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Hop on and let's take a ride across the south-east of Europe. What is so fascinating about this colourful entity called the "Balkans"? History is told on old Roman and Ottoman roads, in young urban centres like Tirana, in the mountaineous countryside of Montenegro. With stories written by life - and based on the results of sound scientific research by the European Stability Initiative (ESI).

This twelve-part documentary series is one of the most ambitious TV projects on South Eastern Europe produced in recent years. It gives people who have contributed to the region's progress since the mid-1990s the opportunity to comment on their present situation: artists, lawyers, journalists, activists, mayors and football players tell their version of the story. With powerful images, these ten 52-minute episodes provide a new perspective on the present and possible future of the region. And this website, put together by ESI, offers the background information.

Interview about Return to Europe: A journey of discovery

Video clips from the films

"These are documentaries all citizens of the European Union should have the opportunity to see"

Giuliano Amato, former prime minister of Italy

"A compelling documentary series about the Balkans and Turkey, capturing the essence of a fast-changing region central to Europe's future"

Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement (November 2008)

ESI ORF 3sat pre tv NGF ERSTE Stiftung

CineStyria Filmkunst   Fernsehfonds Austria