The latest commentary from the Balkans and everything to its East.

Serbia’s New Lesbian Prime Minister: A Symbolic Step Forward?

In Serbia, is the recent appointment of Ana Brnabic to the office of prime minister indicative of a new commitment to LGBT rights — or a smokescreen?   On the evening of Thursday, June 15, news broke that Serbia would have an openly lesbian prime minister. Immediate reactions from the global LGBT community…


We Asked: What’s Next for Macedonia?

Yesterday, President Gjorgje Ivanov finally granted former opposition leader Zoran Zaev a mandate to form a new government, effectively ending a two-year political crisis. But much work remains to be done. We asked people in Macedonia about what’s next for the country, what kinds of challenges the new government is likely to…


Op-Ed: Half Truths & Gangster Politics

Unless we acknowledge the gravity of events in Macedonia, the final victim of violence across the Balkans will be democracy itself, argues Rudina Hajdari.   After more than 1 year without a government — and several months of serious political instability — Macedonia has been shaken by the most significant…


A Slow Conservative Revolution? Academia, Clientelism and the Right in Croatia

What’s wrong with Croatian academia? Andrew Hodges explains how new criteria has created barriers to entering academia and is pushing the country’s public discourse further and further towards the political right. (Croatian version follows the English).  ‘Rational and National’ reads a poster slogan advertising Bruna Esih’s candidacy for the position of Mayor of…


Op-Ed: A Blind Eye to Antigypsyism at the European Parliament

Roma International Day, an annual celebration of Roma culture that took place earlier this month, was partly marred when news organizations neglected to report on the discriminatory language used against Roma at a coinciding debate at the European Parliament. Maria Bizzotto and Angelo Ciocca, both members of Italian political party Lega…


No, the EU Hasn’t Necessarily “Dodged a Bullet” in Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s recent parliamentary election was widely declared a victory for EU interests by the western media, but a closer look at the complicated web of Kremlin influence and “pro-Russia” and “pro-EU” loyalties in Bulgaria reveals a far more complex picture, argues Michael Colborne.   Bulgaria got caught in the western media…