Eastern Europe

Kosovo's vote to create army divides international community

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci (C) at a state ceremony after parliament passed a law creating a 5,000-strong standing army. Photo: Erkin Keci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Kosovo voted last Friday to create a standing army. The move comes a decade after independence from Serbia, which was enraged by the move and went so far as to threaten military intervention.

The big picture: Kosovo's vote has divided the international community, writes Ryan Scherba of Balkan Insider.

Soros-founded university says it was forced from Hungary

Protestors in Hungary
Students protest in Hungary against the closing of Central European University. Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The nationalist Hungarian government refused to approve the operations of an American graduate school founded by philanthropist George Soros, forcing the university to move its primary campus from Budapest to Vienna, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Central European University has been targeted by the right-wing Hungarian government due in part to its association with Soros, whose liberalism stands in stark contrast to the increasingly authoritarian rule of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Orbán has sought to transform Hungary into what he calls an "illiberal state" by cracking down on independent institutions and civil society, forcing many of his allies — including the Trump administration and the conservative European People's Party — to decide whether to speak out in defense of western values.

Go deeper: How Hungary could force a conservative reckoning across Europe

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