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This week's editor


Guest editor Ronan Harrington introduces this week's theme: Spirituality and Visionary Politics.

Ronan is a freelance political strategist and co-creator of Alter Ego, a gathering exploring the future of progressive politics.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Moldova finds its roots

For years it was a taboo topic. But some Moldovans are again considering reunification with Romania.


Chuck Norris vs. Communism

A documentary that takes us inside communist Romania claims a trend for illicit Hollywood 'movie nights' helped spark a revolution. Part of openDemocracy's partnership with Unorthodocs.

Eviction and housing racism in Bucharest

A community has been living on the streets for one year in protest against a racist and dysfunctional Romanian state that does not care about them or the thousands of others in their situation.

The stench of hypocrisy: a migrant's story

I have been a migrant. I have lived, legally and illegally, in nine different countries. In 1993, I first tried to escape Romania.

Reclaiming the forest: a Romanian story

Since the fall of communism, Romania's ancestral, cultural link to its forests is being undermined by corrupt political and economic interests.

Corruption in Romania: Ponta's inconvenient truth

Romania's National Anticorruption Directorate has been diligently prosecuting mayors, judges and businessmen at an unprecedented rate. But now they have their sights set on their biggest target: Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

Romania's unsolved communist ecological disaster

Geamana was once a picturesque village in the Carpathian Mountains. Today, the village has almost entirely been engulfed in toxic copper waste laced with cyanide and other chemicals from the nearby Rosia Poieni copper mining pit.

Romania: how not to do an election

The 2014 presidential elections were a pyrrhic victory for western values in post-Communist Romania.

Romania: Last minute mobilisation makes Iohannis president

A strong wave of civic mobilisation led to centre-right Klaus Iohannis being elected as Romania’s next president. 

Romanian presidential election: can you spot the difference?

After ten years with Traian Basescu as head of state, the presidential election in post-communist Romania felt highly charged. But the stakes may not be so high.

Join politics to change politics - thoughts on the upcoming Romanian election

In the run-up to the next presidential elections in a country where politics has, for so long, been riddled with nepotism, corruption and a lack of sense of civic duty - you have to ask, is anything going to change?

Another Rosia Montana, despite public outrage

While Romanians protested against the Rosia Montana mining project, another similar cyanide-based project was being surreptitiously given the go-ahead in Certejul de Sus.

Romania and Bulgaria: occupy the transition!

Last year’s mass protests in Romania and Bulgaria gave citizens a taste of how together they can transform public life. Some are asking for more.

Don't miss Stream of Love

After a while, we begin to feel that the stream of love embraces many people in this community - there is so much greeting and laughing, confiding and story-telling, and dancing, including a wonderful account of waltzing into fifty years of marriage. Film review.

The tragedy of education in rural Romania

Rural education in Romania is in a dismal state, lagging far behind its urban counterpart, and having among the worst standards in the European Union.

"Let's not talk about it": how the mass surveillance debate was silenced in Romania

The active suppression of debate about mass surveillance, SIM card registration and data retention by Romanian politicians reveals a twisted sense of priorities and little respect for the rights and demands of citizens.

Communist nostalgia in Romania

A recent poll suggested that nearly half of Romanians have a positive view of Ceausescu and believe that life was better under him. What is behind this surprising nostalgia for the communist era?

The new Balkan revolts: from protests to plenums, and beyond

The current wave of protests in Bosnia may represent the birth of true activist citizenship. These movements discover new forms of collective organisation and explore the most fundamental questions for any society, namely social justice and equality for all. What happens in Bosnia will not stay in Bosnia.

Between legality and legitimacy: Romania’s fight against corruption

Romania has made vital steps in developing its institutional capabilities to deal with corruption. The way that such institutions have been strengthened raises important questions about the nature of its democratic governance. 

Back to the basics: let's talk democracy out

People have more rights and freedoms than ever before, so why do they feel so estranged from the political processes around them? Read more from our You Tell Us bloggers.

What Romania can teach the western world

Unlike France, Italy or the Netherlands, the crisis of Romania’s elites has not led to a rise in xenophobic politics but to a digital revolution that challenges traditional assumptions about democratic change. Euro elections landscape, 2014.

Romania's 1989 revolution redux

This 21 December, around 4,000 people took to the streets of Bucharest to commemorate the 1989 revolution. Protesters were in the streets out of a sense of responsibility for those who died in 1989 to establish a democratic system in Romania. That mission is not yet accomplished.

Britain's Bulgaria-Romania phobia

The panic in Britain over prospective Bulgarian and Romanian immigration is based on misunderstanding of European rules. It is also at odds with the country's best traditions, says Dimitar Bechev.

Where the buffalo shouldn't roam

In Romania traditional livelihoods and rare animal species are about to give way to a bizarre, private project to introduce American buffalo. It's part of a rural exodus, and EU law will make future land grabs even easier.

Educating Romani children: why Europe must make it a priority

Can education be the answer to the "Roma issue" in central and eastern Europe? A look at the challenges in one Roma majority school in Romania.

Romanian spring or Carpathian autumn?

After more than a decade, the fight to save Rosia Montana has entered its final phase. It would be an incredible lack of responsibility if the government and parliament went forward with the mining project.

"The Revolution begins with Rosia Montana"

A new law going through the Romanian parliament allowing a Canadian mining company to forcefully expropriate the homes of citizens in order to construct Europe's biggest gold mine is inspiring some of the country's most significant protests since the fall of communism.

Human rights in the vernacular

The road to greater ownership of human rights by emerging powers is a bumpy one. But it will lead to a more real, and less utopian approach. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Emerging Powers and Human Rights. Español, 中国语文, العربية

Romanian media in crisis

Romanian media is in a sad state, with newspapers losing stamina by the day and television channels shamelessly blasting the political messages favored by their owners. Independent journalism still exists, but can it reach beyond the more educated and resourceful?

Romanian and Bulgarian migration to Britain: facts behind the fear

Is Britain on the verge of another mass-migration, as with the Poles? Behind the rhetoric on Romanians and Bulgarians set to flood the country, sucking up jobs and benefits, the actual expected impact of the lifted restrictions has gone unspoken.

Britain and Romania: a short history of a troubled romance

Romania is a country of attraction and danger for the British. Today it's contaminated slaughterhouses and the threat of a new influx of immigrants. But this discourse plays into a historical narrative that can be traced to the Nineteenth Century, Count Dracula and further back into the mists of time.

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