European Union

A Stronger Europe in Sarajevo

06/05/2011 -  Andrea Rossini Dijon

The political crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country's European path and the attempts at much-needed constitutional reform. Our interview with Paola Pampaloni, Head of the BiH Unit of the European Commission's Enlargement Directorate

Slovenia: the partisan's Euro

12/04/2011 -  Stefano Lusa Koper

The five point star has returned to European coins over twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall. Slovenia has just issued a million coins for two euro dedicated to a legendary partisan commander, Franc Rozman

Behind the wall

06/04/2011 -  Francesco Martino

In the Balkans the era of bloody conflicts is over. But instead of proceeding along the difficult path of dialogue, many are scrambling to raise walls to keep the "other" at a safe distance. And even the European Union doesn't seem immune from such temptations. A comment

Albania, the first time (with no visa)

22/03/2011 -  Marjola Rukaj

A nervous look at the documents, searching for a Schengen visa. Then a smile. The visa is no longer needed. The first trip from Tirana to Rome after Albania obtained visa liberalization. A report

Mussa Khan. When roads do not end in Rome

11/03/2011 -  Paolo Martino Rome

They say all roads lead to Rome. Even that of Mussa Khan and the thousands of Afghan muhajirins for whom Italy is just a stop in the restless and tormented search for a better life. Among the building sites along the Ostiense Station stops the story of a journey that has no end

Turkey: Cyprus issue moving to the forefront

02/03/2011 -  Nicholas Birch

For the first time since 1974, the turkish Cypriots of Nicosia demonstrated against some of Ankara's austerity measures. Turkey's furious reaction is fuelling further tensions on the island, bringing to the forefront the problem of its reunification - one of Erdoğan's ambitions - and the weak role of the European Union

1989 without Europe. The democratic contagion in the Arab world

28/02/2011 -  Luisa Chiodi

Can parallels be drawn between the extraordinary events involving many Arab countries and what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989? The question is open for debate, but is certainly a chance for (re)thinking the common Mediterranean space. A comment

Kosovo: A Difficult Year Ahead

27/01/2011 -  Francesco Martino

The election in Kosovo was expected to produce a strong government, capable of entering into new negotiations with Serbia and restarting the economy. Instead, election irregularities and the criminal allegations against Hashim Thaci make the job of the new government very difficult

Romania, good news from a lost decade

19/01/2011 -  Cornel Ban

In the last decade, Romania has been a reliable source for seekers of bad news for the international media. Nevertheless, through the thicket of bad news, the country has also seen some brighter developments in the economy, in politics and in human development

Kosovo, blocked by visa requirements

11/01/2011 -  V.Kasapolli Pristina

After the European Commission recently included Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the so-called “white list” of Schengen, Kosovo remains the last territory in the Balkans whose citizens must get a visa to travel to countries in the Schengen Area

Greece: end inhumane detention conditions for migrants

06/12/2010 -  Human Rights Watch

The number of migrants arriving in northern Greece from Turkey has risen dramatically in 2010. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Greek officials should immediately transfer migrants from overcrowded and inhumane detention sites and protect the unaccompanied migrant children

Balkan based organized crime activities gaining ground

11/11/2010 -  Ioannis Michaletos

According to several reports, the criminal organizations in the Balkans are strenghtening their positions and diversifying their activities. The "Balkan routes", traditionally used to smuggle heroin towards Western Europe, are increasingly used to smuggle cocaine and for human trafficking operations. From Bright magazine

Albania and the EU. A European dream?

04/11/2010 -  Marjola Rukaj Tirana

The European dream is strongly rooted in the imagination of Albanian young generations. Tirana's twenty-somethings, who grew up during the identity crisis of the nineties, are sure: Albania's future is in Europe. The European Union (EU) is seen as the solution to every problem, while few question the possible impact of integration in a country that, so far, remains isolated

Mussa Khan. An asylum roulette

07/03/2011 -  Paolo Martino Ancona

Ancona, Italy. Here is the “Europe” dreamed of by Mussa Khan. Here too, though, welcoming the muhajirins are metal fences and procedures that make applications for asylum a runaway and distant prospect

Mussa Khan. Destination Europe

25/02/2011 -  Paolo Martino Igoumenitsa

In Igoumenitsa the muhajirins dream of Europe. It does not matter if they are there already: for them, the one that counts is on the other side of the Adriatic. Here Mussa Khan too, as many before him, tries his hand with fate.

Fätmagül Berktay: “Turkish women root for the EU”

13/10/2010 -  Francisco Martinez Istanbul

Leader of the Turkish feminist movement, Fätmagül Berktay has defended the right to university even for those wearing the veil. “The Kemalist constitution let us move forward in society, but it had no effect on domestic violence, widespread in any class and ethnicity. The EU would make us stronger”. Our interview

Baku, is it Asia or Europe?

