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Eastern Europe

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

Natasha Srdoc | Posted 06.19.2016 | 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 06.19.2016 | 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 06.13.2016 | 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 06.02.2016 | 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 06.01.2016 | 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 05.26.2016 | 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 05.22.2016 | 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 05.22.2016 | 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 05.18.2016 | 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 05.17.2016 | 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 05.15.2016 | 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 05.13.2016 | 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 05.10.2016 | 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 05.12.2016 | 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 05.10.2016 | 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."

Working on Behalf of All Minorities

John Feffer | Posted 05.09.2016 | World
John Feffer

A fundamental element of majority privilege is the blind universality that members of an ethnic, religious, racial or sexual majority often unconsciously embrace. They believe that their perspectives are held -- or should be held -- by everyone.

Negotiating the Transition in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.01.2016 | World
John Feffer

Janusz Reykowski was a key figure in the reform wing of Poland's Communist Party. A psychologist, he was an early proponent of promoting reconciliation between the Party and the Solidarity trade union movement in 1989. In 2013 I interviewed him about what had happened in the intervening years.

Europe's Map Is Redrawn As Azerbaijan Goes East

Till Bruckner | Posted 06.26.2015 | World
Till Bruckner

Goodbye, Azerbajian. It would be dishonest to say that we Europeans will miss you; few people over here will even notice that you've left. But it's sad to see you leaving the family nonetheless.

Beware of the New Putin, a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

András Simonyi | Posted 06.27.2015 | World
András Simonyi

For the last few weeks commentators, politicians and many sectors of the western public have been perhaps surprised by Vladimir Putin's somewhat reconciliatory tone towards the U.S. and the West.

Rebuilding Poland's Jewish Community

John Feffer | Posted 06.26.2015 | World
John Feffer

Rachel Zacharia always knew she was Jewish. Her father, a Party official, read and wrote in Yiddish, and her parents spoke Yiddish with friends. But she didn't start thinking about her Jewish identify until 1968.

Working With the Marginalized in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 06.18.2015 | World
John Feffer

Until the 1970s, drug addicts didn't exist in Poland -- at least not officially. In those days, drugs were expensive and the supply was limited, so the Polish state could hide the problem by giving a different label to the small number of addicts. But then heroin became more readily available. And addiction started to grow.

Human Rights in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 06.15.2015 | World
John Feffer

Adam Bodnar of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights talked with me about the concept of strategic litigation, the challenge of getting national governments to implement European court judgments, and the importance of exporting the best practices of Poland's watchdog organizations.

The Risks of Doing Business in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 06.12.2015 | World
John Feffer

Doing business entails certain risks. You make a big investment of money and time, and you hope that your gamble pays off. Maybe people will come to your restaurant. Maybe they will buy your product. Maybe they will contract for your services. But you can't be sure. You've taken out loans on the expectation that if you build it, they will come.

Priorities for Romania: Strengthening the Rule of Law and Advancing Economic Freedom

Natasha Srdoc | Posted 06.12.2015 | World
Natasha Srdoc

In order to increase economic freedom for its citizens and enable them to achieve higher standards of living, Romania needs to continue its efforts to eradicate corruption and establish an independent and efficient judicial system.

Building the Women's Movement in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 06.10.2015 | World
John Feffer

Since 2000, Tarasiewicz has worked as the director for the Network for East-West Women in Poland. She has watched as many foundations that funded women's issues have pulled out of Poland as money from the European Union became available. But the EU funding has been a mixed blessing at best.