Our weekly digest of articles about emerging Europe published elsewhere this week, all of which caught our eye and all of which are well worth your time. Listing them here, however, does not necessarily mean that we agree with every word, nor do they necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy.
George Soros waves goodbye to Budapest
Central European University had been based in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, for almost three decades. But it has now been pushed into exile after its founder became a target of the nationalist government of Viktor Orban during the 2015 migrant crisis.
Soviet housing is finally getting a smart tech makeover. All hail the ‘Smartovka’
One project is transforming Soviet housing stock in Estonia into the next generation of smart homes, with plans to expand across the rest of Eastern Europe.
Romania’s forests under mounting threat
Like thick wrinkles, a multitude of dirt roads cut through barren slopes in Romania’s mountainous Valea Rea region, showing the impact of aggressive illegal logging – which is not just threatening its rare forests but human life too.
Serbia’s role in the European far-right
An attempt to create a Serbian branch of the far-right Generation Identity failed, but the country remains central to the movement’s ‘great replacement’ narrative.
Bulgaria, from post-communism to post-democracy
Post-democracy is the latest wave of post-communist transformation – the result of state capture and the alienation of citizens from the democratic project.
Extinction Rebellion is taking root in Eastern Europe
Eight activists talk about the most burning environmental issues in their countries, and their struggles challenging the general public’s perception that concern about climate change is a “Western luxury”.
Yalta was a carve-up — and the Poles are understandably still bitter about it
To do Churchill justice, he did press for a square deal for Poland in 1945. But his military dubbed it ‘Operation Unthinkable’.
Lithuania’s president: Authority without power?
In his electoral campaign Gitanas Nausėda presented himself as a peacemaker. He promised a new standard in Lithuanian politics, one without intrigue or fighting. He explained that problems can be solved with dialogue. During the campaign he tried to appeal to all voters, but the people do not want a president without an opinion.
The Hungarian photographer who discovered Marilyn Monroe
Not many people are aware of the fact that without a certain Transylvanian-Hungarian photographer, the world might never have known the most iconic sex symbol of the 20th century: Marilyn Monroe.
Communist Poland’s unlikely love affair with electronic music
Warsaw was a beacon of musical freedom behind the Iron Curtain.