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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...

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...

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...

Fluid dynamics: Turmoil in Skopje after Zaev ally defects

Late on November 5, the political situation in North Macedonia took a new twist as the main opposition party claimed it had pulled together...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Serbia donates vaccines and spreads goodwill in the region

Over the past few weeks, Serbia has donated thousands of much-needed batches of vaccines to the countries, spreading goodwill as well as a sense...

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...

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....

Short Greece vacation for two Balkan leaders

Taking the opportunity to visit Athens in conference speaker mode, the leaders of Albania and North Macedonia paid stealthy visits to Athens September 15-16...

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...

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...

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