Surviving the Belgrade Pride Parade

Last weekend Serbia’s LGBTI community appeared in public space, manifesting its existence and, more importantly, gentleness. Just to recapitulate, the attempt to stage the first parade in Serbia in 2001 was a disaster, dominated by a bloody confrontation between the police force and counter-protesters (supported by the Serbian Orthodox Church), with numerous participants seriously injured.…

Europe Day in Sarajevo

On Europe Day, the Bosnian capital celebrated the opening of its famous Vijećnica city hall and library, as the rebirth of a symbol of confluence between civilizations in the heart of the city. Two decades after the destruction of the Vijećnica, during the Siege of Sarajevo, the synthesis of Austrian and Moorish, nineteenth-century, architectural styles…

“Just Do It” … ?

When it comes to the western Balkans and European integration, certain metaphors come in and out fashion. It used to be said that Balkan countries were like cyclists; they had to keep moving forward, otherwise if they stopped, they would fall off. This went out of fashion when it was realised that actually, if a…

EU scrutiny and rule of law priorities in Albania

On December 2013, the Council of the European Union decided to decline Commission’s recommendation to grant Albania candidate country status. The decision is left pending on country’s “continued implementation of anti-corruption and judicial reform strategies”, which will be re-assessed in June 2014. In a way, Council’s decision is nothing new. Since its application for membership…