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Eastern Europe

From Solidarity to Business

John Feffer | Posted 08.27.2015 | World
John Feffer

When I met with Mariusz Ambroziak in 1993, he was secretary for the Solidarity trade union in the Mazowsze area around Warsaw. He'd been a Solidarity activist for most of his life, starting out as a young worker involved in the famous Solidarity chapter at the Ursus tractor factory in Warsaw.

8 Must-See Cities of Eastern Europe

Hopper.com | Posted 08.26.2015 | Travel
Hopper.com

Surprisingly modern, thrillingly packed with people, and budget-friendly as can be, Eastern Europe should be on your list this year. Not only will fall flights be cheaper, but the U.S. dollar is strong against many Eastern European currencies.

Poland's Uncivil Society

John Feffer | Posted 08.25.2015 | World
John Feffer

In 1990, I interviewed Leszek Konarski and Zygmunt Fura who were involved with environmental issues and the creation of Poland's first Green Party. Twenty-three years later, I met up with them again in Krakow.

Poland on the Economic Periphery

John Feffer | Posted 08.16.2015 | World
John Feffer

Small countries often have no choice but to align themselves with larger economic entities, as for instance the Baltic countries have done inside the European Union. But Poland is not a small country. It is the sixth largest EU country by population, and the largest country in East-Central Europe (twice the size of its nearest competitor, Romania).

Making Green Cool Again in Hungary

John Feffer | Posted 08.04.2015 | World
John Feffer

It was certainly cool to be an environmentalist in Hungary in the 1980s. But that was 30 years ago. The environmental movement in Hungary has aged considerably since then. Other issues became hip, young people were drawn to other movements, and Green organizations shrank.

The Urban Arts Scene in Kosice

Michael Schuermann | Posted 07.31.2015 | Travel
Michael Schuermann

Kosice, the second largest city of Slovakia, has come up with a bright and brilliant solution to spruce up a nondescript residential district.

The Future Of Social Movements

John Feffer | Posted 07.27.2015 | World
John Feffer

Social movements didn't disappear from Slovenia. Some groups became professionalized, like the Peace Institute. Other voluntary organizations continued, particularly among the younger generation. But they no longer had the prominence or influence they enjoyed during that brief period in the 1980s.

Albania 1990 -- Embassy Storm

Fred Abrahams | Posted 07.12.2015 | World
Fred Abrahams

Ervis Gega was 16 years old in summer 1990 when hundreds of frustrated Albanians, craving to rejoin the world, began storming foreign embassies in their capital. Gega and her relatives watched the news on Italian television from their hometown and quickly made up their minds.

Returning Poland to Europe

John Feffer | Posted 06.23.2015 | World
John Feffer

Central Europe had been kidnapped, the Czech writer Milan Kundera once wrote in a celebrated essay from 1984. It had been dragged eastward by the Soviet Union after World War II. And like a displaced person yearning to return home, the region couldn't wait until it could rejoin Europe.

The Eastern European Women in the Race to Lead the UN

Ernesta Redi | Posted 06.23.2015 | World
Ernesta Redi

The current Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has lent his own authority to calls for a woman to take the top job. The General Assembly has over many years repeatedly raised the issue of gender equality in the selection process

Germany's Leadership Role in Advancing Economic Freedom: Opportunity for All, Favoritism for None

Natasha Srdoc | Posted 06.19.2015 | World
Natasha Srdoc

The topics of strengthening the transatlantic partnership and advancing economic freedom were brought to the forefront, when we gathered in Brussels at a dinner event of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in December 2014.

Could the Yugoslav Wars Have Been Avoided?

John Feffer | Posted 06.19.2015 | World
John Feffer

When I met political scientist Mitja Zagar in Slovenia, he provided the most chilling prediction. "I believe that the only way of dismantling Yugoslavia without creating any kind of new links or forms of common living would be if there is a war in some parts."

