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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

How Romania became a battleground in the transatlantic backlash against LGBT rights

Romania decriminalised homosexuality in 2001. Today it is witnessing a backlash against LGBT rights, supported by US Christian conservatives.

Bought and paid for – how Romania’s media is pressured by corporate and political masters

Journalists in Romania failing to conform to pressure from private companies and advertisers face intimidation and risk losing their jobs.

Photographing the 20th century

Hungarian artist Peter Puklus talks about his photography book The Epic Love Story of a Warrior, European history of the 20th century, and Marina Tsvetaeva. RU

The other side of Europe: the exploitation of Romanian workers in the EU

What will it take to stop western Europe from seeing their eastern counterparts as exploitable labour?

‘The best Roma in the village is the Roma who works as a servant’

On this year's International Roma Day, three writers reflect on how Roma slave labour was used to help build Europe's prosperity, and how Roma communities are still suffering the after effects.

The mystery of ‘populism’ finally unveiled

The philosopher of post-Fascism enters the populism fray with his own candidate for post-truth – Left betrayal. Czech.

#Rezist. Citizens are back on the streets in Romania

What makes these protests different from the ones that have come before in Romania?

Romania's government accused of legalising corruption

Romania's government has been accused of legalising corruption, inspiring the largest protests since the fall of communism. We explain the controversy.

The Emperor’s new clothes: identity politics in Romania 10 years after joining the EU

Romania celebrated its first decade as a member of the EU on 1 January 2017. This then is a time for assessing what this decade has meant for the country that still lies, geographically speaking, at 'the margin' of Europe.

Romania: a social democratic anomaly in eastern Europe?

Romania should be the ideal playground for right-populist parties, but in its recent election it was the Social Democrats who left everyone else in the dust.

Romania's new kids on the block

A new party is born in Romania, grounded in years of civic struggle against government abuse and the failures of a neo-liberal state. Can Demos follow in the footsteps of Syriza and Podemos?

The food fight is on

World Food Day, 2016: Agribusiness mega-mergers would rubber-stamp destructive industrial farming. Europe’s fightback gathers in Romania.

Brexit and the phenomenon of intra-European bigotry

To paraphrase Edward Said – “everyone who writes about eastern Europe must locate himself vis-à-vis eastern Europe."

A healthcare horror show is shaking Romania

There’s been a series of recent scandals in Romania's healthcare system that would seem implausible if written by scriptwriters in western Europe.

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. 

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