European Union

Environment in Southeast Europe: lockdown abuses

23/12/2020 -  Marco Ranocchiari

As the eyes of the whole world are fixed on the pandemic, vigilance over environmental abuse is loosening. A study by the NGO Arnika documents the situation between Central-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Balkans

EU takes its best action against foreign interference when tackling the big issues

22/12/2020 -  Giorgio Comai

A swirl of new acts and strategies has been announced in the last couple of weeks by the European Commission, including the European Democracy Action Plan, the Digital Markets Act, and the EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy. If we ask the right questions about foreign interference, these are all part of the answer

MEPs call for an end to illegal logging in Romania

21/12/2020

Illegal logging is deforesting vast areas in Romania and the environmental degradation in Europe's last primary forests has reached unimaginable proportions in recent years

Emissions in Europe: how much CO2 does energy cost us?

15/01/2021 -  Ornaldo Gjergji

In terms of CO2, energy production is the human activity with the worst impact on the environment in Europe. Emissions in the EU may be falling, but there are still major obstacles to achieving climate neutrality. Meanwhile, to the east, dozens of new coal plants will be built in the near future.

EU, Russia, and the tug-of-war on disinformation

15/12/2020 -  Elisa Piras

With the growing concerns about disinformation activities by Russia and China, the EU and - to varying degress - individual countries have shown increasing interest and initiative in the area of propaganda and strategic communication

Online ads know you well

09/12/2020 -  Federico Caruso

Online advertising is based on the collection and sharing of user data, a system which rests mostly in a few powerful hands, including Google. Privacy and data protection are at issue, and Europe is debating what action should be taken

EU-Balkans: more glue for this house of cards

14/12/2020 -  Benedetta Arrighini

We need a new approach to enlargement policies, lest their complete failure. And it is necessary to start afresh from the abolition of unanimous voting. An interview with Srdjan Cvijić, author together with Adnan Ćerimagić of "Rebuilding Our House Of Cards: With More Glue"

SLAPPs, a directive drafted by civil society organizations

02/12/2020

The international anti-SLAPP coalition invested time and funds to draft a model directive that would help tackle the issue of vexatious lawsuits: now this paper will be presented to EU institutions and stakeholders, and could serve as a pattern for the promised EU initiatives against SLAPPs

Bulgaria – North Macedonia, a short-sighted veto on the road to the EU

25/11/2020 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

With the veto on the opening of negotiations for North Macedonia's accession to the EU, the Bulgarian government plays the nationalist card, above all for contingent reasons of domestic politics. The consequences, however, are likely to be heavy in the medium and long term

North Macedonia, inflated administration and ethnic balance

20/11/2020 -  Aleksandar Samardjiev Tetovo

In North Macedonia, institutions guarantee ethnic quotas in the administration: a principle that has also had negative repercussions, inflating the number of employees in the public sector, who often do not even go to work

Europe against SLAPPs, the malicious lawsuits

11/11/2020 -  Paola Rosà

As the list gets longer of European journalists and activists targeted by vexatious lawsuits, institutions deliver concrete commitments for legislative actions and interventions that OBCT has also solicited in the last, intense year of transnational advocacy

#CyprusPapers, if the EU passport is for sale

15/10/2020 -  Francesco Martino

Cyprus has cancelled its controversial "citizenship for investment" programme after an investigation by Aljazeera – called #CyprusPapers – uncovered corruption and irregularities that allowed dozens of suspected or convicted individuals to obtain an EU passport

EU and the Western Balkans, a long engagement

14/10/2020 -  Francesco Martino

Cautious optimism and a new package of economic incentives for the Western Balkans: with the "2020 enlargement package", the EU tries to relaunch the integration of the region, but the prospects remain of slow, never predictable progress

What will the Euro effect be in Croatia?

13/10/2020 -  Toni Gabrić

The most realistic date for the introduction of the Euro in Croatia is January 1st, 2024, but what does the introduction of the single currency entail? And what do Croatian economists think?

Investors: Georgia’s Nenskra Dam violates Svan rights

25/09/2020 -  Tamuna Chkareuli

For now, the EBRD and the EIB have suspended their financing for the construction of a dam in Georgia. Pending further assessments on the violation of the rights of the local Svan community

Can the green transition help in solving fiscal and monetary divergencies in the EU?