Pig Farming in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 06.13.2015 | World
John Feffer

Theirs is a family farm, which is nothing like the industrial farming that dominates American agriculture. The Janeczeks keep about 90 sows and produce about 1,300 piglets a year that they then fatten up and sell.

Toward a Migration Development Bank for Transition Economies

Otaviano Canuto | Posted 06.02.2015 | World
Otaviano Canuto

Labor migration and remittances may bring positive economic effects to developing countries. This is the case particularly in countries like those in Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union members where remittances constitute high shares of foreign-currency revenues and GDP.

Islamophobia in East-Central Europe

John Feffer | Posted 06.01.2015 | World
John Feffer

In a meeting in Warsaw in August 2013, Taskin Tankut Soyka and I talked about the diversity of the Muslim communities in East-Central Europe, media representations, cases at the European Court of Human Rights, and the future of Islam and Islamophobia in Europe.

Time Travel Is Possible: We Did So in the Czech Republic and So Should Every Other American

Christopher Molaro | Posted 05.27.2015 | Travel
Christopher Molaro

Agree or disagree with our foreign policy or Washington bureaucracy, these are places and events I would encourage every American to visit and pay homage. Their symbolism preserves generations.

Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga: No bark or bite by EU leaders

Dominik Tolksdorf | Posted 05.26.2015 | Politics
Dominik Tolksdorf

The Eastern Partnership summit in Riga has been tagged by the hosting Latvian minister of foreign affairs a "survival summit." This implied that EU leaders might propose decisive actions to intensify relations with the Eastern Partnership countries in light of the Ukraine crisis.

10 Exotic Places You Can Visit on $10 a Day or Less

GOBankingRates | Posted 05.27.2015 | Travel
GOBankingRates

Off the beaten tourist path, visitors can immerse themselves in new destinations without spending a fortune. Before planning your next global trek, read on to find out how these travelers saved money while vacationing around the world.

Church and State in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.18.2015 | Religion
John Feffer

Poland has one of the stricter laws on abortion in Europe. Abortion is illegal except if the life of the mother is at risk, the fetus has a major defect or the pregnancy is the result of a confirmed rape.

The Market Before the Market in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.17.2015 | World
John Feffer

In the 1980s, economist Marcin Swiecicki was at the center of the discussions over the path of economic reform in Poland. We talked about his perspective on the economic changes that took place after 1990, his accomplishments as mayor, and his view of the political situation today in Poland.

The Problem of Trust in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.15.2015 | World
John Feffer

In 1940, the Soviet NKVD murdered 22,000 Polish army officers, police, and intellectuals in the Katyn forest and then pinned the blame on the Nazis. In 1990, the Soviet Union finally admitted its guilt in the matter.

The Three Mistakes of Poland's Transition

John Feffer | Posted 05.13.2015 | World
John Feffer

Start with a failing economy. Throw in a team of inexperienced politicians, people in fact who had spent their careers deliberately avoiding official politics. Add a population with the highest possible expectations. And, as a wild card, introduce an international community that was not offering very much in the way of financial assistance.

Do You Need a Country? Here is One!

Sidonie Sawyer | Posted 05.12.2015 | Travel
Sidonie Sawyer

Should you ever find yourself stateless, a new little country called Liberland might just take you in. Celebrating its independence May 10, we say good for you! Have many happy returns!

The Disappointment of Fulfilled Dreams in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.12.2015 | World
John Feffer

Many Poles dreamed of the day when the Communist regime would fall. But even after the semi-free elections of June 4, 1989, in which Solidarity-affiliated candidates won nearly all the contested seats, few anticipated that their dreams would come true so quickly.

The Moral Revolution in East-Central Europe

John Feffer | Posted 05.10.2015 | World
John Feffer

Some of the most powerful critiques of the Communist governments in East-Central Europe were moral. Vaclav Havel, for instance, argued that the regimes, with their propaganda and inequalities and corruption, were built on a foundation of lies. He proposed the alternative of "living in truth."