Georgi Gotev

Azerbaijan 09-12-2019

Azerbaijan braces for early elections, banks on ‘modernisation’

Azerbaijan will hold early elections on 9 February, eight months ahead of schedule, after President Ilham Aliyev agreed to the ruling party's request to dissolve parliament. The move is in line with a recent major government shakeup and the country's drive to modernise and rebuild EU ties.
China 05-12-2019

Kazakh strategist: The EU is a precious, but undervalued partner

On the sidelines of a conference dedicated to Kazakhstan’s experience with the presidential model of governance, EURACTIV spoke to Sanat Kushkumbayev, a prominent foreign policy analyst, about Kazakhstan's diplomatic and geopolitical efforts, including its relations with China and the EU.
Future EU 04-12-2019

Von der Leyen criticises Finnish presidency’s EU budget proposal

The new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, did not mince her words at her first press conference on Wednesday (4 December), criticising a recent proposal of the Finnish EU Presidency for the bloc’s 2021-2027 budget and voicing concern "about the severe cuts in the proposal".
Central Asia 03-12-2019

Yerman Mukhtar: We don’t build walls in the steppe

In a wide-ranging interview, Yerman Mukhtar, the chairman of the Kazakh parliament's committee on foreign affairs, defence and security, explains his country's foreign policy initiatives, known as 'the Three Dialogues'.
Europe's East 03-12-2019

Zelenskiy offers curtain-raiser ahead of ‘Normandy summit’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met with representatives of foreign media ahead of the 9 December summit in Paris, which will return to the effort of finding a solution to the crisis in Eastern Ukraine after a long break.
Europe's East 03-12-2019

Unsurprisingly, Russia refuses Dutch request to hand over MH17 suspect

Russia has refused a Dutch request to hand over a suspect in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, in violation of European law, prosecutors said on Monday (2 December). Until recently the suspect was in Ukrainian custody, but was sent to Russia in a prisoner swap.
Central Asia 02-12-2019

Expert: Nazarbayev pushed Russia and Ukraine to meet in Paris

In a wide-ranging interview, Ariel Cohen, a US lobbyist with ties to Kazakhstan, spoke about the various international initiatives of the Central Asian country, including improving US-Russia relations, finding a solution to the Ukraine crisis, nuclear arms control and more.
Future EU 02-12-2019

EU leaders mark a decade of Lisbon Treaty amid calls for reform

European Union leaders on Sunday (1 December) celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty, the union's legal cornerstone, amid calls to reform a bloc weakened over the past decade by economic and migration crises, rising euroscepticism and Brexit.
Central Asia 29-11-2019

EU-sponsored Nur-Sultan conference ‘happily coincides’ with Central Asia summit

A two-day conference on “Enhanced integration and Prosperity in Central Asia” opened in Kazakhstan's capital Nur-Sultan on Thursday (28 November). Incidentally, it coincided with a summit of the leaders of the five Central Asian countries on Friday in Tashkent, the capital of neighbouring Uzbekistan.
Central Asia 28-11-2019

Strong state power – the case of Kazakhstan

From the early stage of its post-Soviet transition, Kazakhstan has consolidated strong state power to avoid chaos. Today, as the country is considered successful at home and internationally, this centralisation is being reduced and tribute is being paid to the one person who steered the country during the last 30 years.
Global Europe 26-11-2019

Berlin hosts ‘different’ Cyprus reunification talks

UN chief António Guterres said Monday (25 November) he agreed to work towards setting up a new round of informal talks with rival Cypriot leaders, after the parties acknowledged at a Berlin meeting that any fresh discussions "must be different".
Europe's East 26-11-2019

Putin, Zelenskiy discuss natural gas in phone talk

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy have discussed natural gas supplies to Ukraine and gas transit via the country further into Europe, the Kremlin said in a statement on Monday (25 November).
Eastern Europe 21-11-2019

Georgia’s parliament chief: We urge the opposition to be constructive

In an exclusive interview, the speaker of the Georgian parliament Archil Talakvadze explains the ideas to change the country’s electoral system, why the recent vote wasn’t successful, and the way forward, excluding early elections, as demanded by the opposition. Archil...
Enlargement 20-11-2019

EU faces rift over enlargement policy after French ‘non’

European Union members wrangled over the rules for joining their club on Tuesday (19 November), after France triggered anger by seeking to postpone bids from Albania and North Macedonia. At the 17-18 October summit, EU heads of state and government...
Digital 18-11-2019

The Brief, powered by CEPI – Global tsunami

The protesters advocating the independence of Catalonia are using an internet platform and an app which directs them toward strategic places, to maximise the effect of their rebellion. The purpose is reportedly to test the tool in Catalonia first, and then to make it functional globally.
Defence policy 18-11-2019

Russia’s EU ambassador: The fall of the Berlin Wall was ‘a victory of common sense’

In a wide-ranging interview, Russia’s Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov spoke about gas transit talks with Ukraine, NATO and EU enlargement, nuclear arms control, Russia’s sales of the S-400 anti-aircraft system, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and Brexit.
Azerbaijan 15-11-2019

Azerbaijan ‘discourages’ human traffickers

Azerbaijan is unlikely to become a transit country for illegal migration because the authorities have “discouraged” international human trafficking rings from taking this route, Vusal Huseynov, the chief of the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan, told EURACTIV.
Future EU 15-11-2019

‘Dissident’ MEPs admit pressure to approve von der Leyen’s Commission

A failure to pass the von der Leyen commission in Parliament would create a crisis of unprecedented proportions for the European Union. EURACTIV has learned from different sources that a lot of discrete efforts are being deployed to avoid such a scenario.
Energy 14-11-2019

Germany makes legal changes to ease completion of Nord Stream 2

Germany's parliament on Wednesday (13 November) approved changes to the law governing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to make it compliant with European Union regulations, removing a hurdle to completion of the Russia-led project.
Enlargement 12-11-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Macron’s crush on Serbia

Last August French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a 5-minute speech in Serbian in Belgrade. The effect of this most extraordinary effort on the audience was huge. Just like for Kennedy in 1963, the magic worked.
Enlargement 12-11-2019

Von der Leyen locks horns with Macron over EU enlargement

The new European Commission has yet to be approved, but its president-elect has already locked horns with French President Emmanuel Macron over the future of EU enlargement.
Europe's East 12-11-2019

Moldova’s government voted down, EU sees ‘worrying signals’ for the reform

Moldova’s government was brought down by a no-confidence vote on Tuesday (12 November), threatening more instability just five months after pro-Western Prime Minister Maia Sandu took office promising to fight corruption.
Europe's East 12-11-2019

Fake attack on TV studio flags erosion of media freedom in Ukraine

Many viewers in Ukraine were taken in by what looked like an anti-terrorist forces swoop on a TV studio during a live show on Thursday (7 November). It now appears that journalists had staged the fake attack to flag the authorities’ pressure on their work.
Politics 08-11-2019

Bulgarian dissident takes stock of 30 years of ‘criminal’ transition

Petar Boyadjiev, a Bulgarian dissident and political refugee living in France, has talked to EURACTIV Bulgaria about his “disgust” with people in power in his native country, who he says waste or misappropriate EU funds instead of using them to the benefit of society.

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