Enlargement

Europe's East 04-01-2022

Parallels between the crises in Ukraine and in the Balkans

The enemy of Putin's Russia is stability, and its real interest is the constant maintenance of tensions, if necessary with occasional military actions, so that it remains a factor that you must call if you want a solution, writes Orhan Dragaš.
23-11-2021

Sanctions are now necessary to avert crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Union's failure to take a stronger stance against Bosnian Serb nationalist Milorad Dodik risks deepening the political crisis engulfing Bosnia and Herzegovina, write Tineke Strik and Dietmar Köster.
22-11-2021

The Brief, powered by ENTSO-E — Bulgarian elections, Macedonia veto

In Skopje, there is hope that the elections in neighbouring Bulgaria will unlock the country’s veto on the start of North Macedonia's EU accession negotiations before the end of the year. This Brief is an educated guess at whether such a scenario - which would be greatly beneficial to the volatile Western Balkans - could materialise.
17-11-2021

Our enduring resolve in Bosnia and Herzegovina  

Twenty-six years after the Dayton Peace Agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is facing its most serious challenge since the end of the war, writes Derek Chollet.
16-11-2021

Commission compromising Rule of Law standards in the interest of Orban-Vucic axis

The last European Commission report on Serbia is a blatant example how the rule of law standards can be compromised under a Commissioner representing Viktor Orbán’s ideology, writes Viola von Cramon-Taubadel.
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.
05-11-2021

Enlargement 2021: Captured states, captured Commission

With regard to EU enlargement, the citizens of the Western Balkans, but also many EU citizens, expect EU institutions and the member states to abandon hypocrisy, writes Aleksandra Tomanić.
20-10-2021

America’s new instrument in the Balkans

The ‘European way’ in the Balkans has led to an excessive waste of time in achieving the strategic goals of bringing the region into the Western structures, and consequently, the new US administration will now try to make up for it, writes Orhan Dragaš.
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.