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Eastern Europe

LGBT Activist Refused Membership of New Ukrainian Party

Brian Dooley | Posted 08.05.2014 | World
Brian Dooley

While in Ukraine, Vice President Biden should make clear that the United States has no wiggle room when it comes to this sort of bigotry and that such discrimination undermines democracy and progress.

BB and Me: Bel Ami Boys

Matthew Terrell | Posted 08.03.2014 | Gay Voices
Matthew Terrell

I lived in Prague for a year of graduate school in 2008 and 2009, and I marveled at the tantalizing gay boys I found in the city. After years of watching Bel Ami porn, I expected wild Slavic demigods, but I found the local gay community to be more reserved than their international reputation would suggest.

Roma Youth Get Organized

John Feffer | Posted 08.03.2014 | World
John Feffer

The Slovak government has had a plan on the books for a couple decades to build a nuclear power plant near Kecerovce. Otherwise, the prospects for economic development in the area are bleak. The village is more than 90 percent Roma.

Participatory Environmentalism in Hungary

John Feffer | Posted 08.02.2014 | World
John Feffer

Only with the limits imposed by the energy crisis and now the climate change crisis has recycling become obligatory in many parts of the world. The range of recyclables has also widened dramatically over the years beyond just paper, cans, and bottles.

Can Politics Be Different in Hungary?

John Feffer | Posted 07.30.2014 | World
John Feffer

Hungarian environmentalists had been trying to create an authentic Green Party ever since the end of Communism. When they pulled together a new initiative on 2009, they didn't call it a Green Party. Instead, they wanted to transform the entire process of doing politics in the country. The name of the party said it all: Politics Can Be Different.

Becoming a Bestseller in Slovakia

John Feffer | Posted 07.27.2014 | World
John Feffer

When the book market opened up in East-Central Europe after the changes of 1989, readers naturally gravitated toward the books they'd been previously denied. Banned books became bestsellers.

This Is Not a Transition

John Feffer | Posted 07.23.2014 | World
John Feffer

If the origins of the "transition" were hazy, the trajectory was even more so. Yugoslavia's "transition" was certainly very different from its neighbors, for it seemed to move directly backward from the 1990s into the blood politics of the 1940s.

The Importance of Helping Serbia

Matthew Trinetti | Posted 07.22.2014 | Travel
Matthew Trinetti

You may be aware that Serbia and the other Balkan countries are experiencing devastating flooding right now. It's the worst flooding the area has experienced in over 120 years.

5 Reasons Bucharest Is the Paris of Eastern Europe (PHOTOS)

Stephanie Be | Posted 07.16.2014 | Travel
Stephanie Be

Alas, give yourself four to five days to see Romania's neoclassical treasure.

Eight Wonders Sites in Europe

Sidonie Sawyer | Posted 07.15.2014 | Travel
Sidonie Sawyer

Happy voyage! Like J.R.R. Tolkien would say: "Not all those who wander are lost."

Funding Roma Autonomy

John Feffer | Posted 07.14.2014 | World
John Feffer

The reduction in extreme poverty varied from region to region, with great gains made in Asia and not much progress achieved in Africa. In East-Central Europe, the drop was roughly comparable to the global average. There is, however, a statistical anomaly in the data for East-Central Europe.

A Life of Dignitiy for All

Michel D. Kazatchkine | Posted 07.13.2014 | Impact
Michel D. Kazatchkine

Despite the many challenges that we face, I have always had strong confidence in what the people of this region can achieve by focusing together on our shared goal of ending these epidemics.

Democracy Without Democrats in Hungary

John Feffer | Posted 07.12.2014 | World
John Feffer

Anybody can claim the mantle of democracy. Russian neo-fascist Vladimir Zhirinovsky runs a party called the Liberal Democratic Party. Even North Korea makes a nod in this direction when it calls itself the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The countries of East-Central Europe are, of course, in a different category.

Scapegoats in Ukraine All Over Again

Jane Cutler Yepez | Posted 07.10.2014 | Politics
Jane Cutler Yepez

Jews are certainly not the world's only scapegoats. It becomes a sickening reality that when political unrest occurs, the people who pay the highest price are the historical scapegoats of past conflicts.

Roma as Game Changers

John Feffer | Posted 07.02.2014 | World
John Feffer

The Roma are a significant minority of the population in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, and the countries of former Yugoslavia. Depending on the political balance of power in the country, Roma could achieve the same kind of success as the MRF if they consolidated their voting strength behind one party.

Too Bad Ukraine Didn't Keep Its 2,000 Nuclear Weapons

Blake Fleetwood | Posted 06.30.2014 | Politics
Blake Fleetwood

The U.S. should tone down the rhetoric and concentrate on the core issues for worldwide peace and accept the Crimean reality. The solution will evolve slowly, if we let it.

Toward a Roma Cosmopolitanism

John Feffer | Posted 06.29.2014 | World
John Feffer

Last August 8, the great Romanian sociologist Nicolae Gheorghe passed away. He was only 66. I first met him in 1990, when he was just embarking on his project of elevating Roma issues to the highest level of European politics.

The Flowering of Feminism in Hungary

John Feffer | Posted 06.28.2014 | World
John Feffer

The feminist movement, which gathered strength in the 1960s and 1970s in the West, arrived in East-Central Europe much later. Women's equality was a stated principle of the Communist governments, and official women's organizations operated in all of the countries.

Bridging the East-West Divide

John Feffer | Posted 06.25.2014 | World
John Feffer

In the 1970s and 1980s, the West European peace and environmental movement reached out, tentatively at first and then more vigorously, to the dissident groups in Eastern Europe. Nowhere was this more evident than in West Germany. Eva Quistorp was a driving force behind the east-west dialogue.

Managing the Economic Transition in Hungary

John Feffer | Posted 06.23.2014 | World
John Feffer

For most countries in East-Central Europe, capitalism didn't arrive overnight in 1989 or 1990. Even in the more controlled environments like Romania, people could get a taste of capitalism by buying or trading on the black market. Hungary, on the other hand, was far ahead of its neighbors in this respect.

LeftEast

John Feffer | Posted 06.21.2014 | World
John Feffer

Conservatism is very strong in both Romania and Hungary. The difference in political culture between the two countries boils down to the relative position of liberalism.

Ukraine Diplomatic Deal: Necessary Next Steps

Michael Shank, Ph.D. | Posted 06.17.2014 | Politics
Michael Shank, Ph.D.

Beyond economic aid to Ukraine and other Eastern European nations, we have identified four overarching themes that should be reinforced and reaffirmed by Congress and the administration.

The Hungarian Horseradish

John Feffer | Posted 06.15.2014 | World
John Feffer

The most sensitive issue is the very identity of Hungarians. The far-right party Jobbik has made the identity issue central to its program.

Running Political Campaigns in Slovakia

John Feffer | Posted 06.07.2014 | World
John Feffer

The campaign against Vladimir Meciar in 1998 launched many young Slovaks into politics. Young people were instrumental in the 1998 elections -- as election observers, media monitors, and civil society activists -- that broke Meciar's authoritarian hold over the Slovak political system.

The Real Grand Budapest Hotels

trivago | Posted 06.02.2014 | Travel
trivago

Although it's impossible to stay at Wes Anderson's fictional hotel from his latest film, hotel search trivago reveals a glimpse into the six grandest hotels of Budapest that may or may not have influenced the filmmaker.