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Latest Analysis from the Balkans

09 Dec 16

Romania Braces for Uncertain Election Outcome

Amid visible dissatisfaction with the current politicians who are widely viewed as corrupt and ineffective, the outcome of the elections looks like remaining uncertain until the last moment.

08 Dec 16

Serbian Savers Keep Faith with Banks and Property

Despite the dismally low interest rates on savings, most Serbs still keep their spare cash in the banks or invest in real estate, partly because they fear – or do not know about – the alternatives.

02 Dec 16

Ratko Mladic’s Trial Moves Closer to Final Judgment

After accusations of genocide, ethnic cleansing, brutal detentions and a punishing siege, lawyers in the four-year trial of Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic begin to present their closing arguments next week.

01 Dec 16

Undecided Voters Hold Key to Macedonia Election

Swing voters and habitual abstainers together make up a whopping 30 to 40 per cent of Macedonia’s electorate, so whoever can mobilize them will win in December, experts believe.

29 Nov 16

Ethnic Battle Turns Toxic Over Southern Bosnian Town

The bitter struggle between Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats to control the southern town of Stolac holds echoes of the worsening relations between the two communities and their leaders in the country at large.

28 Nov 16

‘Black Book’ Threat Alarms Bosnian Serb Free Thinkers

Critics of the ruling party in Republika Srpska fear the President’s threat to publish a blacklist of its enemies marks the start of a witch hunt.

28 Nov 16

Battle Over Trepca Strains Kosovo-Serbia Relations

The dispute over the Trepca complex is becoming one of the biggest stumbling blocks in Kosovo-Serbia relations - but the issue has been smouldering for decades.

24 Nov 16

Romania Court to Judge Attack on License Fee

The court in December will assess a move by MPs to scrap license fees for public broadcasters - which critics call a populist pre-election stunt.

23 Nov 16

Macedonia’s Ruling Party Missed its Election Pledges

From the 2006 election onwards, the VMRO-DPMNE party has made a habit of issuing flamboyant promises in campaigns that analysis shows were rarely acted on.

23 Nov 16

Croatia Develops Homeland Security to Combat Threats

Ministers, police and intelligence services will be involved in planning an integrated ‘homeland security’ system to address the risks from terrorism, the refugee crisis and other potential threats to stability.

22 Nov 16

Macedonia Braces For a Dirty Election Campaign

Despite the parties having signed a code obliging them to behave decently, observers say Macedonia is in line for another bare-knuckle fight that will likely include intimidation, lies and blatant appeals to ethnic fears.

21 Nov 16

‘Cannabis Economy’ Threatens to Overrun Albania

Albanian police seem to be losing the fight to stop widespread cannabis cultivation, which experts say is distorting the economy and politics and undermining the pillars of democracy.

21 Nov 16

Spike in Child Trafficking Causes Concern in Bosnia

As the number of young victims of human trafficking in Bosnia dragged into child labour and sexual exploitation grows, experts say the courts are too indulgent in dealing with perpetrators. 

21 Nov 16

Turkey’s Relentless Crackdown Tests EU’s Patience

As the Turkish government continues jailing its opponents, relations with Brussels are feeling the strain.

18 Nov 16

Child Abuse Revelations Alarm Serbia

Amid alarming figures of child abuse cases in new reports, experts warn that the Serbian public is not aware of the scale of the problem although more children are seeking help.