Civil society

Business entrepreneurs, not terrorists

29/06/2010 -  Giorgio Comai

The Kremlin's new regional approach to the northern Caucasus, based on competition and economic development, includes young people as key actors. The strategy blends Soviet experiences with capitalist values

Caucasus: New media, new social networks and old conflicts

16/06/2010 -  Arzu Geybullayeva

In the Caucasus, social networking and new media help build bridges among communities divided by long conflicts. More initiatives now work in this direction

The Caucasian Eurovision

07/06/2010 -  Onnik Krikorian Yerevan

Oil money and ethnic voting lose out to simplicity in Eurovision

Crunch Time in Romania’s Austerity Plans

28/05/2010 -  Cornel Ban

The Romanian government wants to impose Europe’s most severe, IMF-approved austerity program. Next Monday, trade unions have called for the first general strike since Ceausescu's rule. This will test not only budget austerity plans but, most importantly, state-society relations in Romania’s version of liberal-democracy

Kosovo: Pizza Unmik

10/05/2010 -  Marjola Rukaj Pristina

Internationals and locals in Kosovo, two groups that sometimes seem to inhabit separate worlds, have difficulties communicating because of stereotypes held by both sides. Playwright Jeton Neziraj and his German counterpart Kathrin Röggla have explored the subject in a series of correspondences; now edited under the title “Pizza UNMIK”

Frantic development in Yerevan

09/04/2010 -  Onnik Krikorian Yerevan

Urban development concerns over church territory restoration in Yerevan. After the destruction of city parks and controversial projects such as Northern Avenue, the reaction of residents against the planned demolition of historical Cinema Moscow Open-Air Hall

Chişinău, one year after the protests

06/04/2010 -  Bernardo Venturi Chişinău

After Moldova's contested parliamentary elections on 6-7 April 2009, peaceful demonstrations degenerated into violent clashes between protesters and police. Civil activists Ghenadie and Oleg Brega remember those days. An interview

Turkish humor

08/04/2010 -  Fazıla Mat

Political and religious satire in Turkey. The old humour tradition, popularity among the masses, legal controversies. Our interview with Metin Üstündağ, cofounder of the humour and satire magazine "Penguen"

European by nature

10/03/2010 -  Alberto Tetta Istanbul

Istanbul is the 2010 European Capital of Culture. The calendar of events, the debate between artists and urban planners on the choices by the Istanbul 2010 Agency. The Turkish identity, the European identity

From soldiers to caregivers

02/03/2010 -  Stefano Lusa

The Slovenian weekly newspaper Mladina has proposed the following: abolish the army and transform soldiers into either caregivers for the elderly or emergency management staff. More than five thousand people have already signed a petition in support of the proposal and the debate is heating up. Insight from our correspondent

De facto cooperation proves to be difficult

15/02/2010 -  Gegam Bagdasaryan Stepanakert

International organisations, both governmental and non-governmental, find it difficult to co-operate with NGOs in Nagorno Karabakh because its de facto independence is not recognised at the international level. These are some of the difficulties facing civil society in a territory not officially recognised


19/02/2010 -  Andrea Rossini

The Bosnian political crisis in the election year. The European Court of Human Rights' statement on the Dayton Peace Agreement, the force of the Ethnopolis

Serbia: towards a regional truth on war crimes

12/01/2010 -  Cecilia Ferrara Belgrade

The work of the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor in Belgrade, public opinion, and the initiative of a group of NGOs to create a regional truth commission. An interview with Bogdan Ivanisevic, consultant of the International Center for Transitional Justice

Macedonia: He who sings means no evil

30/12/2009 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

Recently, a group of young protesters from Skopje seems to have chosen music as the credo of their civic and political activism. They protest by singing. They call themselves Raspeani Skopjani [Singing Skopjans], and their popularity has been growing

After the Quake

21/12/2009 -  Onnik Krikorian Yerevan

Gyumri, the city symbol of the quake that 21 years ago struck Armenia. The stories of the homeless, the domiks, the migrants, waiting for the opening of the borders with Turkey. Reportage

