vladimir Tismaneanu, a political scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park. Interviewer: Simona Merkinaite.

November 17, 2020 - Simona Merkinaite Vladimir Tismaneanu

A bridge that nobody crosses: history and myth regarding 1918–20 in Hungary and Romania 

An interview with historians Marius Turda and Ferenc Laczó. Interviewers: Csaba Tibor Tóth and Gáspár Papp.

June 25, 2020 - Csaba Tibor Tóth Ferenc Laczó Gáspár Papp Marius Turda

Talk Eastern Europe 36: Complicated neighbours. Romania-Moldova relations in the spotlight

Developments in relations between Romania and Moldova have raised a lot eyebrows lately. After Moldova’s pro-European government has fallen to be replaced by a Kremlin-friendly one; along with an already pro-Russia president the question remains as to what role Romania plays in all this.

May 9, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

The Herculean task of saving Europe’s oldest spa town

Băile Herculane, a small town of about 5,000 in western Romania, claims to be the oldest spa town in Europe. According to legend, the Roman god Hercules once stopped in the valley to bathe, lending the town its name. Today, a statue of the hero stands proudly in the centre, but his crumbling surroundings appear to be just a few years shy of becoming a ghost town.

It is after sunset, and the sound of trumpets blare through Băile Herculane station, signalling the arrival of old trains from the communist era. The platform is lined with shell-embossed lanterns, while unkempt vines drape over the seating area. An alpine scent permeates the air, and even at night, in the green glow of the lamps, the mist that hovers around the surrounding mountains is visible. No one who departs the train is under 50 and, as is common with most places where young people are few and far between, the station has retained the feeling of being from another era.

January 27, 2020 - Elizabeth Short

From Piața Universității to #rezist

The true goal of the 2107 protests was the fight against passivity. Many of the protesters would not have bothered to vote in the last general elections, but through their presence on the streets, they cast their vote in their own way. It was a fiesta in the truest sense.

In 2017 the Romanian government changed legal provisions which allowed for the pardoning of corrupt officials and changed the law to be more relaxed towards the abuse of power. Since they were announced, frequent anti-government demonstrations in many cities in Romania broke out as thousands voiced their concern that the country was moving away from the values of the EU. The poet, novelist and academic Ruxandra Cesereanu was involved with these protests from the very beginning, documenting them in a journal which will be published in Romania. Here are some excerpts from her writings.

August 26, 2019 - Ruxandra Cesereanu

Prides of the former socialist bloc

Under communism, the Romanian village of Vama Veche was a unique place of freedom, even if it was somewhat limited. It was a destination for students, artists and intellectuals, as well as a place of work for secret agents who were trying to monitor liberated minds. After the transformation the resort remained the “capital of Romania’s youth” and continues to be popular. Thus, as is often the case with such places, the natural desire to keep things as they were competes with the desire to make profit.

The train from Bucharest, which at this time of the year is heated by the sun, slowly makes its way towards the Black Sea. Outside the window, the landscape is quite monotonous – a vast and flawless flat area, which looks like it was run over by a gigantic bulldozer, is dusty and spreads out under the intensive blue sky. Endless sunflower and corn fields are only decorated with occasional poplar copses. From time to time the train passes a forgotten railway station located either beside a small depopulated town or near a post-communist industrial plant.

August 26, 2019 - Katarina Novikova and Wiktor Trybus

Țara Moldovei

The untapped potential of Iași and Romania's north-east.

July 15, 2019 - Kaha Baindurashvili

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