Enlargement

Getting to an Agreement between Serbia and Kosovo

Kosovo has not been ruled by Serbia for nearly twenty years, yet the status of its sovereignty, as well as the territory and borders of both countries, remain mutually and internationally contested. In the past...

Behind the Curtain

-
My name is Dr Mohammad Zahoor. I am a British citizen and for almost ten years, I was the benefactor of the Kyiv Post, Ukraine’s most important English language newspaper, very much the benchmark...

Name Dispute: Questions raised over Greek commitment to Prespes Agreement

-
Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos displayed to his American interlocutors a total lack of policy coordination within his country’s coalition government when he proposed to replace the Prespes Agreement, designed to resolve the Name...

Name Dispute: Taking stock in Skopje after the disappointing referendum

-
Shockwaves continue from the low turnout in the referendum in Macedonia/FYROM, which had been hoped to approve June’s Prespes Agreement settling the Name Dispute between Athens and Skopje. The 37% turnout for the September...

Name Dispute: Referendum results wound two Balkan leaders

-
Zero hour has passed in the Name Dispute. Surprisingly low turnout for the September 30 referendum in Macedonia/FYROM to approve June’s Prespes Agreement settling the Name Dispute between Athens and Skopje could well derail the...

Zero hour for Name Dispute

-
In the run-up to Macedonia/FYROM’s referendum on settling its three-decade-old Name Dispute with neighbouring Greece, the rival parties involved in the vote made impassioned pitches to their respective constituencies to take whatever actions they...

NATO names Lithuania’s Jukneviciene as Parliamentary Assembly president

-
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced on September 24 that Lithuania's former defence minister, Rasa Jukneviciene, a member of the conservative party of the Lithuanian Christian Democrats, has succeeded her Italian predecessor Paolo Alli as...

Ukraine’s political standoff

-
For years, politicians in Ukraine have been caught in a “Mexican standoff” - a confrontation in which no strategy exists that allows any political party to achieve victory. As a result, the parties have...

Name Dispute: Parade of stars to Skopje continues as referendum approaches

-
A wave of important visitors before the September 30 referendum on the Prespes Agreement -- which aims to settle the Name Dispute between Greece and Macedonia/FYROM -- has made Skopje the hottest political travel...

Good Politics, Bad Economics

-
Bad economics breeds bad politics. The global financial crisis, and the botched recovery thereafter, put wind in the sails of political extremism. Between 2007 and 2016, support for extremist parties in Europe doubled. France’s National Rally (formerly...

Name Dispute: Leaders line up to support “Yes” vote in September 30 referendum

-
A flood of important visitors has hit Skopje, and this is continuing, clearly part of a coordinated work program to “save the referendum” by pro-NATO and pro-EU enlargement leaders. Last week Skopje saw key...

A revived role for the US in Northern Greece requires dynamic action and focus

-
As a former US diplomat who served as Consul General in Thessaloniki, it’s impossible not to become a lifelong booster of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF). This writer for one is impressed with the massive...

WikiLeaks revelations propel Name Dispute issue back to center stage

-
The Prespes Agreement - the latest attempt to end the quarter-century-long Name Dispute between Greece and its neighbour FYROM/Macedonia by renaming the latter 'the Republic of North Macedonia' - is back in the international headlines only three...

Europe’s Populist Fifth Column

-
European security currently rests essentially on the NATO alliance and the principle of mutual defence, and on cooperation between national intelligence services working to prevent violence against people and national assets. But in an...

The Populist War Against Intelligence

-
Despite his seemingly limitless capacity for vindictiveness, it would be a mistake to interpret US President Donald J. Trump’s decision to withdraw the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan as only his...

Czechs and Slovaks mark 50 years since Prague Spring, but politics of memory cast...

-
One of the most tragic and bitter episodes in modern European history was marked on August 20 as both the Czech Republic and Slovakia, who were the united entity of Czechoslovakia until 1993, marked...

Hard Lessons from Genoa

-
Is our infrastructure safe? In the aftermath of the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, this is the question on everybody’s mind. Of course, we could argue that disasters like this are one-offs,...

The West Must Face Reality in Turkey

-
Now that Turkey is at loggerheads with its erstwhile ally, the United States, the country’s currency crisis has morphed into a political problem of the first order. The immediate issue is Turkey’s refusal to...

