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 Balkan Insight 
Balkan Insight
Balkan Insight
In-depth politics, business and society from Southern and Eastern Europe.

Netherlands to Assess Compensation for Srebrenica Victims’ Families
The Dutch government has established an expert commission to decide how much compensation to award to relatives of 350 men from Srebrenica after the supreme court ruled that the Netherlands had some responsibility for their deaths.
Russians Remain Biggest Real Estate Buyers in Montenegro
Central Bank report for 2019 says that of a total of 170 million euros spent by foreign nationals on the property in the country, Russians spent 39 million euros.
Montenegro Parliament Narrowly Votes to Legalize Same-sex Unions
LGBT activists welcomed parliament’s decision as a historic step for society – while the main pro-Russian opposition bloc deplored what it called an attack on traditional values.
BIRN Fact-check: Promises Fulfilled, Promises Forgotten in North Macedonia
With an election looming, BIRN takes a look at Social Democrat Zoran Zaev’s record as prime minister of North Macedonia.
The US and EU Have Both Failed Kosovo
The only ones benefitting from the failures of Brussels and Washington in Kosovo are the autocrat Vucic and his friends in Moscow and Beijing.
Challenged on Multiple Fronts, Turkey’s Erdogan Mulls Snap Election
Experts believe Turkey’s ruling party and president want to go to the polls sooner rather than later, fearing their troubles will only worsen with time.
Kosovo Ex-Guerrillas Vow Protests Against President Thaci’s Indictment
Former Kosovo Liberation Army fighters say they will demonstrate against the pending war crimes indictment of President Hashim Thaci and other former guerrilla chiefs, calling the charges an insult to their struggle for independence.
Most EU Countries Remain Closed to Serbia, Montenegro
Most EU states will not yet reopen their borders to nationals from Serbia and Montenegro, although the EU Council on Tuesday recommended Member States to lift restrictions on entry from 15 listed countries, including these two.
Moldova Socialists Force Defecting Deputy to Quit Parliament
Facing a growing danger of losing their parliamentary majority, the ruling Socialists have forced a deputy who tried to switch party to resign his mandate.
Bosnian Soldier ‘Knew About Abuse at Wartime Detention Camp’
A former inmate’s daughter testified that ex-soldier Osman Osmanovic, who is accused of war crimes against prisoners, was a supervisor at a detention camp in the Brcko area of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992.
Justice Denied: How North Macedonia’s Special Prosecution Became History
The now defunct Special Prosecution has passed into legal history, leaving only memories of an ambitious attempt to dismantle North Macedonia’s ‘captured state’.
Serbia Convicts Bosnian Serb Ex-Soldier of Wartime Killing
Bosnian Serb Army ex-serviceman Milan Dragisic was found guilty of killing one civilian and trying to kill two others in Bosanski Petrovac during the Bosnian war in September 1992.
North Macedonia Tightens Border Security, Fearing Migrant Influx
Starting Thursday, North Macedonia is introducing crisis measures on its southern and northern borders with Greece and Serbia, citing an increase in the number of migrants trying to cross its territory.
Croatia Votes, Amid a Perfect Storm
Croatia’s July election is shaping up to be its most uncertain since independence, just when the country is facing crises on multiple fronts.
Kosovo Court Angers Unions by Blocking Salaries Law
Public-sector unions in Kosovo voiced outrage on Tuesday over a Constitutional Court ruling that repealed the 2019 Law on Salaries, which would have increased their pay.
Europe’s Self-Help Moment
The COVID-19 crisis has created an opening for stronger collective European action. But policymakers must understand that the demands of voters across the continent for greater cooperation do not reflect an appetite for institution-building, but rather a deeper anxiety about losing control in a perilous world.
Trump Administration’s Bet on Kosovo’s Thaci Fails to Pay Off
The White House’s envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue hoped to rush both countries’ leaders into a deal and score a win for Donald Trump - but the announcement of Hashim Thaci’s war crimes indictment exposed the problem with Washington’s strategy.
Rights Denied: Albanians in Greece Face Long-Term Limbo
Albanians make up the biggest immigrant population in Greece, but many still don’t feel accepted.
Albania PM: Thaci War Crime Claims are ‘Anti-Kosovo’
On a visit to Pristina, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said that an indictment accusing Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci of committing war crimes was a “brutal act” against Kosovo itself.
Bosnian Court Urged to Acquit Croats of Abusing Prisoners
Lawyers for former Croatian Defence Council military policemen argued that they should be acquitted of mistreating Bosniak prisoners at a military jail in Ljubuski from 1993-94 during the Bosnian war.
Moldova Shuts Down Bootleg Helicopter Factory
Prosecutors and police in Moldova closed down a clandestine factory that was illegally producing copies of Soviet-type Kamov KA-26 helicopters to sell to ex-Soviet states.
Protesters Jeer Serbian Ministers Over Coronavirus ‘Failures’
Protesters jeered and whistled at the Serbian prime minister and health minister when they visited the Sandzak area in south-east Serbia, where locals say that coronavirus infections have been spiking dangerously.
Croatian PM Accused of ‘Shameful’ Accusations Against Journalist
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic was criticised for accusing a well-known journalist at the Croatian public broadcaster of helping his political rival to prepare for a televised pre-election debate.
Moldovan MP’s Defection Puts Socialist Govt’s Majority at Risk
MP Stefan Gatcan quit Moldova’s governing Socialist Party, citing its failures in tackling the coronavirus epidemic, leaving the government vulnerable if the opposition launches a no-confidence motion.
Montenegrin Police Accused of Violence Against Orthodox Protesters
An independent watchdog that monitors the police called for an investigation into the alleged use of excessive force by officers during a clash with Serbian Orthodox protesters in the town of Pljevlja last month.
Live Blog: Central, Southeast Europe Responds to Uptick in COVID-19 Pandemic
Follow the latest updates as governments in Southeast and Central Europe struggle to tackle the rising number of cases of the coronavirus in the region. After reopening in as early as April, the situation around the COVID-19 pandemic is again worsening.
COVID-19 Pushes Small CEE Airlines to the Brink
The coronavirus pandemic may bring a wave of nationalisation to the airline industry in Central and Eastern Europe if small regional airlines are to survive.
On Paper But Not in Practice: Gender Equality in Balkan Politics
Women have equal billing on the list of candidates for parliament fielded by North Macedonia’s ruling Social Democrats. But when North Macedonia and Croatia both vote in elections next month, how many women will actually become MPs?
How Denial of Bosnian War Crimes Entered the Mainstream
On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, Serb revisionist rhetoric about war crimes in Bosnia has spread beyond fringe circles, infiltrating mainstream academic and public discourse.
Fear Makes Kosovo’s Wartime Rape Survivors Guard Their Secrets
Kosovo offers welfare payments to survivors of sexual violence during the 1998-99 war - but some women are afraid to register in case their relatives or neighbours find out and they are ostracised because of the enduring stigma.

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