What’s up Bulgaria? Borissov visits Ukraine and a Bulgarian journalist is found murdered

After a long hot summer in the Balkans, it was about time for politics in Sofia to get heated in September. Expectedly, government, parliament and the presidency all engaged in polemics; however, this was mostly of personal nature rather than a matter of policy. Nonetheless, the main news coming from Bulgaria in the last weeks were related not so much to what politicians publically said or did, but rather to what they didn’t do. – On September 13th, two journalists, the Bulgarian Dimitar Stoyanov (Bivol) and the Romanian Attila Biro (RISE Project), were detained near Pernik, a small town on … Continue reading What’s up Bulgaria? Borissov visits Ukraine and a Bulgarian journalist is found murdered

Europe speaks: This is what European media has to say about the brutal murder of Viktoria Marinova

Viktoria Marinova, a journalist who worked for a local Bulgarian TV-station, was found dead on Saturday, 6 October 2018, in her hometown of Ruse. She was raped and murdered. Most of her possessions, including her glasses, her mobile phone and her wallet, were gone. Motivation of the ruthless act is still unclear, although many suggest it was related to her work. What is Europe writing? Here’s a bird’s eye view to get you updated with the European media landscape. Marinova’s investigation in EU-funds corruption American news outlet CNN reported that Marinova was investigating “corruption involving European Union funds for the … Continue reading Europe speaks: This is what European media has to say about the brutal murder of Viktoria Marinova

What’s up Ukraine? Hungary passport row and the Sakharov Prize nomination

– On September 2nd, Ukrainian-Italian movie Easy (2017) received the Kinéo Movie Diamond Award at the Venice Film Festival for Best First Feature, while another Ukrainian film, Myth (2018), took best documentary award at the Figueira Film Art Festival in Portugal. – On September 3rd, the first Ryanair flight took off from Ukraine’s major Boryspil airport to deliver passengers to Berlin. The Irish low-cost airline company reached an agreement with the airport in March following protracted negotiations. It is now expected to challenge the country’s airline monopolist, Ukraine International Airlines. – On September 4th, children started to be evacuated from … Continue reading What’s up Ukraine? Hungary passport row and the Sakharov Prize nomination

Law and Justice Party (PiS)

Lands of settled government: Poland and what really matters for the rule of law

The Polish Government’s ongoing quarrel with the European Commission over changes to the Polish judicial system has attracted widespread attention and condemnation of the ruling Law and Justice Party’s (PiS) actions. Across Europe, the public is increasingly being prompted by … Continue reading Lands of settled government: Poland and what really matters for the rule of law

What’s up Hungary? State Turanism and EU backlash against the Hungarian government

– Since the start of the new school year and following a recent amendment to kindergarten curricula over the summer, Hungarian kindergarten teachers are required to teach their pupils “national identity, Christian cultural values, patriotism, attachment to homeland and family.” An interesting pedagogical program for 3 year-old toddlers. – During the 3rd-5th of September, Orbán was in Kyrgyzstan for a meeting of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Uzbekistan), where Hungary acquired the status of an observer state. While the Prime Minister’s desire to get closer to Eastern partners is understandable, it is surprising to note … Continue reading What’s up Hungary? State Turanism and EU backlash against the Hungarian government

What’s up Bulgaria? Patriotic initiatives and blue helmets

August 2018. At first glance, there aren’t too many things that could disturb the August calm in the Southeast corner of the European Union. News about tragedy, scandal and institutional dysfunction, however, are almost always concomitant cacophony to the mix of summer hits on the Bulgarian radio stations. So, here is a short recap of the recent processes and events in the Balkan country. – On the 10th of August the national Commercial Register (the digital database of companies and non-profit legal entities operating in Bulgaria) went offline. Registering a new firm, updating information about an existing company or accessing … Continue reading What’s up Bulgaria? Patriotic initiatives and blue helmets