News & Analysis

Migrant farmworkers blocked at the borders: Elsewhere in emerging Europe

emerging europe migrants farmworkers

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.

Migrant farmworkers whose harvests feed Europe are blocked at borders

When Europe tightened its borders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, France’s biggest farmers sounded an alarm: The workers they rely on from other countries to harvest much of the nation’s food could no longer make the trip. Border lockdowns have immobilised legions of seasonal workers from Eastern Europe who toil in fields from Spain to Sweden, forcing a rapid rethink of how to supply labor to those farms.

Read the full story here.

When Romania flirted with a fate like Yugoslavia’s

Thirty years since Romania’s Black March violence, BIRN reconstructs the events that would shape post-communist relations between Romanians and the country’s Hungarian minority for years to come.

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EU greenlights North Macedonia and Albania membership talks: Breakthrough or symbolic gesture?

EU foreign ministers greenlighted the launch of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania during a meeting by videoconference on March 24. European officials heralded the decision as a sign that the EU is still able to take strategic decisions, even in times of crisis such as the current coronavirus outbreak.

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Serbia’s coronavirus diplomacy unmasked

Serbia’s president has exploited the EU’s internal divisions to insult the bloc and legitimise his policies, as well as his courtship of authoritarian partners.

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Coronavirus is testing Georgian libertarianism to the limit

Overnight, the Caucasus country has been transformed from one of Europe’s most open states to among its most reclusive.

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Orthodox fundamentalism in a time of pandemic

On March 10, Bishop Gavrail of Lovech announced that Easter services in Bulgaria would this year be held as usual. Why? Because unlike other types of congregations, church services and liturgies are sacraments. This statement seems to be sufficient reason for the bishop to claim that one cannot catch the coronavirus during mass.

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Virus response topples first European government in Kosovo

Kosovo lawmakers ousted Prime Minister Albin Kurti, becoming the first nation in Europe to vote out a government over the way it handled the coronavirus outbreak.

Read the full story here.

Poland says virus fallout makes it ‘even more difficult’ to hit EU climate goal

Poland, which relies heavily on coal-fired power stations, will find it even tougher to achieve the European Union’s climate goals because of the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on the economy and companies.

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Ukraine seeks to unlock IMF aid with bank clean-up law

Ukraine is under mounting pressure to rush through banking legislation that will unlock billions of dollars in loans from the IMF and other foreign backers to shore up finances as coronavirus restrictions shut down the economy.

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Azerbaijan arrests opposition activists during Covid-19 outbreak

After Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev delivered a speech in which he threatened opposition forces with a ‘purge’, there were several arrests of prominent opposition members.

Read the full story here.