A web of Peace

27/11/2009 -  Onnik Krikorian Yerevan

Social media and conflict resolution in the South Caucasus. The opportunities offered to Armenian and Azeri peace activists, the debate in the region

Grand Finale

17/11/2009 -  Arzu Geybullayeva Baku

Emin and Adnan, two young activist-bloggers earlier detained in Baku, Azerbaijan on charges that many international organizations consider fabricated, were condemned to serve heavy prison terms

Ceausescu who? The unknown past of Romanian '89

26/10/2009 -  Francesco MartinoDavide Sighele Bucharest

The Romanian generation born in 1989, what they do not know about their past, and what they want from the future. A reportage from Bucharest on the memory of Ceasescu in nowadays' Romania, where the events of 1989 continue to divide society and generations

Punk save Ljubljana

23/10/2009 -  Stefano Lusa Capodistria

At the end of the Seventies when Yugoslav society was calm and predictable, punk was born in Slovenia and young people began to mock communism. Then came the death of Tito, the economic crisis, and the road to independence. A new contribution to our dossier "The long lasting '89".

Tbilisi: batons and metal rods

14/10/2009 -  Giorgio Comai

In Georgia, opposition activists are victims of aggression and suffer violent attacks, even at the hands of the police. The government minimises these accusations and speaks of a Georgia which is headed straight on the path toward democracy

Transnistria's Breakthrough

24/09/2009 -  Giorgio ComaiBernardo Venturi Tiraspol

Alena Arshinova is the leader of "Proriv"("Breakthrough"), a youth organization founded in 2005 in Transnistria, a de facto independent territory that, in Soviet times, belonged to the Moldovan SSR. We met her at the organization's headquarters in downtown Tiraspol. An interview

Activist under investigation

23/09/2009 -  Onnik Krikorian Yerevan

Mariam Sukhudyan, a local environmental activist, faces up to 5 years imprisonment after alleging cases of child abuse in a Yerevan boarding school. This seems to be part of a growing trend of governments in the region targeting youth activists

A ghost still wanders Europe

22/09/2009 -  Irene Dioli

Sexual minorities may not be the most fashionable topic in international cooperation, but there is quite a lot more that Europe can do - and in a better way. Human rights, the NGO sector, and neo-colonialist ghosts in a conversation with Svetlana Ðurković

Lobbying lavender

15/09/2009 -  Irene Dioli

What is behind the adoption and discussion of anti-discrimination laws in SEE? LGBT rights, EU conditionality, and international cooperation in an interview with Lilit Poghosyan, ILGA-Europe's Programmes Officer for the Balkan region

Rocking and rapping in Azerbaijan

10/09/2009 -  Onnik Krikorian Yerevan

Music in all three republics continues to be dominated by those singers and musicians who are subordinate to nationalist or predominant political interests. But rock and rap bands are starting to speak out, especially in Azerbaijan

The New Istanbul

02/09/2009 -  Fazıla Mat

An urban-renewal plan for Istanbul has been destroying entire neighbourhoods and expelling residents to the city's periphery. The Roma population has been expelled from their ancient neighbourhood, Sulukule, where a third bridge will be built on the Bosphorus

Facing violence at home

18/08/2009 -  Arzu Geybullayeva Baku

Domestic violence is a taboo topic in Azerbaijan. Every attempt to discuss issues that touch the private, family realm is perceived as a threat to the country's national identity

Corporate environmental responsibility?

28/07/2009 -  Claudia Iatan

A further take on corporations, responsibility, and the market in Romania. The strong focus on environment, funding mechanisms, and fashion in an interview with Dragos Bucurenci, founder of a specialised NGO

Youth activists and bloggers detained

20/07/2009 -  Arzu Geybullayeva Baku

Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizada have been recently detained in Azerbaijan because of apparently groundless accusations. Despite inquiries to the local authorities by foreign embassies in Baku, they are still being held in jail

Lifting the wall

17/07/2009 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

The European Commission proposed visa liberalization for Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro, which would bring an end to a costly and sometimes humiliating ritual for people who need to travel abroad. Kosovo, Bosnia and Albania, though, were excluded from the recommendation