When the European Council decided to grant the status of a candidate country for EU membership to North Macedonia in 2005, nobody could have expected that almost 15 years later the country would still be in the waiting room for the start of accession negotiations for EU membership. In 2009, the European Commission adopted its first recommendation for the start of accession negotiations between the European Union (EU) and North Macedonia. Eleven consecutive recommendations later, North Macedonia is anxiously waiting for the October 2019 meeting of the European Council as the first plausible opportunity in more than a decade to reach the much-coveted goal.
„Interference is the only way to stay realistic“ – Heinrich Böll
On September 7th, 2019, the Heinrich Böll Foundation celebrated the 20th anniversary of it´s existence in BiH. For this occasion, Nihad Kreševljaković created the movie "A Single Battle of Six" which was first shown to the guests of the celebration.
The following speakers in the movie will be sharing the problems and challenges they encounter on a daily basis: Miroslav Andrić and Muamer Čivić (Srebrenica Wave), Štefica Galić (Journalist and Human-Rights-Activist, Mostar), Maida Bilal (Activist and Member of the Ecology Assocoation BISTRO, Kruščica), Emina Bošnjak (Sarajevo Open Centre) and Jakob Finci (President of the Jewish Community and President of the Interreligious Council of BiH).
Objectively speaking, the entire socio-political situation in BiH is much worse today than it had been in the period prior to the previous war which was a project, a domestic and foreign one. Facts show that, before the victory of this “project” with its bloody consequences, fewer citizens used to contest the country they were living in, its Constitution and established institutions, laws and the system. It was more difficult even to imagine the ongoing routine contestation of the state and its institutions, also coming from political leaders, which mostly remain unaddressed and unsanctioned.
According to the left wing Rama government, the plans to demolish the old National Theatre came to life upon the sudden concession proposal send by a private developer, Fusha shpk.
The company, who already held the title to a small patch of land in the area, offered to build a new theatre amidst a slew of commercial buildings on the condition that he should receive in exchange the public land upon which the theatre stood and its surroundings, majorly owned by the Municipality of Tirana and a couple of other institutions.
In anticipation of the upcoming European Parliamentary elections, the Europhobes of the far right have been warming up to launch an attack on the major achievements of the union. Some of these parties have established their electoral bastions almost everywhere.
There are countless examples that genocide denial as well as celebration and affirmation of war criminals are basis for the disturbance of security and spreading the Great Serbia and Great Croatia projects in BiH, and the recent activities of the RS authorities to arm auxiliary police forces, announcing that Russian volunteers will participate in them (and also get citizenship and documents of the RS) are more than alarming proof of sabre-rattling in the Balkans, followed by loud war threats.
Sexual Harassment of women and girls is a form of violence against women and girls broadly spread, and in some cultures hard to recognize and define as a form of violence rather than a cultural norm. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
State capture by private interests is not a new phenomenon in Albania, but never in its short history as a semi-democratic country have public money, assets and space been given away in such a blunt way, with nothing in it for the citizens. This will be the first of a three-part series of articles to help the reader understand exactly what happened and how.
In order to fully understand the current and explosive situation with the newest phase in the relations between Serbia, Kosovo, and the role of the international community in all of that – primarily the USA and the EU – but likewise the consequences on the state of the region, and especially regarding the border situation, one needs to also consider the development to date of that whole “case."
After the elections last October, the nationalist parties are still primarily shaping the political discourse. But there is hope: the nationalist narratives that have led Bosnia into war and keep actively blocking the development of the country are being countered by a new generation of female politicians
The Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a contemporary witness of the social and political situation of the country. Since the end of the war, there has been no political interest in this cultural institution, not least because the museum stands for a common history of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nevertheless, in recent years the Historical Museum has grown into a unique cultural institution.
It has been difficult up until today to convey in the Croatian public that Croats and Serbs were at war in Croatia, and at the same time supposedly collaborated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The legitimation of the “Homeland War“ was endangered. Thus, it is no wonder that nationalist ideologists in Croatia strictly reject agreements between Tuđman and Serbia. But, the atmosphere of that time in Croatia and Serbia is documented in the press.
Fascism, if you will, was also the prerequisite to the Calvary that the biggest part of the joint state was forced to undergo during the 1990ies. Besides, let us remind ourselves of the so-called anti-bureaucratic revolution from the second half of the 1980ies, under whos umbrella all those were eliminated who did not agree to the politics of the Serbian leader from that time – especially in the area of Serbia and Montenegro.
Borders have always been used to determine a territory within which firm control is supposed to be established. Borders in Europe were mostly drawn up after massive and bloody wars. Drawing up borders in the Balkans was always followed by violence and ethnic cleansing.
This report offers insight into the situation on the field: is there a system responsible for protection, security, and upholding fundamental human rights? What has the state response been like? What is the role of the international community?
Bosnia and Herzegovina is in the firm grip of corrupt nationalist forces that target the country's reform processes in order to stay in power. However, the recent elections have shown the following: there are many BiH citizens who want more civil rights.
Josipović spoke in the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo; he expressed his respect towards the sovereignty and integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina; he admitted mistakes of wrong Croatian policy in the war and post war period, and he stressed that Bosnia and Herzegovina is Croatia's most important neighbour. This speech sparked a storm of reactions in the Croatian political scene. The then HDZ government of Jadranka Kosor expressed dissatisfaction. Right wing parties organised different gatherings in order to condemn Josipović's statement made in Sarajevo. There were also calls to launch a procedure for impeachment of the president, but in that period, the HDZ did not have enough power in the Croatian Parliament.
Today elections are being held in Bosnia and Herzegovina: before getting out to vote, the nationalists' radical noises have brought the atmosphere to boiling point. There are threats of secession. Republika Srpska’s government desires a Greater Serbia, Croat leaders are pushing for their own entity – the wartime goals of the 90s are coming back to life. In an extremely jingoistic atmosphere, critical or alternative forces are threatened or even murdered.
In den Ländern des Westlichen Balkans dominieren mehr als 20 Jahre nach den Kriegen patriarchalische, homophobe und exklusive Tendenzen, die ein Klima der Intoleranz, der Ausgrenzung, der radikalen Abschaffung von Werten prägen. Die Folge sind rigide Abwehrmechanismen gegen aufklärerische und weltliche Ansätze. Auf diese Weise wird die südöstliche Peripherie Europas dauerhaft in Krisenstimmung gehalten – nicht zuletzt angesichts einer schwach aufgestellten EU. Zum Herunterladen der PDF-Version klicken Sie bitte hier