Civil society

Solidarity with Bihac and the importance of transnational ties

28/09/2021 -  Chiara Martini*

Since 2018, many associations, international grassroots movements, and informal groups have taken action to support people in transit along the Balkan route. They stress the need for networking to counter the increasingly widespread criminalisation of organisations in solidarity with migrants

North Macedonia: Borce Stamenov, the solidal programmer

15/09/2021 -  Aleksandar Samardjiev Tetovo

With the pandemic and online lessons, it turned out that many families in North Macedonia do not own and cannot afford a computer, but someone had already noticed and started to do something about it

Census in Croatia: certification of the population decline

13/09/2021 -  Giovanni Vale Zagreb

"Croatia is aging, this is the message that the census will give us. But this will not alarm the government which, like a firefighter, is just going to put out the fires". On the day of the start of the general census in Croatia, we interviewed demographer Marin Strmota

Serbia: the government's hypocritical dialogue with civil society

14/09/2021 -  Vukašin Obradović

"It makes no sense for civil society to spend time helping the state devise a strategy that will never be applied. In a country where the rule of law does not exist, there is no point in adopting new laws and strategies". A meeting with Maja Stojanovic, director of Građanske inicijative

Croatia at the count

07/09/2021 -  Giovanni Vale

The general census is scheduled for Croatia from mid-September to mid-October. A campaign by the far right is underway these days to intimidate the Serbian minority. Depopulation is also in the spotlight

The Google News Initiative Startups Lab

02/09/2021

Created in partnership between the Google News Initiative (GNI), German media innovation hub Media Lab Bayern, and the European Journalism Centre (EJC), the GNI Startups Lab Europe supports high-quality reporting for local communities, single-topic audiences and/or previously underserved communities. Deadline 20 September

Montenegro, a justice free country

24/08/2021 -  Željko Pantelić

Interview with Milka Tadic Mijovic, one of Montenegro's leading journalists and president of the Center for Investigative Journalism, who has always been at the forefront of the fight for a better country and for the defence of freedom of expression

Serbia, fighting for the environment in fragile areas

30/07/2021 -  Eugenio Berra Belgrade

Environmental battles in peripheral areas in Serbia are little known and little studied. Activists and citizens encounter many difficulties in mobilising. Interview with social researchers Jelisaveta Petrovic and Jelena Pesic from the University of Belgrade

Serbia: fundamental rights of young people tested by the pandemic

26/07/2021 -  Ivana Draganić

School, the world of work, personal freedoms: young people in Serbia have not been at the centre of the priorities of the institutions in Serbia in this pandemic period – nor were they before

Montenegro, time for action

19/07/2021 -  Željko Pantelić

After a long experience in the NGO sector, Jovana Marovic decided to engage in politics with the URA movement. In this interview, she tells us about her choice and her vision on Montenegro's European integration path

Citizens and democracy threatened by SLAPPs: preview of the draft resolution

23/06/2021 -  Paola Rosà

The CASE coalition of which OBCT is part has received the text that will be presented to the European Parliament next Monday: a commitment to defend the rule of law and public participation, which collects many suggestions and proposals from civil society organisations

Violence against migrants in Croatia: Amnesty International denounces the silence of the EU

11/06/2021 -  Toni Gabrić

What is the attitude of Croatia and the European Union towards migrants and refugees trapped at the external borders of the EU? Massimo Moratti, deputy director of Amnesty International’s office for Europe, explains in detail

Heroes without borders

28/05/2021 -  Stefano Lusa Koper

In many territories on the border between Italy and Slovenia, a climate of integration had finally been reached, but the measures introduced to limit the pandemic have changed everything. Neither Rome nor Ljubljana worried that much, but some, with creativity, "took the field" in favour of the complexity, interests, and relationships of cross-border areas

LGBT Croatia, two steps forward and one step back

14/05/2021 -  Giovanni Vale Zagreb

A historic verdict by the Administrative Court of Zagreb grants same-sex couples the right to adopt. The progress, however, was immediately undermined by the Ministry of the Family, which announced an appeal

