The Skopje-Athens agreement: A view from (North?) Macedonia

Alexis Tsipras, Zoran Zaev, Nikos Kotzias and Nikola Dimitrov; Photo: Tanjug / AP Photo / Yorgos Karahalis   Author: Zoran Nechev, Head of the Center for EU integration at the Institute for Democracy ‘Societas Civilis’ and member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG)   A week ago, the Macedonian and Greek prime…

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The Athens-Skopje agreement: A view from Greece

  In televised statements, Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev, the Prime Ministers of Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia respectively, announced on Tuesday evening that they had reached a deal on the long-running name dispute. The full text of the agreement was eventually released to the public yesterday evening, and we may now…

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Erdoğan in Sarajevo: It’s my Party and I’ll campaign in Europe if I want to

Strolling through Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s old bazaar and cultural legacy of the Ottoman Empire, on any given day, you will probably encounter more Turks than any other nationality. Last weekend was no exception to that. Yet in addition to the tourists coming from Turkey, thousands of diaspora Turks from Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands and the…

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Local elections in Montenegro: Voter apathy and domination by the ruling party

Đukanović’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) secured an absolute majority in half of the 11 municipalities (one being a city municipality) which voted for new local authorities on Sunday. In the other municipalities DPS also won the majority of votes and will form local governments with traditional allies and coalition partners. The only exception is…

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Should Western Balkans Countries Embrace Two-Speed Europe?

While the Western Balkans countries are focused on negotiating their accession to the European Union, they must not overlook proposed potential structural changes in the EU that would have a profound impact on Enlargement Policy and fostering regional connections. With the vague future of the Western Balkans countries’ accession prospects, reform of the functioning of…

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Media freedom in the Western Balkans: The EU must move from words to deeds

Despite the progress made within the EU accession process and the gradual harmonization of the institutional framework with the acquis and European standards in this field, media freedom remains at an unsatisfactory level in all states in the region. While in some of them there is a slow process of improvement towards the desired standards, in others…

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EU Enlargement Strategy: Rethinking Reconciliation?

Photo: Adam Jones Adam63 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons   The fact that the EU’s newly released Enlargement Strategy for the countries of the Western Balkans mainstreams regional reconciliation and transitional justice (TJ) as one of the three crucial areas that require comprehensive and convincing reforms should not come as a surprise. This emphasis on reconciliation and…

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The New EU Strategy For The Western Balkans: What’s In Store For Bilateral Disputes

The long anticipated new EU strategy for the region opens with the statement that “the six Western Balkans partners are a part of Europe, geographically surrounded by EU Member States.” The wording finally, in an inconspicuous way, recognises the six countries as partners rather than subordinate parties, the interaction with whom is mainly focused on…

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