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The Murder of Investigative Journalist Ján Kuciak – a Trigger of Real Political Changes in Slovakia?

7.8.2018 Natália Vlkovičová

Crowded Slovak National Uprising Square in Bratislava on the 16th March demonstration. Source: čas.sk

Crowded Slovak National Uprising Square in Bratislava on the 16th March demonstration. Source: čas.sk
The 26th of February 2018 happened to be a day that strongly influenced the whole Slovak (and European) public. On this day it was announced that the Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, who were shot in their house in the Veľká Mača village in the south-west of Slovakia, had passed away. This event triggered unexpected and until then unimaginable social and political changes, which some have started referring to as the “Slovak Spring” (making reference to the Prague Spring, a period of political liberalisation in 1968, during the Soviet era). But were they real changes at all? Read more.


The Hostel on the Hill

30.5.2018 Fil Sys

It is one thing to write about Roma related Human Rights from behind a laptop, but it is another thing altogether to experience for yourself the challenges faced by the Roma community and the charities trying so hard to provide services.

I got this opportunity with the “Roma Social Exclusion” class; taught by Dr. Ondřej Klípa at the Charles University Humanities Faculty in Prague. Our class took two buses to meet with the charity Člověk v Tísni (People in Need) in Kladno. The charity, in Czechia, concerns itself mostly with the Roma community and, during our time in Kladno, we learnt some hard but honest truths from the representative social worker. These truths, coupled with a following walk to a Roma settlement on the outskirts of Kladno, popularly known as “Ubytovna Na Kopečku” (Hostel on the Hill), confirmed to us the dire treatment of the Roma in Czechia. Read more.

Turecká menšina v Bulharsku v době posilování krajní pravice

22.5.2018 Klára Žaloudková

Lídr vítězné strany GERB Bojko Borisov během sjezdu strany v Sofii. Foto: Georgi Licovski, Balkan Insight, staženo 15. května 2018, http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/borissov-s-gerb-wins-bulgaria-s-snap-parliamentary-election-03-26-2017

V březnu roku 2017 se v Bulharsku konaly parlamentní volby, od roku 2009 již třetí předčasné. Krom obvyklých témat, jakými je například reforma sociálního systému, hrály v předvolebních kampaních jednotlivých politických stran podstatnou roli také nacionalistická rétorika a otázka tureckého vměšování do parlamentních voleb. Se ziskem necelých 33 procent zvítězili již potřetí v řadě proevropsky orientovaní Občané za evropský rozvoj Bulharska (Graždani za evropejsko razvitie na Bălgarija; GERB) Bojka Borisova. Na druhém místě skončila Bulharská socialistická strana s třiceti procenty, po níž se značným odstupem následovala volební koalice Sjednocení vlastenci (Obedineni patrioti) s devíti procenty. Volební klauzuli pro vstup do parlamentu pak překročily ještě dvě strany – Hnutí za práva a svobody (Dviženie za prava i svobodi; DPS) s devíti procenty hlasů a Vůle (Volja) se čtyřmi procenty. Vzhledem k výsledku voleb a nastavení volebního systému výsledek nestačil k sestavení jednobarevné vlády. Borisov byl proto nucen hledat koaličního partnera, se kterým by GERB vytvořili stabilní vládu, potřebnou pro úspěšnou realizaci historicky prvního bulharského předsednictví Radě EU, které bylo slavnostně zahájeno v první polovině roku 2018. Čtěte dále


Everything’s the Same, Only There’s No Him: Where Is Serbia Heading?

18.4.2018 Anna Andrlová

Demonstrations in Belgrade. Foto: Dušan Milenković. Source: http://www.alo.rs/protest-protiv-diktature-krenuo-od-skupstine/102346

Demonstrations in Belgrade. Foto: Dušan Milenković. Source: http://www.alo.rs/protest-protiv-diktature-krenuo-od-skupstine/102346

This time last year, numerous slogans against the newly elected president could be heard and seen in the streets of the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Among the protesters chanting “He is not our president” (“Nije naš predsednik”), there was one holding a banner saying: “Everything’s the same, only there’s no him” (“Sve je isto, samo njega nema”). The line, widely known in the Balkans as a summer hit by pop singer Tijana Dapčević, is a symbol of discontent with the state of the political situation in contemporary Serbia. Although the lyrics of the song originally referred to Tito, the popular former Yugoslav communist leader, this time the people pointed out that things haven’t changed much since the infamous Serbian president Slobodan Milošević was toppled in 2000. Read more.





