Articles by Risto Karajkov

Winter asylum in the EU

02/04/2014 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

Germany is reviewing its regulations in order to discourage false asylum seekers from the Balkans, mainly of Roma origin, knocking at its door. But not all Roma asylum requests are fake

Macedonian governmental media

25/02/2014 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

Public money for advertisement could turn into a further tool for media control, while Freedom House downgrades Macedonia 22 places in rank

A Macedonian Ruby

11/10/2013 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

A keyboard player in one of the major Macedonian punk rock bands of the 80's, Badmingtons, is now promoting a unique project and a national brand: the Macedonian Ruby. The story of Dejan Škartov, better-known in Skopje as Deko

Blitz trade war between Macedonia and Kosovo ends

19/09/2013 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

Truck drivers sealed off the border after a rapid escalation in trade restrictions between Macedonia and Kosovo. The situation quickly came back to normal, but not without consequences

Macedonia's fragile real estate market

12/08/2013 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

Rumors on the impending collapse of the real estate market in Macedonia have been spreading for some time. Lately, they are increasing

Skopje, you will be joy

06/08/2013 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

The Macedonian capital remembered the 50th anniversary of the devastating earthquake of July 26, 1963. On that day, the city stopped breathing

Macedonian political crisis: opposition to run in local elections

14/03/2013 -  Risto Karajkov

Thanks to the mediation of Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for the Enlargement, the Social Democratic Macedonian opposition declined to boycott the local elections, scheduled for March 24. The institutional crisis is over, but the problems of democratic functioning of the institutions remain

Macedonia's state of democracy

17/01/2013 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

In October 2012, the European Commission gave green light to Macedonia for the fourth time in a row to start the EU accession negotiations, still blocked by a Greek veto. But what is the real state of democracy in the country? Our correspondent takes us on a personal reflection on indicators rarely taken into account

Macedonia: The Communist Reality

05/09/2012 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

In Macedonia, the process of dealing with the communist past of the country is becoming more and more to resemble a reality show. Lists of former secret service agents are published on the internet, civil servants are removed from office, new categories of citizens end under screening. But some warn that privacy and civil rights are at stake

NGO headaches from grant co-financing

23/08/2012 -  Risto Karajkov

Donors hardly ever support projects if they are not partially co-financed by the applicant. In principle, this makes total sense, but in practice the rule often sets off creative accounting and limits NGO capacities

Macedonia: last chance for Crvenkovski?

07/08/2012 -  Risto Karajkov

He's the only Macedonian politician who has been riding the crest of the wave since the '90s. Branko Crvenkovski seems to have reached his final challenge: the next local elections. He would do anything to win them, even shaking hands with former arch-enemies

The false myth of sustainability

20/06/2012 -  Risto Karajkov

The section on sustainability is a fundamental part of development project proposals. But why is it so important for the donor? And is it always necessary? A comment

Macedonia: Is It Terrorism?

11/06/2012 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

On 12 April, the murder of five people by lake Smiljkovo, at the outskirts of Skopje, struck Macedonia's ethnic cohesion. Five people are now in jail, accused of being part of an Islamic terrorist organization. Many questions, however, remain unanswered

Small is Beautiful: Challenges facing Balkan NGOs

30/05/2012 -  Risto Karajkov

EU aid to Balkan civil society seems to be increasingly directed at large NGOs. Small community-based organisations tend to be marginalised mainly as a result of turnover thresholds and excessive red tape set by the donors. An opinion by Risto Karajkov, OBC's correspondent and free-lance civil society consultant

Census fails in Macedonia

20/10/2011 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

In Macedonia, the census planned for October has officially been cancelled. The fiasco came as a result of increasing tensions between the two major partners in the government, the VMRO led by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and the DUI of Ali Ahmeti. Assessing the number of citizens (and the weight of the different ethnic communities) in Macedonia is a sensitive and highly politicized issue

Macedonia turns 20

20/09/2011 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

The Republic of Macedonia has recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. So far, the country has succeeded as a multicultural democracy. However, many challenges are yet to come and the name dispute with Greece is still keeping Skopje distant from the EU

To be an entrepreneur Serbia. Mission impossible?

31/08/2011 -  Risto Karajkov

When institutions are inefficient or corrupt and there is a lack of legal certainty, it's difficult to do business. Even harder for small companies. An interview with Žarko Milisavljević, president of the Association of Small and Medium-Size Enterprises and Entrepreneurs in Serbia

Balkan SMEs: lagging behind in EU eco-innovation opportunities

11/08/2011 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

It's not a question of great inventions. What is required is the capacity to use existing technologies in an innovative and environmentally-friendly way. EU funds are now also available for SMEs in the Balkans, but proposals are not yet flooding in

Media in Macedonia: in crisis

28/07/2011 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

A serious crisis hitting the Skopje media. Many are closing down. The opposition media are penalised and they label the Law adopted by the Parliament as partisan. What is most worrying is the absence of a critical and objective voice.

Macedonia: Here Comes Alexander

30/06/2011 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

On 21 June, a controversial, colossal monument to Alexander the Great was erected in Skopje’s central square. Strongly supported by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, the bronze giant stirred heated international debate (Greece, of course, officially protested) but also split the Macedonian public opinion. A commentary