Enlargement

29-09-2021

The Brief, powered by The Greens/EFA — The enlargement train stops at Brdo

The author of this brief was present at the Thessaloniki 2003 summit, where EU leaders pledged to the Western Balkan countries that they would join the bloc when they are ready. It was a critical juncture. EU enlargement was on its...
28-09-2021

‘Both Sides’: The West’s equalisation of blame enables Balkan aggression

The EU's policy of equalising blame in the Western Balkans has fuelled Serbian aggression against Kosovo, writes Sidita Kushi.
23-09-2021

The EU’s quest for strategic autonomy in the Western Balkans: Why it flopped

One could cut a long story short and simply note that the EU failed in its dealings with the Western Balkans because it did not put its money where its mouth is. However, this assertion contradicts the accepted narrative in Brussels and most EU capitals, and requires proof, writes Dušan Reljić.
China 01-09-2021

Hungary, Poland, Serbia: China’s backdoors to Europe

China benefits from divisions that prevent the EU from forming a unified front against it. That is why relations with EU members Hungary and Poland, as well as with the Western Balkans and Serbia in particular, are getting stronger, writes Antonia Colibasanu.
19-08-2021

Serbia’s emergence as China’s new strategic hub

Membership of the EU remains Serbia’s strategic goal, as two thirds of its trade exchange is with the EU. However, Serbia has become increasingly close to China in recent years in a plethora of areas, writes Serbian journalist Darko Čačić.
Digital & Media 23-07-2021

Telekom Srbija: Vucic’s weapon to stifle media freedom

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić bases his power largely on media influence. In this respect, state-owned cable and broadband provider Telekom Srbija is used as a political weapon, writes Darko Čačić.
15-07-2021

Avant-garde proposal for EU enlargement to the Western Balkans

A binary ‘in or out’ concept of membership has become obsolete for a region that has been on its path towards the EU already for two decades. A group of think tanks have now come up with a proposal to unpack the accession process and allow progressive membership in stages, write Milena Lazarevic and Michael Emerson.
08-07-2021

Game on for the Premier League in Serbia?

Luring them with football, Serbia’s leadership want to lock Balkan audiences into their favoured TV channels carrying anti-western narratives, which correspond with the country’s growing ties to the likes of China, Russia and Hungary, writes Marko Milosavljevič.
06-07-2021

Analysis: Vucic’s balancing act with the EU

Serbia's progress towards the EU should not be expected as long as Aleksandar Vučić is the most powerful politician in the country, writes Darko Čačić, in an article he submitted to EURACTIV Bulgaria.
01-07-2021

The end of the Serbia-Belarus tango

Serbia has for many years claimed to maintain friendly and even brotherly relations with Belarus, but this did not prevent Belgrade from joining the EU sanctions against the regime of Aleksander Lukashenko, writes Orhan Dragaš.
28-06-2021

The Brief, powered by ESA – In the ghetto

A glance at a map of Europe shows that the European Union is strangely absent in one corner, known as the Western Balkans. And though the region's six countries have been promised they will one day join the bloc, they appear to be growing steadily further away from the EU, rather than closer, with each passing year.
21-06-2021

The Brief, powered by Martens Centre – Debunking the Bulgarian veto

EU enlargement issues are decided by unanimity. One of the highlights of the upcoming EU summit on Thursday and Friday (24 and 25 June) will be the attempt to overcome the persistent Bulgarian veto on the start of North Macedonia’s accession negotiations.
21-06-2021

Integrity compliance in Western Balkans infrastructure projects

Civil society has an important role to play to make sure that corruption in infrastructure projects and wrong prioritisation do not derail a €30 billion EU financial plan for the Western Balkans, a group of authors write.
18-06-2021

EU-Serbia: A stagnation comfortable for both sides

No progress in Serbia’s EU integration process appears to be a solution that fits both the EU side which is increasingly critical toward the authoritarian trends in Belgrade and the lack of progress with Kosovo, and the ruling bloc in Belgrade which doesn’t see EU relations as important for its voters, writes BETA agency.
08-06-2021

How is corruption investigated in Serbia: The Krušik case

In Serbia, corruption is investigated only in rare cases when it suits the country’s president, Aleksandar Vučić, as the Krušik arms export scandal shows, writes Svetla Miteva.
18-05-2021

The EU should resist moves to halt Balkan enlargement

EU enlargement to the Western Balkans has been marked by continued roadblocks and unjustified delays. The region's window of opportunity might close soon, another delay could deal a death blow to the enlargement process altogether and that is why the EU should not ignore Albania’s progress, writes Akri Çipa.
12-05-2021

The Brief, powered by FACEBOOK – Western Balkans photo-op

Janez Janša surprised everyone by deciding to unveil the priorities of Slovenia’s presidency of the Council of the EU during a trip to Greece this week. One of the highlights of its six-month stint at the helm will be an “informal EU-Western Balkans summit".
11-05-2021

Albania has voted – will it be a new momentum for its EU path?

Pressed by major challenges such as endemic corruption, brain drain and economic hurdles, Albania needs a strong and stable political establishment that will push for an ambitious reform agenda. The latest elections provide hope, but much work lies ahead, write Tobias Rüttershoff and Teona Lavrelashvili.
10-05-2021

Opening Pandora’s Box: The EU’s dangerous Bosnia game

EU leaders should reject any new talk of ethnic division and secession in the western Balkans and finally make good on their promises to the region's nations, write Tineke Strik and Viola von Cramon-Taubadel.
04-05-2021

Bosnia and Herzegovina must end discrimination to ensure its EU future

Bosnia and Herzegovina is at the crossroads between the success and failure of its European dream. War and secession are certainly not the way forward, but neither is maintaining the status quo, without implementing reforms agreed with the European Union, writes Dragan Čović.
20-04-2021

Populism and cozy ties with Russia and China: Vucic takes Serbia further away from EU

European tolerance has greatly contributed to Serbian President Alexander Vučić and the ruling Serbian Progressive Party's establishing an authoritarian system that has nothing to do with the rule of law, writes Svetla Miteva.
02-04-2021

Great Serbian vaccinationism

The decision of the Serbian authorities to open the door to their neighbours for vaccination has nothing to do with reviving warm memories of the former Yugoslavia, writes Orhan Dragaš.
Global Europe 19-03-2021

The EU needs to take its seat at the Cyprus negotiation table

The long history of negotiations on the Cyprus question has been unforgiving to its actors, hence the infamous characterisation of it as the “graveyard of diplomats”, littered with tombstones. It need not be this way, writes Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.
19-03-2021

What are the new Kosovo government’s biggest priorities?

Kosovo's 2021 elections returned an unprecedented result and their aftermath could yet prove historic, writes Dren Doli who offers some advice to the new government.