EURACTIV Bulgaria

Cybersecurity 06-05-2022

Bulgarian professor achieves dream of creating world-class tech powerhouse

In April, Bulgaria became home to INSAIT, a new Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Technology that aims to develop a world-class research centre, keep talent in Bulgaria, and attract outstanding international scientists by offering globally competitive research facilities and compensation.
Enlargement 12-04-2022

The Ukraine war and the Balkans: When autocrats pose as stability guarantors

The war in Ukraine has triggered Western Balkan autocrats to position themselves as guarantors of stability and for that reason, regional political initiatives by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić should be ended, experts concluded at a conference held in Sofia on Monday (11 April).
Enlargement 08-04-2022

Serbian elections: Vucic’s victory marks the start of his party’s decline

The outcome of the Serbian elections on 3 April was in line with most expectations. The country’s strongman, Aleksandar Vučić, won more than convincingly in the first presidential round, with 58.65% of the votes. But the interesting part is in the details.
Enlargement 21-03-2022

Serbia’s EU ambition – the best guarded secret in the election campaign

In the predominantly Russia-leaning public space in Serbia, an EU candidate country since 2012, aligning with the bloc is obviously not a popular political message ahead of the parliamentary, presidential, and Belgrade elections due on 3 April.
Enlargement 09-03-2022

‘Serbian prosecutors are not fighting corruption because they are afraid’

There is little legal action against corrupt politicians in Serbia because prosecutors are holding back, fearing possible retribution, according to Serbian judge Dragana Boljević, who spoke to EURACTIV about the EU candidate country's judicial system.
Enlargement 01-03-2022

Chess player Vucic is considering his next moves

Serbian President Alexandar Vucic is reportedly good at chess. In politics, too, he is doing well: despite being accused of authoritarianism, monopolising the media, and frequently changing his opinion, his power seems unshakable, writes Svetla Miteva.
Europe's East 25-02-2022

Bulgaria’s Petkov: Zelenskiy may not be alive in the next 48 hours

European Union leaders reeled in shock following the latest video call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who addressed them in a way similar to a final goodbye, according to Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov.
Global Europe 25-02-2022

‘Nord Stream 2 is dead forever’, EU energy experts say

During an online conference on the Nord Stream 2 gas project organised by EURACTIV Bulgaria on Thursday (24 February), a panel of experts shared their views on the ongoing situation in Ukraine, the need for energy security and the array of sanctions that befits the intensity of the crisis unfolding.
Enlargement 22-02-2022

Vucic’s media domination ‘hard to catch up’ in Serbia election campaign

Serbia's President Aleksandar Vučić and his ruling SNS party are set to win another mandate in the presidential and parliamentary elections due on 3 April, even though the opposition is mounting the most serious challenge to his rule since 2014.

Court ruling says US Magnitsky Act cannot be applied in Bulgaria

Bulgaria found itself in a difficult situation after a local court ruled that the US Magnitsky Act, which sanctioned three high-profile Bulgarians in June 2021, cannot be applied in the country.
Enlargement 28-01-2022

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic accused of ‘bribing voters’

The president of the 'Black and White' (Crno na Belo) movement in Serbia, law professor Vladimir Vuletić, said he would file criminal charges against Serbia's President Aleksandar Vučić, for what he described as "bribing voters" ahead of the 3 April elections.
Global Europe 21-01-2022

Polish Green MP: Sadly, the German Greens couldn’t stop Nord Stream 2

While the German Greens in the coalition government succeeded in blocking Nord Stream 2 at the certification stage, there are fears the SPD could prevail, and the pipeline becomes operational, according to Urszula Zielińska, a Polish MP in an interview with EURACTIV.
Energy 07-01-2022

Bulgaria vents fury over Greek company building IGB pipeline

Bulgaria continues to be depleted of revenue because of persistent delays in completing the gas interconnector with Greece, energy minister Alexander Nikolov said in parliament on Thursday (6 January).
Energy 28-12-2021

Pundits: Foul play on the Bulgarian gas market profits Russia

The Bulgarian state-owned gas import company Bulgargaz wrote to the State National Security Agency (DANS) to report that competing interests seek to sabotage by jeopardising the agreement between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan on importing 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year. EURACTIV Bulgaria reports.
Enlargement 20-12-2021

Vucic backs down on Rio Tinto project under pressure from civil society

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has halted a controversial lithium mining project with British-Australian company Rio Tinto, following national protests throughout the country during November and December. But protesters have vowed to continue the fight.
Enlargement 14-12-2021

New Bulgarian PM proposes ‘very fast process’ to lift North Macedonia veto

The new Bulgarian government will propose a "very fast" new process that should help Sofia lift its veto and unlock the start of neighbouring North Macedonia's EU accession negotiations, Bulgaria's new prime minister, Kiril Petkov, has told the Financial Times. The announcement was welcomed by Skopje.
Enlargement 09-12-2021

Lukashenko: ‘I talk to Putin about Serbia almost every time we speak’

Belarus's President Alexander Lukashenko says that he discusses the Balkans, and in particular Serbia, at most meetings with the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Elections 07-12-2021

Bulgarian foreign minister candidate ‘lied’ about his EP qualifications

Dimitar Gardev, the candidate of the party 'There is such a people' for the post of Bulgaria's new foreign minister, appears to have lied in his official CV about the position he had held as a European Parliament employee, EURACTIV Bulgaria reported on Tuesday (7 December).
Energy 02-12-2021

Naftogaz CEO: Certifying only the Nord Stream 2 last mile is ‘a mockery of EU rules’

The Ukrainian position is that since Nord Stream 2 is not compliant with EU rules, it should not be certified, the CEO of Ukraine’s gas and oil state company Naftogaz Yuriy Vitrenko told a conference in Brussels.
Global Europe 30-11-2021

Tusk names Nord Stream 2 as Merkel’s ‘biggest mistake’

Donald Tusk, the former president of the European Council and leader of the European People’s Party (EPP), criticised the decision of the outgoing German government on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline linking Germany to Russia.
Global Europe 19-11-2021

Analyst: EU must force Gazprom to supply gas to Russia-Ukraine border

In an exclusive interview, Ilian Vassilev, a former Bulgarian ambassador to Russia who became an entrepreneur and analyst, discussed the stakes around Nord Stream 2 pipeline and provided useful insights at a time when the European Commission should certify the controversial gas project.
Elections 12-11-2021

Bulgaria’s justice minister: ‘This chief prosecutor will bring us EU sanctions’

In an exclusive interview for EURACTIV Bulgaria, the caretaker justice minister Ivan Demerdjiev offered scathing criticism of Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev, saying that unless he is removed, Bulgaria risks losing access to EU funding.
Enlargement 10-11-2021

A Bulgarian perspective on Serbian politics

The US messages sent to Bulgaria in April and Serbia in November are equally straightforward, the only difference being that in Bulgaria, they already produced a big effect and a change of power took place, writes Antoinette Nikolova.
08-11-2021

Kiril Petkov offers preview of new Bulgarian politics in the making

'Change continues’, a new centrist political party in Bulgaria, is seen as the king-maker in a future coalition after the 14 November parliamentary elections. In an exclusive interview with EURACTIV,  its co-leader Kiril Petkov gave a preview of his party policies.