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European integration Governance and Multilateralism

Bulgaria’s veto on the enlargement process: yet another stop for North Macedonia

On  November 17th Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva rejected talks over North Macedonia’s entry into the European Union due to Bulgarian claims regarding historic and linguistic origins. The veto is yet another blockade for North Macedonia’s accession bid. After France decided to lift its veto to the start of the accession negotiations and after the […]

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Commentaries Foreign Policy geopolitics Governance and Multilateralism

The resignation of Hashim Thaci: what is at stake for Kosovo?

Last week, the President of Kosovo Thaci announced his resignation after confirming his indictment for war and crimes against humanity committed when he was commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army. The case before the Kosovo war tribunal in The Hague marks a pivotal step for justice and the rule of law in Kosovo. What kind […]

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European integration Governance and Multilateralism

EU-Balkans: European Commission presents the “enlargement package”. Results achieved and obstacles to future membership

On 6th October 2020, the European Commission adopted the “Communication on EU enlargement policy and the 2020 Enlargement Package”, the report in which the European Commission assesses the implementation of fundamental reforms in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The EU Commissioner for neighborhood and enlargement policies, Mr. Olivér Várhelyi, emphasized the improvement of the relationships […]

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Democratic Empowerment and Transnational Threats Domestic Policy

LGBTQ+ Free Zones in Poland: fighting for fundamental rights

Poland’s culture clash has been boiling for years but it has exploded with the last Polish parliamentary elections, when the ruling right-wing party Law and Justice (PiS) found a new enemy to target, fighting a supposedly “LGBT ideology”. The case has been triggered by the declaration in support of LGBTQ+ rights signed up by Warsaw’s […]

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Foreign Policy Governance and Multilateralism

USA foreign policy in the Western Balkans: why they are taking the lead

Over the past years the Balkans have come back into the radar of the United States, and this renewed interest has been pushed by geopolitical balances. Since the end of the Cold War, passing by military intervention in the 1990s, the United States of America has been engaged in the Western Balkans, with the goal […]

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European integration Governance and Multilateralism

A greener future for Western Balkans: how far we are now?

At the end of 2019 Von der Leyen’ Commission has launched its European Green Deal as its new growth strategy. Within this ambitious initiative that will impact the European Union and its neighbourhood, at what stage are the Western Balkans on their path towards environmental protection? Environmental issues have become nowadays matters of national importance […]

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Commentaries European integration Foreign Policy Governance and Multilateralism

Orbán’s new move: fight a pandemic by undermining the rule of law?

Throughout history, pandemics have regularly resulted in an expansion of state powers; this is exactly what is happening now in one of the 27 member states of the European Union. Indeed, the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán is taking advantage of the epidemic to strengthen his authoritarian control over the nation. While it is […]

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Democratic Empowerment and Transnational Threats Domestic Policy

Procreation over immigration: what’s behind Hungarian free fertility treatment

On July 2019 the Hungarian government has launched its Family Protection Action Plan (FPAP) to boost demographic growth in the country, but this incentivisation is far from being what they claim. On February 2020 the Hungarian Government has taken control and nationalised several private fertility clinics in order to meet demands of the estimated 150.000 […]

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Governance and Multilateralism

The US beats the EU in Kosovo, and it may be a problem

by Thomas Romano* Albin Kurti’s fall ends the Atlantic consensus in Kosovo, and the consequences may be serious The fall of the government in Kosovo, on 25 March 2020, marked one of the lowest moments of EU’s foreign policy in the Western Balkans in recent times. 82 out of 120 MPs voted a no-confidence motion […]

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Commentaries European integration Foreign Policy geopolitics Governance and Multilateralism

The EU’s new accession strategy: driving the enlargement process forward, for real?

After few months from the European Council’s decision to not open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, the European Commission has come up with a revised enlargement strategy, in order to convince skeptical Member States of the Union to rekindle the enlargement process. Even if the Commission’s purpose to re-establish a credible EU perspective […]