18 March 2009
"Timisoara.com" Film screening at the European Commission Liaison Office in Pristina

(52 minutes, in English)


"a compelling documentary series about the Balkans and Turkey”
Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement

"These are documentaries all of us citizens of the European Union should have the opportunity to see"
Giuliano Amato, former Italian Prime Minister

Return to Europe Series
Winner of the 2008 Erasmus EuroMedia Award


on Wednesday, 18 March 2009, at 17.30


When it joined the EU on 1 January 2007, Romania, together with Bulgaria, became the first of the former Communist Balkan states to return to Europe. 17 years earlier, after the fall of the dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu in December 1989, the country was still extremely economically backward and socially impoverished. The first post-communist years did not change much here. It is only with the prospect of EU membership that the decisive impetus came for the change to democracy and a market economy.

The documentary analyses these changes which arose during the process of Romania's accession, using the city of Timisoaraas an example. This city with its 400,000 inhabitants and an Austro-Hungarian past located in the far west of the country has experienced an unparalleled economic boom in recent years as an attractive location for Western businesses. Full employment and an IT industry with a promising future are today typical features of Timisoara, which was where the revolution against Ceaucescu started in 1989.

"Timisoara.com" is a part of the TV project "Return to Europe", a series of 10 one-hour TV documentaries featuring countries and cities in the Balkans. The aim of the series is to acquaint viewers across Europe with the latest developments in South East Europe and the struggle of the people of the region for a better future in a united Europe.

The series is supported by ERSTE Stiftung and has been jointly produced by the German-language satellite channel 3sat, Austria's public broadcaster ORF and the TV production company pre-TV, in cooperation with the European Stability Initinative (ESI), upon whose research and analysis these films are based. The Istanbul film has recently been shown at international events in Brussels, Istanbul, Tbilisi, Berlin, and other cities across Europe and has received very positive feedback. It will be broadcast by a number of TV stations throughout the Balkans in coming months.

Please confirm your participation by e-mail to Maja Pavlovic.


Wednesday, 18 March 2009




European Commission Liaison Office to Kosovo (ECLO),
1 Kosovo Street,
10000 Pristina

About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com