12/10/2010 -  Arzu Geybullayeva

The novel "Ali and Nino" tells about the love between an Azerbaijani and a Georgian teenager. Depicted as symbols of Asia and Europe, they meet in the Caucasus and there can be united. Almost one century after Ali and Nino was published, can the Caucasus be European and can it be united?

Mussa Khan. The other side of the acropolis

28/01/2011 -  Paolo Martino Athens

Athens. The place where democracy was born hides a dark and painful side: it is the streets and squares where the muhajirins live illegally, waiting for a future that never comes. A black hole that swallows lives and destinies, where Mussa Khan seems to have gotten lost

Migrants in Italy, one of two from Eastern Europe

08/10/2010 -  Laura Delsere Rome

Half of the migrants resident in Italy comes from Romania, Bulgaria, the Balkans, and non-EU Eastern Europe, not to mention those from Central Europe. But who lives where? Exclusively for Osservatorio sui Balcani e Caucaso, an analysis of the main communities by macro-region

Mussa Khan. Greece, poor Greece

21/01/2011 -  Paolo Martino Thessaloniki

Victims of conflicts that do not concern them, like the hoary one between Greece and Turkey, which has left a mortal trail of mines along the border of the Evros. Even when they get to the long desired Hellenic land, however, the muhajirins find a country in the midst of an economic crisis, less and less willing to offer them protection and grant them asylum

Mussa Khan. A tale of rivers and borders

14/01/2011 -  Paolo Martino Edirne

Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece. Three separate nations united by the Evros-Meriç-Maritsa, today the last door for the muhajirins attempting to land in Europe. Maybe Mussa Khan has already passed here, but more and more of his traveling companions are losing their lives in the dark meanders of the river

Mussa Khan. Downtown

10/01/2011 -  Paolo Martino Istanbul

Istanbul: connection between two continents, Asia and Europe. Where refugees like Mussa Khan are obliged to pass, especially now that the routes of the muhajirins have shifted towards North. Here, their destiny crosses with the contradictions hovering between economic development and denied rights

Is Macedonia's EU Dream Fading?

20/09/2010 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

Macedonians looking at themselves through a Eurobarometre survey find out that they have lost confidence in the European Union. A 6% drop in 12 months is puzzling for the country. Discussing the nature of the end of the great illusion some point out that reality has inevitably struck. And maybe this is not a bad thing

Kosovo Serbs, Confusion over the Resolution

17/09/2010 -  Tatjana Lazarević Mitrovica

On 9 September, the UN General Assembly adopted a compromise resolution on Kosovo submitted by Serbia and supported by the EU. Kosovo Serbs seem to be confused over what Belgrade’s move actually means, and if this is going to change something in their everyday life

Migrations: Evros, last door to Europe

09/09/2010 -  Francesco Martino

The Evros River, on the border between Greece and Turkey, is the last open door towards the European Union for migrants and political asylum seekers. A road full of risks, filled with accidents and victims. Meanwhile, Greece and the EU are stuck in a logic of permanent crisis and cannot come out of it. Our report

Mussa Khan, the valley of migrations

03/12/2010 -  Paolo Martino Van

“At night, in Yuksekova, the army has permission to shoot at sight. If you go up there, be very, very careful”. On OBC, the journey in search of Mussa Khan continues. An Afghan refugee on the path to a dream called “Europe”. A dream that is all too often paid with one’s own life

A modern Odyssey: On the trail of Mussa Khan

26/11/2010 -  Paolo Martino Van

Months, years, constantly moving. Rejected, invisible, on the margins. This is the destiny of the Afghan muhajirins, on a tenacious search for the dream called “Europe”. Starting from today, with the episodes of the “Mussa Khan” blog, we are going to tell their odyssey through Turkey, Greece and Italy, until the Ostiense Station in Rome

Moldova and the EU: Freedom Just Across the Border

13/09/2010 -  Bernardo Venturi Chişinău

For Moldavians, Europe is a fever. A collective aspiration to enter the magic circle of “the 27” is reflected in everything from public advertisements to names of squares, even in a new-found freedom of movement that Moldavians now enjoy. This aspiration is visible despite the fact that the little republic is still dealing with nostalgia for and economic tensions with its big Russian neighbor

Leonard Orban: Deconstructing Europe

29/07/2010 -  Nikolai Yotov Bucarest

Between 2007 and 2010, Leonard Orban was Romania’s first European commissioner for multilingualism. OBC met him to discuss the present state of the European project and the challenges ahead: migrations, prejudices, enlargement and identity

Kosovo: A hot summer in Mitrovica

13/07/2010 -  Tatjana Lazarević Mitrovica

In early July, a series of political incidents in Mitrovica resulted in a death and several injured people. After ten years of conflict over Serbian-controlled north Kosovo, the divided city of Mitrovica emerges again on the Kosovo and international political agenda