Georgi Gotev

18-10-2019

The Brief, powered by EK – No turkey please, we’re vegetarians

Believe it or not, EU leaders didn’t discuss Turkey’s war adventure in Syria at the two-day summit. War crimes are allegedly being committed by the Turkish army, ethnic cleansing is ongoing (obviously), but the leaders looked the other way. They...
Enlargement 18-10-2019

All eyes on France after inconclusive enlargement summit debate

After a long night of inconclusive discussions, EU heads of state are set to return to the EU enlargement issue today (18 October). All eyes are on France, as Emmanuel Macron's position has so far been the major stumbling block for opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania.
Future EU 16-10-2019

Visegrad countries slam Finnish presidency MFF paper

Ahead of an EU summit starting on Thursday (17 October), diplomats from the four Visegrad countries harshly criticised the Finnish presidency of the Council of the EU for a paper it prepared to help the leaders’ discussion on the bloc’s...
Europe's East 16-10-2019

Ukrainian oligarch linked to Zelenskiy suffers blow in London court

Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hardly expected to become a protagonist in a possible impeachment of his US colleague Donald Trump. On top of that, his name has now also appeared in the press in relation to a London court case of possible financial malpractice involving billions of dollars. 
Elections 16-10-2019

Romania’s President appoints Ludovic Orban as PM-designate

Romania’s centrist President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday (15 October) he had appointed opposition Liberal Party leader Ludovic Orban as prime minister-designate to form a transitional government until a parliamentary election next year.
Enlargement 16-10-2019

France halts EU enlargement

France blocked the opening of accession talks with North Macedonia on Tuesday (15 October), despite the promise made by the EU to Skopje that its historic name deal with Greece, the Prespa agreement, would earn it a ticket to EU membership negotiations.

Erdogan thanks Orban for ‘support at the international stage’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met in Baku on Tuesday (15 October), on the fringes of the Turkic Council, a group of countries speaking the same family of languages, which Hungary wants to join.
Global Europe 15-10-2019

Russia-backed Syrian army sweeps in to fill US-left vacuum

Russia-backed Syrian forces took rapid advantage of an abrupt US retreat from Syria on Monday (14 October), deploying deep inside Kurdish-held territory south of the Turkish frontier less than 24 hours after Washington announced a full withdrawal.
Global Europe 14-10-2019

Bulgaria PM will ask EU leaders to stop criticising Erdogan

European Council President Donald Tusk strongly opposed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday (11 October), warning him to stop blackmailing Europe. That has prompted Bulgaria’s prime minister to reveal he will ask EU chiefs to tone down their stance against Erdoğan.
Central Asia 11-10-2019

‘Almost impossible’ to rival China’s business clout in Central Asia

“China is coming with an offer nobody can refuse, while the EU is coming with an offer nobody can understand." For many in Central Asia, that phrase – although intended as a joke – best summarises the European way of doing business.
Europe's East 11-10-2019

Two businessmen who helped investigate Biden in Ukraine arrested in US

A Ukraine- and a Belarus-born businessman who helped President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigate political rival Joe Biden were arrested in a scheme to illegally funnel money to a pro-Trump election committee and other US political candidates, prosecutors said on Thursday (10 October).
Azerbaijan 10-10-2019

East-West corridor: ‘Hard’ versus ‘soft’ connectivity?

A conference organised by EURACTIV on ‘Global Eurasia – connectivity as a driver for peace, stability and security’ raised questions such as “greener” connectivity, in line with Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen’s priorities. But diplomats from the region were more focused on infrastructure.

Jourova: ’I don’t want us to come back to the pre-1989 era’

Věra Jourová, the European Commission's Vice-President elect for Values and Transparency,  gave the good example on 9 October by meeting with Brussels journalists to talk about her future portfolio, answering their questions openly and making some strong political statements.
Central Asia 09-10-2019

Belgian investors give feedback on their Kazakh experience

The deputy foreign minister of Kazakhstan, Yermek Kosherbayev, met with a dozen Belgian investors in Brussels on Wednesday (9 October) to hear about their experience with his country and help solve potential issues.

EU concerned at migrant wave triggered by Turkey’s planned Syria invasion

Germany warned on Tuesday (8 October) of a repeat of the chaotic influx of migrants that caught the European Union unprepared in 2015, while Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus sounded the alarm over a resurgence of arrivals from neighbouring Turkey.
Global Europe 08-10-2019

Trump reconsiders Syria withdrawal, strongly warns Turkey against military adventures

US President Donald Trump warned Turkey Monday (6 October) against going too far in Syria, one day after giving Ankara a green light to invade its southern neighbor, sparking panic among Washington's Kurdish allies.

Le Pen’s Bulgarian ally under the spotlight for cross-border medicine trafficking

Vesselin Mareshki gained international prominence when French far-right leader Marine le Pen chose him as her political ally in Bulgaria. But things started to go wrong when Mareshki lost the European elections in May. Now, judges have recognised him as the mastermind of a cross-border network of medicine traffickers.
Europe's East 07-10-2019

Thousands rally in Kyiv to protest the ‘Steinmeier formula’ for eastern Ukraine

Thousands of people gathered in Kyiv's main square on Sunday (6 October) to protest against President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's deal with Moscow to grant autonomy to Ukraine's pro-Russian rebel-held east as part of efforts to end a five-year conflict there.
Future EU 04-10-2019

Schinas puts on good performance but MEPs want ‘European Way of Life’ title ditched

Margaritis Schinas put in a very good performance in his European Parliament hearing on Thursday (3 October), but liberal and socialist MEPs called for his title of Commission Vice President for ‘Protecting our European Way of Life’ to be scrapped because of its "toxic" far-right connotations.
Europe's East 03-10-2019

EU Commission hopeful of Russia-Ukraine thaw as many in Kyiv denounce ‘capitulation’

The European Commission commended on Thursday (3 October) a recent diplomatic meeting in the Belarus capital Minsk, which gives hope for an international summit to stop the fighting in Eastern Ukraine. But many in Ukraine see the development as “capitulation”.
Elections 02-10-2019

Romania’s government hurries to place a Commissioner before no-confidence vote

Romania's centrist opposition is seeking to topple the government in a parliamentary no-confidence vote next week, one year ahead of a general election, the National Liberal Party (PNL) said on Tuesday (1 October).
Future EU 02-10-2019

Wojciechowski’s poor performance adds to von der Leyen’s woes

If Polish Commission-nominee Janus Wojciechowski ultimately gets rejected by the European Parliament after his hearing on Tuesday (1 October), it will not be for political reasons, but simply because his performance was so disappointing.
Competition 01-10-2019

The Brief, powered by ACCA – A €1-billion question for candidate Commissioners

German carmaker Volkswagen is nearing a decision to build a new plant in Turkey. Sources close to the company say the multi-brand factory would cost more than one billion euros.

After setback, Hungary offers its EU ambassador for Commissioner

Hungary has nominated its ambassador to the EU, Olivér Várhelyi, as its new candidate for the European Commission after the Parliament blocked the first candidate put forward by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Monday (30 September).

Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Subscribe now to our new 9am newsletter.