The Balkans and Caucasus Observatory (OBC) is a think-tank for south-east Europe, Turkey and the Caucasus aimed at exploring political, social and cultural change in six member states of the European Union, seven countries involved in the European expansion process and a large part of post-Soviet Europe.

 

Founded in 2000 in response to the need for information and debate expressed by the civilian society working for the integration of the Balkans into the EU, the OBC promotes the construction of Europe at grass-roots level, by developing transnational relations and raising public awareness of issues at the heart of many European challenges.
In order to carry out its mission, the OBC has developed a participatory, multi-sector approach that combines online journalism, research, training, education and policy advice. Working in a cross-media, multilingual and transnational mode, the OBC facilitates interaction and exchange at European level between its readers and users, which include community organisations, journalists, researchers and students, policy-makers, the business community, migrants and the simply curious.


In collaboration with more than 40 correspondents in the field - journalists, researchers and activists - the OBC monitors 26 countries, de facto states and regions and publishes daily news, analysis and multimedia content in its online journal. The platform reaches an audience of more than 140,000 unique visitors every month and provides access free of charge to an archive of approximately 10,000 resources.
Through its monitoring work, the OBC identifies key issues on which to develop empirical research, publish papers and books and produce documentaries. It also encourages relations between experts, policy-makers and civilian society through conferences, public meetings and social media, supporting crowdsourcing initiatives and organising online debate on its website.


In this way the OBC stimulates interest in issues which, twenty years after the end of the Cold War, remain little-known and even less understood in comparison to the founding members of the EU, thus contributing to healing the fracture between east and west which still marks European identity.
The OBC's publications are aimed at the scientific community, while its policy papers seek to reach political decision-makers at local, national and European level. Moreover, the OBC offers services for schools and universities, producing multimedia educational materials and running training courses.
In order to increase the impact of its cultural and awareness-raising work, the OBC distributes all content under a Creative Commons licence, uses Open Source technologies, instigates numerous production collaborations such as TV and radio co-productions and receives hundreds of press releases every year. All materials and registration for OBC's public events are available in the Papers, Multimedia, Products and Events  sections of the website.

TOPICS

CITIZENS' EUROPE
Participation, active citizenship, social movements, the European public sphere

TRANSNATIONAL DYNAMICS
Transnational activism, migration, cultures

RIGHTS
Human rights, children's rights, gender and welfare issues

PRESS FREEDOM
The voices of independent journalism from the Balkans and the Caucasus

WAR AND PEACE
The legacy of war and conflict transformation

EUROPEAN REMEMBERANCE
Policies for democratic and reflective remembrance

EAST-WEST DIVISION
European identity and EU policy after the Cold War

CULTURE
Cinema, literature, music, art and tourism

COOPERATION
International cooperation, territorial relations, solidarity and grass roots initiatives

EXPANSION
Overcoming the legacy of war and integration in European society

THE GEOPOLITICAL CROSSROADS
European Neighbourhood Policy, international relations in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea

LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
Administrative decentralisation, agriculture, environment and rural development
 


SUPPORTERS
The Balkans and Caucasus Observatory is an independent project of the Opera Campana dei Caduti Foundation, based in Rovereto (TN). It is backed by the Trentino Forum for Peace and Human Rights and funded by the Autonomous Province of Trento through the Department for Cooperation and Development and the Municipality of Rovereto. It has a partnership arrangement with the European Parliament and operates projects co-financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union, private foundations and Italian and European public and private corporations.