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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...

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”...

New US actions against corruption and Russian malign influence in the Western Balkans

On November 16, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, known by its acronym OFAC, designated eight individuals and six...

Latest gambit in North Macedonia seeks to break impasse with Bulgaria

At the end of July, the largest ethnic Albanian political party in North Macedonia, the Democratic Union for Integration, presented an innovative proposal to...

Boomerang! Greek socialists’ election jiggering backfires

Even though the Greek left-socialist party Syriza massively reconfigured the electoral system in 2016 to favor their long-term return plans before being ousted by...

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...

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...

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...

Greek Foreign Minister Dendias chasing shadows in Skopje?

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias traveled to North Macedonia August 31, for a hastily scheduled official visit to the country while his own capital...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

North Macedonia’s coalition government forms up, as directed

Once again, to the delight of North Macedonia’s Western supporters, Skopje has a new coalition government that looks very much like last year’s pre-election...

North Macedonia’s elections unfold, marginally, as directed

To the delight of North Macedonia’s western supporters, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) landed a razor-thin electoral majority on July 15 in...

In desperate times, EU approves new Balkan Enlargement steps

Moving on a trajectory that senior EU leaders publicly outlined at the Munich Security Conference in mid-February, the EU’s General Affairs Council (GAC) agreed...

North Macedonia takes a small step forward and one backwards this week

Since being installed in early January in preparation for the country’s April 6 elections, Caretaker Government Labour Minister Rashela Mizrahi, from the ultranationalist VMRO-DPMNE...

US diplomatic engagement helps reopen Kosovo-Serbia flights

Representatives of Serbia, Kosovo, the US, and Lufthansa Group signed a milestone agreement on January 20 to establish an air link between Serbia and...

Greece champions EU Enlargement in the Western Balkans

As a consequence of French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision in October to call for a temporary hold on EU accession discussions for Albania and...

Zaev-Mitsotakis Thessaloniki meeting explores EU Enlargement delays

The prime ministers of Greece and North Macedonia met on the sidelines of the Thessaloniki 2019 Summit on November 14. This was their second...

Zaev fumbles after EU Enlargement let-down

North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev fumbled badly this week when discussing the relationship between his country’s now-frozen EU accession bid and the standing...

Enlargement is not Eurovision, Zoran

Enlargement boosters across Europe were stunned by the third failure of the European Council to announce a decision on 18 October on a date...

Zaev-Mitsotakis New York meeting – breaking the ice

The prime ministers of Greece and North Macedonia held their first face-to-face meeting on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)...

The Name Dispute after the July 7 Greek elections

The June 2018 Prespes Agreement, which settled the so-called Name Dispute with newly-renamed North Macedonia, Greece’s northern neighbor, was an important but not the...

As enlargement discussions freeze, aspirants twist in the wind

Discussions in Luxembourg regarding EU enlargement in the Western Balkans made little headway this past week, despite the threat from North Macedonian Prime Minister...

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