In memory of Bayram Mammadov, a young man full of dreams

07/05/2021 -  Arzu Geybullayeva Istanbul

Bayram Mammadov was a young Azerbaijani activist who was unjustly imprisoned in 2016 and then released on presidential amnesty. Since 2020 he had been in Istanbul for his studies. On May 2 he was found dead in the Turkish city. His story

Ethnonationalist drift in the Balkans: Open Letter to EU, US, and NATO Governments

03/05/2021

Civil society, academia, citizens of the Balkan region, the EU and the United States have written a letter addressed to their respective governments to denounce and prevent the ethno-nationalist drift that seems to be increasingly taking place in the Western Balkans, of which the recent "non-papers" are a striking example

North Macedonia, expanding protected areas

03/05/2021 -  Aleksandar Samardjiev Tetovo

North Macedonia is set to protect some of its main mountain ranges, such as Shar, Osogovo and Vodno, which are now increasingly threatened by exploitation of soil, water, and forests

Serbia, the citizens' ecological revolt

20/04/2021 -  Vukašin Obradović Belgrade

Last April 10, thousands of citizens took to the streets of Belgrade for what has been called the "Ecological Revolt". The environmental issue was brought to the political level. Will the opposition be able to intercept this civic momentum?

The caravan for freedom of movement

16/04/2021 -  Chiara Milan

In Trieste, a civil society initiative focuses on the themes of hospitality, transnational solidarity, and the need to build "the anti-border"

Serbia: the criminalisation of civil society

26/03/2021 -  Vukašin Obradović Belgrade

An attempt is underway in Serbia to discredit civil society. Serious and heavy attacks against some Serbian non-governmental organisations came from the parliament benches, in particular from Aleksandar Martinovic, leader of the Serbian Progressive Party

Covid-19 in Kosovo: children and the lockdown

23/04/2021 -  Arta Berisha

An already fragile system, severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We met educators and families from the 0-6 education sector in Kosovo

Jens Woelk: Status quo in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an illusion

22/03/2021 -  Lejla Gačanica

Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot wait any longer. It must embrace the constitution, which can no longer be just an "annex" to the Dayton Peace Accords. The opinion of the jurist Jens Woelk

Armenia and Azerbaijan: women peacebuilders on the post-conflict scenario

08/03/2021 -  Claudia Ditel

Women are not only victims of conflict, but also of gender discrimination, exacerbated by war. We talked about it with peace activists from Armenia and Azerbaijan

Turkey, one university against the regime

18/02/2021 -  Arzu Geybullayeva Istanbul

For 45 days students and academics at Istanbul’s prestigious university Boğaziçi have protested the appointment of new rector Melih Bulu, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)

Turkey: Boğaziçi University says no

29/01/2021 -  Francesco Brusa

Since the beginning of January, students and faculty of the University of Boğaziçi in Istanbul, one of the most prestigious in the country, have contested the irregular appointment of the new rector by decree of President Erdoğan himself. An interview

A historic verdict: Italy's pushbacks to Slovenia are illegal

26/01/2021 -  Nicole Corritore

The application of the readmission agreement between Italy and Slovenia is illegitimate. This was confirmed by the Court of Rome, that accepted the appeal of a Pakistani citizen who had arrived in Trieste via the Balkan route and was then pushed back to Slovenia and then Bosnia and Herzegovina

North Macedonia: census yes, census no

23/12/2020 -  Aleksandar Samardjiev Tetovo

2021 for North Macedonia should be the year of the new general census, after the failure of 2011. However, many issues remain unresolved: the inclusion of emigrants and the delicate topic of ethnic balance are of particular concern

Mostar's divers

07/01/2021 -  Veronica Tosetti

Starting from those moments of precipitous flight towards the Neretva, the first long feature directed by Daniele Babbo shows both the love for a city and how hard it is to live in it. An interview

UN experts: Bosnia must investigate attacks against woman aiding migrants

11/11/2020

Recently, on 5 November, UN human rights experts called on the Bosnian government to investigate a smear campaign and death threats against a woman human rights defender working for the rights of refugees and migrants

Battle for “Košutnjak”, Belgrade's green lung

06/11/2020 -  Nicola Dotto Belgrade

The possible destruction of almost 35 hectares of forest and green areas of "Košutnjak", a protected natural asset regarded by many as the "lung of Belgrade", has given way to a new environmental battle in the Serbian capital