Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Bulgaria

North Macedonia: Resuming course towards the political dark side?

As most analysts predicted after the strong showing of the nationalist presidential candidate in the first-round presidential elections on April 24, VMRO-DPMNE (Internal Macedonian...

North Macedonia veers sharply to the right in presidential vote

On April 24, nationalist presidential candidate Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova trounced incumbent center-left President Stevo Pendarovski in a multi-candidate election, setting the stage for a runoff...

The Schengen Zone expands conditionally, for air and sea travelers

Europe’s passport-free Schengen Zone took an important step forward on March 31 with the partial inclusion of Romania and Bulgaria. Travelers arriving in the...

Alexandroupolis LNG Terminal going live after test runs

The Gastrade consortium confirmed on February 18 the long anticipated Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at Alexandroupolis in Greece’s province of Thrace has received...

Bulgaria, Romania push regional renewable energy projects

Bulgaria is working with its neighbors to boost energy security and collaborate on joint cross-border projects in natural gas and renewables, according to Bulgaria’s...

Playing politics with EU veto power – a very old game

In late November, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, standing alongside visiting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, told the media that he was against the “bilateralization”...

Energy supply diversification out of Russia’s orbit is a top priority for Bulgaria

Bulgaria intends to diversify its energy resources, including supplying the country’s main refinery in Burgas - the largest in the Balkans - with non-Russian...

Bulgaria again heads towards elections

Bulgaria is now moving towards its fifth parliamentary election in two years as a result of the failure of the latest group of elected...

Schengen Zone tremblors center on Bulgaria and Romania

The Netherlands announced on December 2 that it will accept Romania and Croatia's joining the EU’s special passport-free Schengen Zone but intended to block...

US discusses energy security, diversification in Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria

The United States discussed joint efforts on European energy security and advanced the clean energy transition in Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria during the visit...

After Macron victory, Enlargement diplomacy back on the radar

With the war in Ukraine and the noise surrounding the French presidential elections, the subject of EU Enlargement into the Western Balkans had almost...

TAP pipeline transports first 10 bcm of Azeri natural gas to Europe

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG has announced that a total of 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas from Azerbaijan has now entered...

Bulgaria to accelerate green energy transition

Akuo has announced that it has successfully secured the refinancing of a portfolio of five operational hydroelectric power plants in Bulgaria with a capacity...

EU takes action to protect European biodiversity

The European Commission said on February 9 it is taking legal steps against 15 Member States in order to step up the prevention and...

Sofia and Skopje begin joint effort to resolve conflict

Hoping to generate enough material to prevent Sofia’s cadre of Balkan reporters from decamping to nearby ski resorts, the governments of North Macedonia and...

Petkov’s underwhelming Skopje visit opens a door

Bulgaria’s new Prime Minister Kiril Petkov visited Skopje January 18, after completing a bit more than a month in his new job. The only...

Bulgaria’s new government maintains Enlargement veto

While Bulgaria’s November 14 elections managed to break the political logjam that had paralyzed the country for most of 2021, which required three consecutive...

Tales of mystery and imagination in Skopje – Part 2

North Macedonia’s conservative opposition failed in its November 11 bid to topple Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s government. This happened only because ruling coalition lawmakers...

Commission approves EU funding for nature, environment and climate action projects

The European Commission approved on November 25 an investment package of more than €290 million for 132 new projects under the LIFE programme for...

Third Bulgarian election in 2021 appears to break the logjam

In Bulgaria’s November 14 elections, the tough anti-corruption oriented “We Continue the Change” party (PP), won 25.7% of the vote, based on a nearly-complete...

Tales of mystery and imagination in Skopje

The November 11 no-confidence vote in Zoran Zaev's government was stopped after an extremely difficult day for lack of a quorum. Extraordinary events during...

Following election flop, Zaev announces resignation plans

North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev announced his planned resignation on November 1 after his social-democratic party massively lost the second round of municipal...

Enlargement: EU’s turgid Brdo Declaration seen as a “fail”

The two EU candidate countries hoping for a major jump-start to their long-delayed EU accession procedures suffered a major setback on October 6 at...

Enough of the Durban depravity

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the so-called “World Conference Against Racism”, otherwise known as Durban I. The 2001 conference was to be...

Romania’s renewable energy market on the rise

Romania is about to scale up the deployment of renewable projects to achieve its 30.7 % target for 2030, about 6 GW of new...

