Timeline: A Year of Democracy in Central and Southeast Europe


January 11 - Romania begins a six-month EU Council presidency amid anti-government protests at home and calls from EU leaders to respect the rule of law.

January 17 - Human Rights Watch's World Report 2019 highlights threats to journalists and minority and immigrants' rights as key problems in the Balkans.

January 25 - Greek lawmakers approve a historic agreement to end a 30-year name dispute with northern neighbour Macedonia (now North Macedonia).

January 26 - Serbian anti-government protests that started in Belgrade spill into other towns and cities. The demonstrations against "political violence" will continue for months.

January 29 - Balkan countries get low scores in Transparency International's annual report on perceived corruption around the world.

Riot police stand in front of Albania's parliament while opposition supporters throw firecrackers during a protest in Tirana on 26 February 2019. Opposition MPs 'burned' their parliamentary mandates, creating a political crisis in the country, and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama and early elections. Photo: EPA-EFE/MALTON DIBRA


February 5 - Freedom House downgrades Serbia to "partly free" in its annual Freedom in the World report, blaming a decline in the country's democracy. It also criticises Montenegro.

February 16 - In Albania, thousands of opposition supporters clash with police in an anti-government rally against the "government of thugs" of Prime Edi Rama, demanding the cabinet's resignation and early elections.

February 18 - As political conflict escalates in Albania, centre-right opposition Democratic Party lawmakers quit parliament, vowing to "burn" their mandates as a way of fighting Edi Rama's Socialist-led...

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