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The Murder of Investigative Journalist Ján Kuciak – a Trigger of Real Political Changes in Slovakia?

7.8.2018 Natália Vlkovičová

Crowded Slovak National Uprising Square in Bratislava on the 16th March demonstration. Source: čas.sk

Crowded Slovak National Uprising Square in Bratislava on the 16th March demonstration. Source: čas.sk
The 26th of February 2018 happened to be a day that strongly influenced the whole Slovak (and European) public. On this day it was announced that the Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, who were shot in their house in the Veľká Mača village in the south-west of Slovakia, had passed away. This event triggered unexpected and until then unimaginable social and political changes, which some have started referring to as the “Slovak Spring” (making reference to the Prague Spring, a period of political liberalisation in 1968, during the Soviet era). But were they real changes at all? Read more.


The Hostel on the Hill

30.5.2018 Fil Sys

It is one thing to write about Roma related Human Rights from behind a laptop, but it is another thing altogether to experience for yourself the challenges faced by the Roma community and the charities trying so hard to provide services.

I got this opportunity with the “Roma Social Exclusion” class; taught by Dr. Ondřej Klípa at the Charles University Humanities Faculty in Prague. Our class took two buses to meet with the charity Člověk v Tísni (People in Need) in Kladno. The charity, in Czechia, concerns itself mostly with the Roma community and, during our time in Kladno, we learnt some hard but honest truths from the representative social worker. These truths, coupled with a following walk to a Roma settlement on the outskirts of Kladno, popularly known as “Ubytovna Na Kopečku” (Hostel on the Hill), confirmed to us the dire treatment of the Roma in Czechia. Read more.

Turecká menšina v Bulharsku v době posilování krajní pravice

22.5.2018 Klára Žaloudková

Lídr vítězné strany GERB Bojko Borisov během sjezdu strany v Sofii. Foto: Georgi Licovski, Balkan Insight, staženo 15. května 2018, http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/borissov-s-gerb-wins-bulgaria-s-snap-parliamentary-election-03-26-2017

V březnu roku 2017 se v Bulharsku konaly parlamentní volby, od roku 2009 již třetí předčasné. Krom obvyklých témat, jakými je například reforma sociálního systému, hrály v předvolebních kampaních jednotlivých politických stran podstatnou roli také nacionalistická rétorika a otázka tureckého vměšování do parlamentních voleb. Se ziskem necelých 33 procent zvítězili již potřetí v řadě proevropsky orientovaní Občané za evropský rozvoj Bulharska (Graždani za evropejsko razvitie na Bălgarija; GERB) Bojka Borisova. Na druhém místě skončila Bulharská socialistická strana s třiceti procenty, po níž se značným odstupem následovala volební koalice Sjednocení vlastenci (Obedineni patrioti) s devíti procenty. Volební klauzuli pro vstup do parlamentu pak překročily ještě dvě strany – Hnutí za práva a svobody (Dviženie za prava i svobodi; DPS) s devíti procenty hlasů a Vůle (Volja) se čtyřmi procenty. Vzhledem k výsledku voleb a nastavení volebního systému výsledek nestačil k sestavení jednobarevné vlády. Borisov byl proto nucen hledat koaličního partnera, se kterým by GERB vytvořili stabilní vládu, potřebnou pro úspěšnou realizaci historicky prvního bulharského předsednictví Radě EU, které bylo slavnostně zahájeno v první polovině roku 2018. Čtěte dále


Everything’s the Same, Only There’s No Him: Where Is Serbia Heading?

18.4.2018 Anna Andrlová

Demonstrations in Belgrade. Foto: Dušan Milenković. Source: http://www.alo.rs/protest-protiv-diktature-krenuo-od-skupstine/102346

Demonstrations in Belgrade. Foto: Dušan Milenković. Source: http://www.alo.rs/protest-protiv-diktature-krenuo-od-skupstine/102346

This time last year, numerous slogans against the newly elected president could be heard and seen in the streets of the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Among the protesters chanting “He is not our president” (“Nije naš predsednik”), there was one holding a banner saying: “Everything’s the same, only there’s no him” (“Sve je isto, samo njega nema”). The line, widely known in the Balkans as a summer hit by pop singer Tijana Dapčević, is a symbol of discontent with the state of the political situation in contemporary Serbia. Although the lyrics of the song originally referred to Tito, the popular former Yugoslav communist leader, this time the people pointed out that things haven’t changed much since the infamous Serbian president Slobodan Milošević was toppled in 2000. Read more.