Stories written by Zoltán Dujisin
Zoltán Dujisin is presently based in Prague and covers the post-communist transformation of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine for IPS. Zoltán introduced himself to IPS in 2004 when he was based in Kiev, Ukraine, covering the country’s “Orange Revolution”. Since then he has gradually expanded the region’s coverage, working two years in Budapest, Hungary, and travelling extensively in the region. A political science graduate from the Technical University in Lisbon, Portugal, his studies brought him to the Czech Republic, Belgium and the Ukraine. He recently concluded a master’s degree in nationalism studies at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.

EUROPE: Communist Ideology, as bad as Nazism?

A declaration which equates communism to Nazism and condemns communist ideology as "directly responsible for crimes against humanity" has been debated in the European Parliament on the initiative of the Czech Presidency of the European Union.

EUROPE: Financial Crisis Takes Political Toll

The weak governments in Hungary and the Czech Republic have fallen, raising questions on the future of liberal economic reform and the influence of the U.S., the European Union and Russia in the region.

UKRAINE: Struggling to Find a Saviour

Who will save Ukraine? On the verge of state bankruptcy, the country is considering its options both East and West.

EUROPE: Cold Breeze Sweeps the East

The region that liked to see itself as the engine of European economic growth and as immune to the global economic crisis is now being pointed to as the next to hit the slump.

EUROPE: Caught in Freezing Crossfire

Central Europe and the Balkans face a halting of industrial production, closed schools, frozen water supply pipes and eventual economic paralysis as suspension of gas deliveries stops life in the region.

EUROPE: Political Chill May Outlast the Big Freeze

As Russia suffers from the financial crisis and Ukraine heads towards bankruptcy, nobody can tell who is to blame for a spat that threatens to freeze Central Europe and the Balkans.

EUROPE: Czech Presidency Promises Controversy

The rotating EU presidency has been taken over for the first half of the year by a country with a president who may refuse to sign the EU Treaty, and with a weak government that has more faith in the U.S. than in Europe.

EUROPE: Roma Pay the Price for Far-Right Rise

The alarm bell is ringing in Central Europe: as the region braces itself for an economic crisis, extremism grows and gains popular sympathy by targeting the Roma.

Andras Inotai Credit:

Q&A: ‘We Were Very Good Students of Neo-liberal Ideology’

A region that has enthusiastically embraced free market economics since the collapse of state socialism is facing new socio-economic and political challenges.

Pavel Kandrac Credit:

Q&A: 'Conditions in Prisons Should be Close to Those Outside'

More experts should become engaged in helping long-term prisoners prepare for their eventual return to society, says Pavel Kandrac. Kandrac, Slovakia's parliamentary-elected ombudsman, says the ultimate goal is their re-socialisation.

RIGHTS-HUNGARY: Activists Seek to Reverse Draconian Law

A Hungarian rights organisation is seeking to return the country to the days when all life prisoners had a right to a review of their sentences, giving hope to eight who have been sentenced to imprisonment until they die.

UKRAINE: War Brings Elections, Crisis Postpones Them

The Georgian-Russian war has detonated a political war in Ukraine. The governing coalition has collapsed, and new elections loom in a country struck by a grave economic crisis and facing accusations of trading illegal arms with Georgia.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Communism Alive, Despite Isolation

The government's frequent use of the 'communist card' against opponents is casting a shadow on its lustration attempts in a country where an isolated but strong communist party persists.

RIGHTS-CZECH REPUBLIC: Life on Perpetual Hold for ‘Lifers’

Eighteen years after the death penalty was abolished in the Czech lands, little has been done to prepare anyone convicted of the gravest crimes for their eventual return to society.

GEORGIA: EU Takes the Diplomatic Lead

The Russia-Georgia peace deal indicates that the EU is acting as an independent power and plans to maintain dialogue with Moscow in spite of pressure by some of its own members and the U.S. to switch to sanctions.

EUROPE: Georgia War Steps Up Support for U.S. Missile Bases

Following tough negotiations, the U.S. and Poland have signed a deal on extension of the U.S. missile defence system to Eastern Europe, weeks after the outbreak of the Georgian-Russian conflict.

GEORGIA: How the Hawks Won

Georgia's step towards military confrontation comes after an increase in authoritarian and militaristic tendencies in a country that dealt catastrophically with Russia's pressure.

GEORGIA: Where the Cold War Never Ended

As war breaks out in Georgia, the geopolitical struggle between the U.S. and Russia becomes more violent and closer to Russia's border than ever.

UKRAINE: Russian Language Toned Down

Russian speakers in Ukraine say the lack of state recognition for the biggest linguistic minority in Europe amounts to discrimination, but opponents argue that recognition will endanger the development of Ukrainian language.

UKRAINE: ‘Free’ Media Turning Into PR Agencies

Freedom of media has improved in Ukraine but media owners are using favourable coverage as a source of income, while journalists continue to face serious threats.

EUROPE: Czechs Could ‘Bury’ Lisbon Treaty

Czech President Vaclav Klaus and politicians from the senior ruling Civic Democrats (ODS) have been inspired by the Irish rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, which could now die in Czech hands.

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