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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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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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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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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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Foreign Policy Governance and Multilateralism

The “16+1 Cooperation”: China’s door in Central-Eastern Europe

*This article is an excerpt of the author’s Master’s Degree thesis, discussed on 2 July 2019 at the University of Florence. Chinese relations with Central and Eastern Europe Countries (CEECs) have seen an improvement in the past three decades. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet […]

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European integration Governance and Multilateralism

Yet another delay: North Macedonia’s tortuous road towards the international recognition

On October 2019 the European Council failed again to agree on opening EU accession talks with Western Balkans countries. Macron’s veto has caused disappointment and dejection especially in North Macedonia, which is now standing at a crossroads. Last week The European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi presented the proposal for a revised accession […]

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Directors' Cut

Directors’ Cut Ep.2 – The European Green Deal: a winning or losing formula?

The climate emergency has conquered the first spots in the political agenda of governments and international organisations. With the European (Commission’s) Green Deal, standards and long term goals are set not only for Europe but also for the international community as a whole. Central and Eastern Europe is requested to increase the speed of their […]

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Democratic Empowerment and Transnational Threats

Are demographic trends mirroring Albania’s vulnerabilities?

It is believed that among the negative sides of globalisation – or rising global inter-connectedness – there is also the brain-drain that many small less developed countries are experiencing in recent decades. One of these countries is definitely Albania, a state in the middle of its path to becoming an EU Member States, amid socio-democratic […]

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Democratic Empowerment and Transnational Threats

Money, mosques and concrete: Turkish engagement in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo

The Western Balkans are one of the regions where Turkey tries to increase its influence in order to present itself as a mediator and a stabilising actor on the world stage. Although the Western Balkans lag behind other European regions in terms of economic development, business environment or even political stability,[1] Turkey has been active […]