Tag "Balkans"

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Europe Politics

Can the EU work with Biden in the Balkans?

The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) signed in December provides access to the Chinese market for European investors while protecting China’s existing rights in EU trade. However, US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, voiced concern over the deal, stating Washington would welcome early consultations with Brussels when addressing Beijing’s economic relations. The lack of coordinated EU-US strategic thinking on China poses a risk to Euro-Atlantic integration in the Western Balkans. 

Europe Politics

The EU tries to revive Western Balkan Enlargement in Midst of a Pandemic

Russia, China, and the EU have tried to use the Covid pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen their influence in the Western Balkans. An Economic and Investment Plan announced by the European Commission is an attempt by the EU to revive the enlargement process after stalling following the French veto of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania. The risk for the EU lies in whether the Investment Plan will be enough to help resolve the region’s issues of corruption and internal disputes as well as meet the geopolitical challenge presented by Russia and China.

Eurasia Insights

Serbia: Between Russia and the West

The recent exposure of a Russian intelligence operation in Serbia highlights the dual strategy that Russia pursues towards its neighbours.

Europe Under The Radar

Western Balkans: A ‘Mini-Schengen’ Zone

Leaders of Albania, North Macedonia, and Serbia declared they would implement a mini-Schengen zone with free movement of goods, capital, services, & people

Europe Politics

A Balkan ‘Spring’ or Protests Doomed to Fail?

Since late 2018, the main opposition parties in Albania, Montenegro and Serbia have been boycotting their respective parliaments. Public protests have supported this, initiating a Balkan ‘spring’. Will the protests succeed or fail?

Europe Security

Kosovo: Creating a full army out of its security force

Last December, the Government of Kosovo declared that it is turning the Kosovo Security Force into a fully fledged army. This development greatly concerns Serbia, which still maintains that Albanian-dominated Kosovo is Serbian territory.  

Europe Politics

Turkey’s expedited European extraditions

Turkey’s ongoing effort to dismantle the supporters for Fethullah Gülen has underlined its influence in southeast Europe, where multiple countries have hurried to comply with requested Turkish extraditions. This raises hard questions

Europe Security

The challenge of female ISIS returnees in the Balkans

As hundreds of foreign fighters from the Western Balkans return home, it’s unclear whether governments are prepared to deal with the issues of prosecution and rehabilitation. Leonie Vrugtman explores the challenges posed, especially by female returnees.

Asia Pacific Europe

Chinese economic interests and the threat to EU cohesion

Today, some of Europe’s poorest countries are critical to China’s global economic development strategy. Under the 16+1 sub-regional framework, which includes eleven countries from central and eastern Europe and five from the Balkans (CEEC), China is pursuing investment opportunities in infrastructure in order to enhance its connectivity with the European region.

Europe Natural resources and energy

Powering Europe’s newest nation: Investigating the Kosovo energy crisis

Last month, Kosovo reached a deal with two private property owners to access some of the lignite coal it needs to supply its power plants.