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Latest Analysis from the Balkans

04 Jan 18

Croatia in 2018: Business as Usual Despite Agrokor Drama

While prospects for economic growth, propelled by the boom in tourism, look bright, a continuing crisis over the huge Agrokor company could yet bring down the fragile coalition government.

03 Jan 18

Bosnia in 2018: Country Braces for Logjams and Turbulence

From general elections threatened by a faulty election law to the deepening political crisis and a blocked path to the EU path, Bosnia is facing both old as well as some new challenges.   

03 Jan 18

Commission Sees 2018 As Balkans’ Year of Opportunity

In a regional review for BIRN, the European Commission says it is working on a new strategy for the Balkans and urges the countries to embrace the chance to further their European perspectives.

02 Jan 18

Romania in 2018: More Turmoil Likely Despite Strong Growth

The failure of healthy growth rates to translate into wage rises – coupled with the passage of unpopular and controversial laws – are likely to mean a bumpy year. 

29 Dec 17

Critics Sound Alarm Over State of Croatian Broadcaster

A growing chorus of voices say Croatia’s public broadcaster HRT is succumbing to political pressure and becoming an echo chamber for the government – just as it was in the 1990s.

27 Dec 17

Facebook Reveals Serbian Fighters’ Role in Ukraine War

Social media posts from the Ukrainian battlefields have been invaluable in enabling prosecutors in Serbia and Montenegro to prove the illegal military action of their nationals in Ukraine.

26 Dec 17

Balkans in 2017: Two Cheers for the Economy

Balkan economies made real progress in 2017 but media freedom ebbed in some countries, and the region remained hostage to East-West rivalry for influence.

19 Dec 17

Split Threatens Main Kosovo Opposition Party’s Success

Vetevendosje (Self-Determination), a street movement that became a strong political force known for its confrontational tactics in parliament, faces new internal elections after hidden divisions erupted into the public arena.

19 Dec 17

Romanian Prosecutors Battle ‘Dangerous’ Criminal Code Changes

Prosecutors are campaigning against proposed amendments to Romania’s criminal codes that are backed by the ruling party, warning that they would shut down organised crime and corruption investigations and intimidate victims.

18 Dec 17

Serbia’s Secret Police Files Closed to Scrutiny

Activists allowed to see their secret police files after Slobodan Milosevic was ousted say that because secrecy was quickly reimposed, suspicions remain that the intelligence service still plays a political role in Serbia.

13 Dec 17

Lack of Transparency Hampers Albania’s Judicial Vetting Reform

With three new institutions finally established to vet Albania’s future judges and prosecutors, judicial reform looked promising. However, observers worry a lack of transparency will erode public trust in the process. 

11 Dec 17

Vucic Turns His Fire on Serbian Twitter Critics

Twitter is one of the few media in Serbia that the government cannot control, which may explain why it has become an obsession for Serbia’s image-conscious President.

08 Dec 17

Threats to Journalists Expose Bulgarian Media’s Growing Ills

A series of attacks on – and threats to – independent-minded reporters highlights the perils facing investigative journalists in today’s Bulgaria. 

07 Dec 17

Fight-Back Starts Against Balkan ‘Fake News’ Machines

It may be a long struggle against the odds, but some independent media and civic activists in the Balkans are determined to counter the tide of fake news and disinformation flooding the region. 

05 Dec 17

Bosnian, Serbian Leaders Meet to Ease Friction

Members of Bosnia’s Presidency are due in Serbia this week for talks at a time when border issues, Kosovo and landmark war crimes verdicts have all raised the political temperature.