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Tag: Serbia

The dangers of enflaming false revisionist history in the Balkans

A response to defenders of Trump’s foreign policy in a region all too familiar with the meddling of great powers.

May 27, 2020 - Sidita Kushi

Serbia’s fractured history is reflected in Belgrade’s museums

No single museum gives an overall narrative of Serbia’s development. Instead the country’s history is split between several different institutions.

May 11, 2020 - Luke Bacigalupo

Richard Grenell: Dictating the pulse of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue

During his visits to Pristina and Belgrade, US Special Envoy Richard Grenell has been clear on his demands for both Kosovo and Serbia with the dialogue between them stuck in a deadlock for over a year.

April 15, 2020 - Visar Xhambazi

New enlargement strategy of the EU: a new chance for the Balkans

With a new enlargement strategy, the European Union gives itself more time while candidates and potential candidates claim a new chance to focus more seriously on upcoming reforms.

March 31, 2020 - Svjetlana Ramic Markovic

The Swedish Academy and Peter Handke: Justice for whom?

Austrian writer Peter Handke was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for Literature. The award renewed a debate surrounding this author – his ardent support for Serbia and Slobodan Milošević, who was the Serbian leader in the mid-1990s – and puts the integrity of the Swedish Academy into question.
On December 10th 2019 the well-known Austrian author Peter Handke, received the Nobel Prize for Literature. A number of ambassadors from the Western Balkans boycotted the ceremony, as did Peter Englund, a historian and former secretary of the Swedish Academy. Kosovo declared Handke persona non grata. The controversy is about Handke’s position on Serbia. He is accused of supporting the regime under Slobodan Milošević or even genocide denial.

January 28, 2020 - Joanna Hosa

When the state turns against its own citizens, resistance becomes duty?

In 2018 civic resistance in Bosnia and Herzegovina acquired a new symbol – the raised fist of Davor Dragičević who, in quiet desperation, demanded justice for his dead son, David. The situation triggered a significant public outrage and the politicisation of David’s death. Since March 2018, mass protests were organised demanding justice. By the end of the year, the authorities started to violently block them and, eventually, banned any further gatherings.

As Thomas Jefferson once said: “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”. Even in “stabilocracies” like Bosnia and Herzegovina or Serbia, whenever any form of government becomes destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. It was visible in 2014 when first the workers and later regular citizens paralyzed a number of Bosnian cities during events titled the “Bosnian spring”. Yet despite few governmental alterations, nothing has really changed – Bosnia and Herzegovina remains a captured state that protects its elites while citizens’ rights and control over the authorities are limited.

August 26, 2019 - Aleksandra Zdeb

Life on the Sava

A journey of almost 1000 km along the Danube's greatest tributary kindling a dialogue between man, nature and neighbours.

June 28, 2019 - Dan McCrum

Talk Eastern Europe Episode 9: What’s up in the Western Balkans?

This episode takes a closer look at the current developments in the Western Balkans, including the North Macedonian name agreement, the Kosovo-Serbia border swap negotiations and recent protests in Serbia and Montenegro.

April 1, 2019 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

What could a Serbia-Kosovo border swap achieve?

The idea of changing the borders of Kosovo has existed in the Serbian debate since the 1990s, but was never seriously discussed internationally. A new opening suddenly emerged late last year and serious talks and support seems to be growing. The question remains, however, whether an agreement would lead to a break in the status quo or create even greater problems for both countries and the region.

The dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo has become a permanent feature of the relationship between the two countries over the past eight years. Along the way, there have been numerous agreements, mostly concluded in Brussels behind closed doors with only press releases of the European Union to document them. The atmosphere has been a continuous up and down, filled with tense moments, from a clash at the border checkpoints in 2011 to the train incident in 2017, to the tariffs imposed on Serbian and Bosnian goods in the last number of years. Paradoxically, the longer the dialogue has continued, the tenser relations appear to have gotten.

March 5, 2019 - Florian Bieber

Customs wars in the Balkans

The implementation of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (or CEFTA) offered hope of economic growth and more efficient integration with the EU. However, differences in the trade balance and international political disputes have hindered the region's economic integration. The recent trade wars could threaten it altogether.<.I>

The idea of free trade has become so well incorporated into the public discourse on European integration that any infringement of its principles is either overlooked as a minor incident or unintended behaviour of a less experienced partner. Meanwhile, a regular customs war broke out in the Balkans. Slowly and quietly, in a manner unusual for the region, the Balkan governments have mustered their best warriors to fight their enemies in the trenches of bureaucratic regulations. The very traditions of the Byzantine and Ottoman courts laid the foundations for impermeable administrative fortresses hampering free trade and European integration of the region.

March 5, 2019 - Jan Muś

A blueprint solution for Kosovo: What is at stake?

Changing national borders can be a complicated and contentious process. The partition or exchange of territories between Kosovo and Serbia would re-establish ethnic boundaries and increase the likelihood of ethnic violence.

January 28, 2019 - Visar Xhambazi

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