10/09/2020 -  Petter Aspestrand

The COVID-19 pandemic may have opened a window of opportunity for the European Union to strengthen its fiscal cohesion and to put the climate transition on the right track

Greece and Turkey: machismo in the eastern Mediterranean

09/09/2020 -  Filippo Cicciù Istanbul

A clash with ancient roots, reactivated by the discovery of huge energy resources on the seabed: throughout the summer Turkey and Greece showed their muscles in the eastern Mediterranean. But is there an actual risk of an open conflict? An analysis

Journalists in Europe: one attack per day

18/08/2020 -  Paola Rosà

The data from the first four months of monitoring by the MFRR consortium confirm a concerning landscape for the safety of journalists and the state of media freedom, both in EU member countries and in countries as Serbia and Turkey

The EU norms that don’t make it to South-East Europe

04/08/2020

Many member states are struggling to implement regulations and directives enacted by the EU. Data provides insight in their ability to avoid potential infringement procedures and sanctions, and to maintain ties with the EU.

Protests in Bulgaria, the voices from the square

03/08/2020 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

Protests against the Borisov government have been going on for over 20 days in Bulgaria. Our correspondent was at the heart of the demonstrations – in the centre of capital Sofia – to collect the live voices of the protest

Two voices on Kosovo

08/07/2020 -  Paolo Bergamaschi

A real diplomatic race between the US and the EU has recently started on the Serbia-Kosovo negotiations. The opinion of Lulzim Peci of the Kosovar Institute for Political Research and Development and Sonja Biserko, founder and president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia

Serbia, the election of losers

02/07/2020 -  Florian Bieber

Everyone ended up losing in Serbia's recent political elections. President Vučić, because his authoritarian regime has been exposed; the opposition, because the boycott led to nothing; the EU, because it appears less and less capable to foster democratic processes in the area

Kosovo, Brussels, and the enlargement process

16/06/2020 -  Paolo Bergamaschi

The EU enlargement process in general and the recent developments in Kosovo, this is what we've talked about with Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, German Green/EFA Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur for Kosovo for the European Parliament

EU: An ever smaller, ever older population

28/05/2020 -  Miriam Santoro

A recently published study outlines the EU’s demographic future: in 2080, if current trends continue, the EU population will fall from the current 513 million people to 504 million, while flight from rural areas shows no sign of slowing. We take a look at south-eastern Europe, by way of the global context

Open letter: the EU must not sit idly by while a Member State’s democracy is in jeopardy

20/04/2020

OBCT joined other over 80 MEPs and civil society groups in signing a letter sent to the presidents of the European Commission and Council: we call on European institutions to condemn every measure abusing the emergency situation to dismantle democracy and silence civil society. Here the text of the letter

2014, six years later: Bosnia and Herzegovina and the floods

21/04/2020 -  Marco Ranocchiari

Six years ago, Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced a catastrophic flood. Today the country remains among the most exposed in all of Europe. Efforts have been made to reduce these risks, but they are often limited to international projects, without local institutions really taking charge of them

Europe and the colonial past: the memory that is missing

27/03/2020 -  Lorenzo Ferrari

Although it was a specifically European phenomenon, colonialism continues to be remembered almost only at national level. A resolution by the European Parliament could now help bring it into the European space of ​​memory

COVID-19: no one is safe until all are protected!

19/03/2020

Dozens of activists from South Eastern European countries, under the name of "Transbalkan Solidarity Group", have launched an appeal to the European Union, the Commission, the governments of EU member states and the Balkan countries, in order to safeguard refugees and migrants without any discrimination or esclusion

The European Parliament must intervene to stop violence and human rights violations at the EU-Turkey border

12/03/2020

Many European organisations have made an appeal to the European Parliament in order to stop violence and the use of force against defenseless people at the EU-Turkey border and to restore legality and respect for human rights, including the right to asylum

Of the invisible and the disappeared. Notes from the Turkish-Greek border

09/03/2020 -  Deniz Şenol SertIlhan Zeynep Karakılıç

Two Turkish sociologists and journalists went to see with their own eyes what is happening on the border between Turkey and Greece. An intense reportage