Enlargement

The Name Dispute after the July 7 Greek elections

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The June 2018 Prespes Agreement, which settled the so-called Name Dispute with newly-renamed North Macedonia, Greece’s northern neighbor, was an important but not the leading issue in the Greek parliamentary election campaign, except in...

Europe can help restore Ukraine’s trust after PACE decision

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The recent decision by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – PACE – to return the Russian delegation to full parliamentary assembly activities sparked an extremely negative reaction from the majority of...

Europe can help Georgia’s protestors preserve the country’s hard-won freedom

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There are not a lot of things in this world that we agree on. Left or Right. For or against immigration. Netflix or the big screen. Still, there are a few that we do...

Making peace with violence and a disinformation machine

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On 24 June, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) reinstalled Russia’s voting rights in the institution charged with upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The rights were suspended...

As enlargement discussions freeze, aspirants twist in the wind

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Discussions in Luxembourg regarding EU enlargement in the Western Balkans made little headway this past week, despite the threat from North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev that he would call elections if a date...

What Putin’s new citizenship initiative would mean for Ukraine

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Since the recent presidential elections ended in a landslide victory for Volodymyr Zelensky some signs of a possible political and economic revival have been noticed in Ukraine. The very electoral victory of the Zelensky...

EU considers freezing Customs Union negotiations with Turkey

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Amid growing concerns about the aggressive offshore drilling activities that are currently being carried out near the Cypriot coast by the Turkish government, the European Union is mulling putting Ankara's accession chapters under discussion ahead of the European Council...

EU sees no decisions yet on Switzerland despite time constraints

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The European Commission may still have on the menu the state of play of the bloc’s relations with Switzerland, however, no decisions should be expected, the Commission's deputy spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said on Monday. The EU has to...

Where are EU-US relations headed?

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Following US President Donald J. Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom, New Europe’s Federico Grandesso spoke with Stefano Silvestri, Italy’s former Undersecretary for State Defense (1995-1996) and a senior scientific advisor at the Institute...

It’s high time for Plahotniuc to leave the scene

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From time to time the small, poor country of Moldova gets into the news headlines. So it was in 2009 when the parliament and presidency were burned in, up to now, unclear circumstances. Then...

Zelensky must choose battles wisely to avoid a political Mexican Standoff

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One evening in the hot summer of 2015 anyone who was someone in the political circles in Kyiv gathered at the residence of Simon Smith, the UK ambassador, as he was moving to his...

Enlargement, going back to square one

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North Macedonia and Albania are inexorably tied by the delay in their long course to join Europe, yet for different reasons. Albania has the perpetual problem of narcotics production that cannot be overcome unless Tirana...

Zaev hints at early elections

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Prime Minister Zoran Zaev of North Macedonia hinted on 5 June, and again the next day, that he would consider calling early elections if the European Union does not provide the country with a...

EU Commission recommends opening accession talks for Albania and North Macedonia

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The European Commission recommends the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia in its annual reports of Western Balkan states. According to both the High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini and the European Commissioner...

Zelensky restores Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship

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Just over a week after being inaugurated as Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky issued an executive order on Tuesday that overturned a July 2017 decree by his successor, Petro Poroshenko, that illegally stripped Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili...

The challenge of being an ambassador to Ukraine

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Among the biggest challenges for foreign diplomats is an election year in Ukraine. The unpredictability that never wanes, even after the results are in, offers very fertile ground for developing professional skills of the...

Albania and European border agency begin first joint operations

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Teams of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, which was formerly known as Frontex, are joining forces with Albania's police to patrol the Balkan nation's land and sea borders in the agency's first-ever joint...

German liberal party’s peace proposal for Ukraine looks for new path forward

According to the 2018 Global Peace Index (GPI), which measures the relative position of nations' peacefulness, Ukraine is the lowest-ranked European country. The GPI ranks it as 152 out of 163 independent states, followed by Syria,...

North Macedonia’s presidential election results calm West’s worries

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North Macedonia’s presidential runoff election on 5 May produced results guaranteed to calm fraying nerves in Athens, Washington, Brussels, Paris, and Berlin as the country’s new president will be Stevo Pendarovski, who was backed...