How Europe Can Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Power

-
US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker may have averted a trade war last month, but the challenges confronting the European Union are far from resolved. In today’s increasingly Hobbesian global environment, the...

If Trump Ruled Venice

-
Marco Polo, the famous thirteenth-century Venetian merchant, was one of the first Europeans to trade with China. Now imagine that, after a while, the Venetian state became concerned that Polo was purchasing too many...

Move to grant Kosovo visa-free travel reopens contentious EU enlargement debate

-
The European Commission's recent statement that Kosovo had fulfilled all of Brussels’ necessary visa liberalisation benchmarks and that the European Parliament and Council should proceed with lifting visa requirements for Kosovars has reopened a...

Name Dispute: A week for summitry and skullduggery

-
In the context of the shrill NATO-US debate over President Donald J. Trump’s demands for higher European defence spending, the situation involving the potential entry of Macedonia/FYROM into NATO as its 30th member sometime...

A torrent of accusations and acrimony mark first day of NATO summit

-
A  heated verbal exchange broke out between Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu and Germany’s Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen over a decision by the Turkish government to purchase Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft...

Name Dispute: Prespes Agreement reaction destabilises Greek political scene

-
In Greece, the furore over the Prespes Agreement that was intended to resolve the Name Dispute between Greece and Macedonia/FYROM continues to grow, and the country is rapidly moving into the full pre-election political...

A lasting agreement?

-
After what seemed to be an endless round of contentious talks that ran into the wee hours of Friday morning, European leaders wrapped up their two-day summit in Brussels with a tentative deal on...

Name Dispute: Furious reaction to Prespes Agreement expands

-
Strong public and political reactions have continued throughout Greece following the June 17 signature of the Prespes Agreement that was intended to resolve the 27-year-old Name Dispute between Greece and Macedonia/FYROM are steadily weakening...

Name Dispute: Rough sailing for ratification procedures despite quick work in Skopje

-
The Parliament in Skopje quickly ratified the historic June 17 Prespes Agreement resolving the Name Dispute with Greece, but the required steps to get the deal to come into force in both countries resembles...

Georgia names 36-year-old neophyte as prime minister amid ongoing political crisis

-
Ever since Georgia became an independent state over 25 years ago, it’s political culture has been characterized by a chaotic mix of personality cults, strong-man tactics, corrupt party functionaries, and mysterious power brokers who...

With the signing over, the long battle for ratifying the Name Dispute agreement begins

-
Greece’s ruling coalition survived a no-confidence motion on June 16, which was followed the next day with the signature of a bilateral agreement formally ending the Name Dispute between Greece and Macedonia/FYROM. Entry-into-force is an...

Closing a new chapter in the Name Dispute

-
After nearly 27 years of haggling, the race to the finish line for a formal end to the Greece-Macedonia/FYROM Name Dispute kicked into full gear after prime ministers Alexis Tsipras of Greece and Macedonia/FYROM’s...

The wait is over. Name Dispute agreement comes together

-
After a delayed set of phone calls June 11 and 12, and a late June 12 intervention by UN Mediator Matthew Nimetz, the prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia/FYROM apparently reached an agreement on...

Desire for change drives Eastern European business toward success

-
When discussing the development of business in Eastern Europe, frequently the conversation revolves around the economic progress, or lack thereof, in the former Soviet satellite states of Central Europe and the Baltics. When the conversation...

Name Dispute talks hanging in the balance

-
Ever since the May 28 Brussels announcement that the foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia/FYROM had finished their work and had delivered their proposals to their respective prime ministers, the world has held its...

Turkey’s once-beleaguered opposition showing signs of life in countdown to June 24 poll

-
After 15 years in power, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will face his greatest political challenge to date. Following a controversial referendum last year, Turkey will elect an executive president for the first time....

NATO planes begin patrolling Montenegro’s skies

-
Prior to formally breaking with its traditional ally Serbia in 2006, the armed forces of the tiny Western Balkan nation of Montenegro hadn’t existed since their abolition following the end of the First World...

Syria joins ally Russia in recognising independence of Georgia’s breakaway regions

-
For the better part of three thousand years, the area around the Black Sea has been a crossroads of both the Orient and the Occident. It’s position as a water-based highway between the Near...

Name Dispute talks progress as foreign ministers produce a draft agreement

-
After meeting in Brussels on May 28, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Macedonia/FYROM Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov announced they had completed work on the draft bilateral agreements under negotiation to resolve the Name...