Fellowship Articles

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The Rule of Law in Kosovo: Mission Impossible?

Selvije Bajrami

The EU’s rule-of-law mission in Kosovo is failing to prosecute key figures accused of corruption and organised crime because of political interference and fears that putting too much pressure on Pristina could spark inter-ethnic violence, say campaigners.

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Uncomfortable Truths: War Crimes in the Balkans

Elira Çanga

Across the Balkans many survivors of the bloody conflicts of the 1990s still don’t know what happened to their missing loved ones. In Kosovo, even discussing the suffering of other ethnic communities is strictly taboo. What hope for lasting peace and reconciliation?

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Net Closing In On Fugitive Balkan Criminals

Slobodanka Jovanovska

Just one year ago no Balkan country extradited their own nationals, allowing criminals with multiple passports to hide out in neighbouring countries. But as states are now signing extradition treaties, lawbreakers will find they have fewer safe havens.

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Older Workers Pay Dearly for Balkan Privatisation

Ruzica Matic

Thousands of older Balkan workers are trapped in poverty as they struggle to find work but cannot retire - a fate they share with their western European counterparts. In Macedonia, dozens of desperate over 50s have been driven to commit suicide.

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Serbian Justice: Open to Negotiation?

Dejan Anastasijevic

The release of a convicted murderer-turned-police informer prompts fears Serbia has returned to practices of the past, such as shielding criminals from justice, when it serves Belgrade’s interests.   

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Federation Fails to Curb Rising Bosnian Youth Crime

Ahmed Burić

Bosnia is grappling with rising and persistent youth crime but, unlike European countries such as Hungary, the federation is yet to develop a range of rehabilitation programmes that could stop young offenders graduating into hardened criminals.   

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Rough Justice for Balkan Rape Victims

Jelena Kulidžan

Convicted rapists in Montenegro and Serbia routinely receive minimal jail terms of around three years, while their victims face years of trauma and distress. Yet in other European countries like the UK, the average sentence is eight years.

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Bulgarian Asylum System Pushes Migrants West

Juliana Koleva

Bulgaria fails to integrate its refugees and routinely locks up asylum seekers, despite EU and national laws banning the use of detention centres, forcing even those who might otherwise stay to try their luck in western Europe.

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Serbian Privatisation: Criminals Still Cash In

Stevan Dojcinovic

Eleven years after embracing capitalism, Belgrade has cancelled almost 30 per cent of all privatisation deals because of corruption or mismanagement. Yet the system remains open to abuse.

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Digital Age Spawns Big Brother Bosses

Dollores Benezic

Employers across Europe have read workers’ private emails and chat conversations by illegally using secret computer surveillance software; in Romania employees claim bosses have used information gained to blackmail and bully them.

Topic

Topic 2011: Justice

The topic for this year’s programme is justice and fellows are investigating subjects as diverse as privatisation, organised crime, employment law, rape convictions and extradition treaties.

Diary

19 Dec 2011 / 16:56

Alumni Funding: Opportunities for Years to Come

Altin Raxhimi
19 Dec 2011 / 16:44

‘A Perfect Opportunity to Take Your Story a Level Further’

Nikoleta Popkostadinova
09 Nov 2011 / 10:41

The Fellowship: ‘It Was Worth It!’

Juliana Koleva
23 Sep 2011 / 12:38

Macedonia’s American Dream

Slobodanka Jovanovska
22 Sep 2011 / 09:55

EU Rules Benefit Croatian Jobseekers

Ruzica Matic
20 Sep 2011 / 10:51

The Fellowship Endgame

Jelena Kulidzan
14 Sep 2011 / 10:45

Sofia’s Schengen Compromise

Juliana Koleva
12 Sep 2011 / 12:44

The Story Ends, Almost

Elira Canga
08 Sep 2011 / 10:30

The Final Countdown

Dollores Benezic
03 Aug 2011 / 11:29

UK Rape Survivors Demand Justice

Jelena Kulidzan
Vienna 2011: Fellowship Programme Guides Compiled by: Anita Rice

There are three key phases in the programme, check out the BFJE 2011 guides on how to organise and present your investigation.

Phase One: Research and Preparation (May)
Phase Two: Reporting (June and July)
Phase Three: Legal, Writing and Editing (August)
Presenting Your Investigation Online