Bulgaria begins slide toward new elections

The Bulgarian political world was shocked into action on August 10 when the party that won the country’s July 11 elections, There is Such...

Making sense of the Italy-UAE rift

Earlier this month the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ordered the withdrawal of all Italian aircraft and personnel from its Al Minhad Air Force Base...

Balkan rumblings: Setbacks on enlargement and new Prespes violations

Against the backdrop of another EU presidency (Portugal) failing to move ahead this month on the Enlargement issue as well as a generally slow...

EU antitrust chief approves Greek public support for Alexandroupolis LNG terminal

A €166.7 million Greek support measure for the construction of a new liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal in Alexandroupolis, Greece complies with EU state...

EU enlargement: Cui bono?

EU enlargement: cui bono? Several Foreign Ministers from EU countries visited Tirana and the North Macedonian capital Skopje in the last weeks to meet local...

Washington gets tough on “destabilizers” in the Western Balkans

On June 8, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) intended to update US sanctions policy regarding Balkan corruption and political destabilization activities,...

Washington zeroes in on corrupt Bulgarian officials

On June 2, the US Department of State announced the designation of four former Bulgarian public officials as well as one current official for involvement...

Is EU Enlargement on hold yet again?

As Portugal’s EU presidency is reaching its final month, additional pressure is expected on Bulgaria to press it to resolve its ongoing dispute with...

Ukraine’s chances to join NATO are slim to none, despite Zelensky’s claims

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict was once again back in the headlines in April when people across the world followed massive troop build-ups in and around...

Mid-East turmoil eclipses Greece’s latest Balkan initiatives

Greek officials found time to engage in several rounds of Balkan diplomacy this week, once again taking advantage of the presence in Greece of...

COVID-19 vaccine supplies trickle into Southeast Europe

In line with global trends, deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine supplies to Southeast Europe increased in April, but the record to-date shows it was anything...

The soft power of big business in a former Soviet republic

The increasing isolation of Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko’s regime on the international stage raises important questions about the future of the country’s economy. As...

Check the Czechs

With the Czech Republic having the dubious honor of hosting the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of the West versus Vladimir Putin's Russia...

Southeast Europe begins to tackle COVID-19 immunization delays

In terms of Covid-19 vaccinations, the gap between Europe’s haves and have nots finally appears to be narrowing, after many months where much of...

Gorbachev at 90: The man who awkwardly pushed humanity forward

As a Soviet teenager growing in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv in the mid-1980s, I was a happy camper. I was going to a...

‘Laura, for EU funds crimes, please don’t call Bulgaria’

The EU's Chief Prosecutor, Laura Kovesi, rejected almost all of the Bulgarian candidates that were nominated by Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor, Ivan Geshev, to serve...

Serbia leading Southeast Europe in COVID-19 immunizations

According to the most recent data, Serbia’s COVID-19 vaccination program, initially using a Chinese vaccine and symbolic quantities from third country suppliers, now leads...

Gazprom’s TurkStream draws less heat than Nord Stream 2

Gazprom’s TurkStream natural gas pipeline to Turkey and Southeast Europe has drawn less opposition, certainly compared with the controversial Nord Stream 2 from Russia...

Greece, Bulgaria team for hat trick on Russian gas

Greece and Bulgaria advanced the development of three natural gas projects this week that will lessen the two countries’ dependence on Russian gas.Greece’s parliament...

Could Albania begin EU Enlargement talks soon?

While no decisions on EU Enlargement emerged from the European Council and Euro Summit meetings of December 10-11, the issue blocking further progress pertains...

Has Enlargement slipped off the radar?

The European Council and Euro Summit meetings of December 10-11 concluded without reference to the subject of EU Enlargement since the earlier General Affairs...

Europe turns the tables on Russian gas

As we move into 2021, Southeast Europe’s concern about security and diversity of energy supply and over-reliance on Russia gas is now history, a...

The Bulgarian hammer comes down

Firmly refusing to approve the negotiating framework for the “Intergovernmental Conference” required to launch North Macedonia’s EU accession process, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva...

Bulgaria and North Macedonia continue tussle over language

While EU Enlargement was supposed to be the primary focus in the region for the final months of 2020, a long-simmering controversy with Bulgaria...

Varhelyi refocuses on enlargement for Southeast Europe

EU Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi visited North Macedonia and Albania on October 6-7, meeting leaders in both countries as well as addressing parliaments....

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