Insidious Discrimination Against The Roma Is Europe’s Shame

By Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra Two weeks ago, a 29-year-old Roma woman was physically attacked in the middle of the day in Kosovo, after a false accusation spread that the victim had been kidnaping children. Social media provided a platform for hate speeches and misleading information, which often precipitates violence against innocent Roma people….

June 12, 2019 Read more

To Prevent Brain Drain, Kosovo Must Eradicate Corruption

Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the end of Kosovo war, the country is facing a dramatic large-scale brain drain. Every day, young professionals wait in long lines in front of EU embassies to apply for visas to legally leave Kosovo in the search for job opportunities and…

May 15, 2019 Read more

Truthful Reporting In The Balkans Is Life-Threatening

Alon Ben Meir and Arbana Xharra Kosovo investigative journalist Parim Olluri knew the assailants who physically attacked him two years ago in front of his house, while the police and other security institutions remained silent. “I sent names to the Kosovo Police as well as to the Prosecutor’s Office, but none of them took any…

February 6, 2019 Read more

Corruption In The Balkans Is Impeding EU Membership

By Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra The six Western Balkan countries —Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania, are “state captured” by corrupt politicians, linked with organized crime. These facts have been documented by various international reports, which are raising major concerns among EU officials on the enlargement process. These countries are expected…

January 9, 2019 Read more

Bosnia, Erdogan’s “Jerusalem At The Heart Of Europe”

Alon-Ben Meir and Arbana Xharra As Turkey’s President Erdogan runs out of money, he is now, more than any time before, using religion to exploit the Balkans, especially the states that are more susceptible to Islamic influence. Bosnia is at the fore of Erdogan’s ambitious Islamic agenda, where he is sparing no political capital or…

September 14, 2018 Read more

The Future Of The EU In The Wake Of Trump’s Betrayal

Artwork by Michael Anderson and Sam Ben-Meir My visit to Brussels last week during the NATO annual conference was nothing short of bewildering and dismaying. Trump’s rampage against our most trusted and faithful allies sent shivers throughout the city, especially in the halls of the European Parliament where I spent considerable time talking to officials…

July 19, 2018 Read more

Serbia, Turkey, And Russia—Alarm Bells For Europe

By Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra As the EU seeks to increase its influence in the Balkans, Russia and Turkey have been working hard to strengthen their own ties to the region. The EU’s renewed interest in its southern backyard has been prompted by fears of Moscow’s mounting impact in the Balkans. Although Russia’s closest…

May 22, 2018 Read more

Albania Must Choose Between the EU and Turkey

By Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra The ‘Sultan’ of an illusionary Ottoman Empire—Turkey’s President Erdogan—is pressuring submissive politicians throughout the Balkan countries to do his bidding to restore the glory of the Ottoman period. For Erdogan, this is not simply an unfulfilled quest; he has been targeting the Balkans for the past several years (which…

May 2, 2018 Read more

Europe And Turkey: The End Of Illusion

By Gilles Pargneaux, Alon Ben-Meir, and Arbana Xharra The summit held in Ankara on April 4 between Putin, Erdogan, and Rouhani provides an eye-opening depiction of the rapidly changing discourse of 2018’s geostrategic international rivalry. The Syrian conflict, the center of global attention for more than seven years, is now in the hands of three…

May 1, 2018 Read more
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