Serbia continues to deny the past, with its elites using the resolution to bash Montenegro while hoping that this move would bring them more popularity back home.
The fight against fake news and misinformation is much harder than all internationally undertaken and locally implemented or created measures and activities. It is a complex process in which neither media, institutionsor civil society organizations, let alone individuals, can fight on their own, and the consequences can be much more terrible than they are now.
The country should always start with the public interest, and that is provision of a healthy and quality life for the citizens. All other activities and actions should be in function of this premise. Therefore, the mining can be developed only at locations where it shall not endanger settlements and biodiversity.
The text is a response to the blog "Uniting around "historical truths" or around differences? (II)” by Ognen Vangelov and Ljupco Risteski, published on May 28, 2021.
If we constantly create differences, divisions and boundaries, if we incite tension and antagonism, then, unfortunately, we will put into practice the English pejorative verb balkanize - "Splitting something up into several smaller political units that are at war with each other". A different approach should be taken - to share what we have in common and what is positive, thus to be more harmonious and better prepared for our common European future.
The real problem were the unscientific and unfounded claims that began to circulate during the first months of the pandemic, on most of the websites. You could easily find “news” about how COVID-19 could be treated at home with raki (a typical Albanian alcoholic beverage). It was claimed that drinking it kept the coronavirus away.
At one point one could read in the media that Tylol hot (powder with paracetamol used to treat colds) in combination with rakia, is effective treatment against Covid 19, although the combination of alcohol and paracetamol can be quite dangerous.
Of course, Boyko Borissov is already complaining that these elections will be unfair and is drawing apocalyptic scenarios that Bulgaria will be taken off its pro-European track if GERB is not in government. Meanwhile, all opposition parties are distinctly pro-European, so Borissov’s propaganda is rather unimaginative.
Clearly, whichever way we slice it, we will be fighting fake news, misinformation, and conspiracy theories for a long time to come. Have we already mentioned that politicians are some of the biggest propagators of misinformation? Well, now we have!
Focusing on overcoming the virus, we undermined how the pandemic times affected our mental health. Struggling to discern truth from “clickbait” is taking its toll on everyone.
All conspiracy theories have very simple premises on which they rest. At the core of any conspiracy theory is the division of the world into good and evil. It is difficult to refute them because anyone who tries to do so is considered an accomplice to the conspiracy. The problem is that these theories spread very quickly, most often through social media, but also through closed groups on some platforms such as Viber and the like.
If the verbal attacks on journalists and on media, made by the most powerful people (including the President) in the country as well as the pressures from the Prime Minister do not stop, I am afraid that Croatia is moving in the direction of Hungary, Poland and Slovenia regarding media lack of freedom. This certainly is not the path of Europe, but the path of autocracy.
The thought that someone has been looking into, investigating, and monitoring peoples’ lives on social media for years is frightening. It is even more frightening when the "observers" are members of the largest political parties.
Both sides will benefit from a mediation process led by an international expert team, which would be an integral part of the EU SAA process and enriched with dialogue facilitation experts who are well versed in the work and documents of the UN, CoE and OSCE. Both the Bulgarian and Macedonian sides have shown a deep lack of diplomatic sentiment and skill and they would additionally benefit from intensive training on negotiation skills, negotiation preparation, strategic planning, effective communication, conflict analysis, reconciliation methodologies and other topics that need to be identified in the needs assessment.
The text is a response to the blog "On unifying around our common history - Tsar Samuil erga omnes (II)" by Naum Kajchev, published on May 21, 2021.
Ognen Vangelov and Ljupco Risteski
We consider that the theses represented by Mr. N. Kajchev contribute precisely to the increase and strengthening of the conflict between the two peoples and states. The theses and the approach of Mr. N. Kajchev contribute to new difficult-to-bridge misunderstandings between future generations of Bulgarians and Macedonians.
The European idea is based on overcoming the contradictions of the past, on emphasizing things that are common and unifying. No one today has exclusivity over the state of Prince Boris the Baptizer and St. Clement of Ohrid; of Tsar Simeon and St. Naum of Ohrid; of Tsar Samuil and John of Debar and their traditions that are partly preserved by the Byzantine emperor Basil II.
Jason Deegan and Felix Amelung
With corruption we should worry less on how we fare against the neighbours and focus instead on how to ensure the necessary infrastructure by way of institutions is put in place to actually investigate incidents of corruption.
The pandemic marked its first anniversary a few weeks ago. Covid-19 exposed systemic problems in the health system of Kosovo and other institutional branches. While the high number of positive cases and deaths made the headlines, the government declarations that they have secured hundreds of thousands dozes of vaccines were full of hope, if it were to be true.
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