16. April 2016

Two realities – The Polish case

by Michał Gulczyński

Michal Gulczynski In spite of all the splendid information and communication technologies, it seems very difficult to communicate nowadays. We live in an information bubble, which tends to radicalise our political beliefs. Information now is like music – you only listen to what you like. The posts you see on Facebook depend on what you ‘liked’ in the past. The tweets you see depend on who you have decided to follow. Thanks to the variety of TV channels, you never have to be confronted by opinions you don’t agree with. Why would you like, follow or watch someone who holds the ‘wrong’ opinion?

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10. March 2016

The election weekend in Slovakia is over. Why should we care?

by Zuzana Novakova

Zuzana Novakova NEWLast weekend’s elections in Slovakia would perhaps not have meant so much, had they not happened amid the rising illiberal wave in Central Europe, or more particularly, in the troubled Visegrad region. In the context of a backlash against liberal democracy and (perhaps) threatening to undo the progress achieved by years of European integration.

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08. March 2016

The iron fists in Poland and Macedonia: too similar but too bad!

by Ivan Stefanovski 
ivan-stefanovskiIn the aftermath of the elections, which took place in October 2015, Polish voters swung even further to the right on the ideological scale. Although many had expected that Jarosław Kaczyński’s Law and Justice Party would opt for strong conservative values, few had predicted the speed with which the new establishment would tighten its grip on society, infringing on rights and freedoms and undermining European values. At the same time, there are hardly illusions in Brussels regarding the autocratic capacities of Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. “The Little Dictator”, as the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung called Gruevski, has systematically subverted the country’s institutions, blurring all lines between his ruling VMRO-DPMNE party and the state.

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18. February 2016

Science and the Refugees

by Anna Kristense Naterstad Berg Harpviken

As a girl that had her Ph.D. party all planned out at the age of six, and with two parents that work as researchers, I have lived to learn the importance of science. Research contributes to innovation, stirs public debate and opens up our minds to new possibilities. From my point of view, these qualities are essential in today’s Europe; this not only applies to the hard sciences and innovation, but also – and maybe more importantly – to today’s reality, in order to understand the current refugee crisis. Science and scientific work is essential in developing ways to cope with the issues that all European countries are faced with during this time. Therefore, the European community ought to reflect upon how and in what ways we can best use our research resources.

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16. February 2016

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Between its ‘historical’ application for EU membership and its ‘traditional’ corruption scandals

by Hatidza Jahic & Miruna Troncota

It seems that 2016 will be another year to remember in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) recent history. On 15 February 2016, the Country’s Presidency officially submitted its EU membership application. However, another event threatens to overshadow this news and dominate the media in the upcoming weeks. MP Fahrudin Radoncic, leader of the centre-right party Union for a Better Future of BiH (SBB), former Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina and owner of the biggest media company in the country has been arrested on 25 January. This could not only be the beginning a new internal political crisis that could destabilise the whole country, but it could also undermine the momentum for EU integration and the reform process. This article discusses BiH’s situation, from the combined perspective of a foreigner interested in BiH politics and a BiH resident.

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