All the world is a stage and Zelensky has yet to play his biggest...

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Actors have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts. Volodymyr Zelensky, a professional actor, was propelled into the Ukrainian presidency winning 73% of the votes. During his campaign, he...

North Macedonia’s presidential election heading to a runoff

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North Macedonia's April 21 presidential elections had a record low turnout. Only 755,816 votes were recorded, (yielding a 41.85% turnout) of a total 1,808,131 registered voters.  As expected, a runoff election will be held...

Name Dispute chills North Macedonia’s presidential election

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What would normally be an inconsequential election for the largely ceremonial post of president in North Macedonia has crystallised into an unofficial referendum on the June 2018 Prespes Agreement which settled, at least on...

In Ukraine, some chickens may come home to roost

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For five years Petro Poroshenko, the incumbent Ukrainian president projected the self-confidence of a statesman on a mission. After mobilising the military to resist Russia's approaches on the eastern and southern borders, he has...

Tsipras visits Skopje hoping to cement his Prespes accomplishments

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Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited North Macedonia’s capital Skopje on 2 April, his second visit to the country since signing the Prespes Agreement.  A series of hastily-generated agreements were signed, covering economic issues,...

Tsipras heads to Skopje to salvage his Prespes gambit

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Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to deliver on his promised trip to North Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, on 2 April, which was announced with some fanfare at the Delphi Economic Forum in early...

Ukraine’s false dichotomy

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As Ukrainians prepare for a hotly-contested presidential vote, two threats loom large over the political landscape: Russian aggression and corruption. These twin grievances are well-grounded. Five years after the Euromaidan Revolution, high hopes have...

NATO’s Stoltenberg says Georgia is still on track to eventually join the alliance

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At a time when relations between certain NATO allies appears to be strained, the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg was in the small South Caucasus nation of Georgia to reassure the country’s military establishment that...

Name Dispute: Important issues progressing while public attention fades

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While the Name Dispute between Greece and the newly-renamed Republic of North Macedonia has fallen out of the headlines, several notable developments occurred in the past week, generally off the radar except for the...

Georgia is an investor’s graveyard masquerading as a business utopia

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For over four years, we, the American investors of Iconia Capital LLC, have had our construction business halted by powerful extra-legal and corrupt influences in the Republic of Georgia. Since starting our first project...

US State Department issues scathing human rights report for Georgia

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A 47-page report released by the US State Department on 13 March offered a bleak view of the current human rights and rule-of-law situation in Georgia under the informal rule of the country’s un-elected national leader...

Name Dispute: Coming to terms

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The Name Dispute has again fallen from the headlines in Northern Macedonia and Greece, as the public focus in Skopje is on April’s Presidential elections and in Athens observers have focused on a myriad...

EU tells Georgia to focus on deeds instead of its ambitions

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While Brussels praised the excellent state of bilateral relations following the conclusion of the EU-Georgia Council meeting on March 5, the EU sharply rebuffed Tbilisi’s call for further actions to deepen its integration into...

Delphi Economic Forum – A small US official presence, but long American shadow

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DELPHI, Greece - At the February 28-March 3 Delphi Economic Forum, (DEF) entitled “The Challenge of Inclusive Growth” the long list of invited American academics, foreign policy wonks and business people overshadowed the relatively...

EU tells Bosnia to be ‘realistic’ about future membership

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In the run-up to the release of the European Commission’s opinion about the Bosnia and Herzegovina readiness to join the EU, Brussel’s Commissioner for Enlargement negotiations and Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn made clear on March 4...

Delphi Economic Forum: Intense focus on Southeastern Europe

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DELPHI, Greece - Now in its fourth year, the 2019 Delphi Economic Forum (DEF) has grown into a true Davos-like venue, with groups from all over the planet vying to use the Forum to...

Time for Ukraine’s post-revolution liberals to step up

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In times of crisis, like in today's Ukraine, events unfold based largely on ideas that are floating in the political air and take root in the fertile minds of creative individuals who can give...

Brussels wants Ukraine to follow through on its promised reforms

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Speaking at the Brussels UkraineLab, the Director General of DG NEAR at the European Commission Christian Danielsson said that Brussels expects Ukraine to be both better and more effective at implementing the dozens of...