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Tag: European Union

A fortress of human rights

Europe will either be united or not. It cannot be ruled out that an unforeseen event may lead to the disintegration of the EU. But it can also not be ruled out that an unforeseen event will cement it. Paradoxically, the COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently devastating the global economy, may prove to be such an event.

Prior to the creation of the European Union, Europe did not exist. It did not exist in the political sense, that is. It is true that François Guizot, the 19th century historian and statesman, believed that there is something like a European civilisation because a certain kind of unity permeates European countries despite countless differences dividing them. This unity, however, was manifest only to a select number of Europeans and only through comparisons with the brutally colonised European “Others” across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Americas. Certainly, the thus conceived civilisational unity did not translate itself into political unity. The geographical concept of Europe made political sense only as an unstable system of volatile states linked more frequently, and tightly, by their mutual hostilities than their alliances.

June 23, 2021 - Adam Chmielewski

Attitudes to European integration in Donbas: countering the myth of a ‘pro-Russian’ region

Data on the attitudes of the population in Donbas to integration with the West or East, reveals a choice that is not viewed as mutually exclusive.

February 12, 2021 - Alexander Guest Christoforos Pissarides Kateryna Zarembo Oksana Lemishka

The next High Representative must reconsider European power-sharing solutions for Bosnia

Is it time Bosnia and Herzegovina applied power-sharing models found in other divided societies in Europe? The next High Representative must continue working towards preserving the fragile balance between three ethnic groups in the country.

January 25, 2021 - Ivan Pepic

Is the European Parliament getting more recognition from citizens? Attitudes in Lithuania

The EU's complicated decision-making system is still confusing for many citizens. How do Lithuanians view the work of the European Parliament?

January 22, 2021 - Ingrida Unikaitė-Jakuntavičienė Sima Rakutienė

North Macedonia’s EU challenges: the Bulgarian ego and mechanisms of defence

Following the resolution of an almost three-decades-long surreal name dispute with Greece, North Macedonia’s path to EU membership looked relatively optimistic. Until recently.

December 14, 2020 - Bojidar Kolov

A case of the tail wagging the dog? Bulgaria, the EU and North Macedonia

Bulgaria's veto on the opening of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia comes as a result of how the country's elites envision a "Bulgarian world".

December 10, 2020 - Tomasz Kamusella

Serbia’s EU bid is over: five reasons why

Once a frontrunner candidate for membership, Belgrade’s current interests will no longer be catered for by EU accession.

November 23, 2020 - Alejandro Esteso Pérez

The Eastern Partnership enters a new decade

Despite all the input from numerous stakeholders, much remains to be seen in the future of the Eastern Partnership. The region has seen less than an ideal start to the new decade due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its multi-level implications for the EU and EaP countries.

If 2019 was dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership (or EaP), 2020 has an intriguing question at its core: where to go next? This question loomed over the EU and decision-makers, state officials. The policy details of this question will stay with us until at least the next EaP summit in March 2021.

November 16, 2020 - Pavel Havlíček

Bulgaria: 100 days of protests

Questions are being asked after over a hundred days of mass protest in Bulgaria. What has been achieved and what does the future hold?

October 28, 2020 - Radosveta Vassileva

Crisis in Belarus. How should the West respond?

A special new Policy Paper co-published with the Institute of Central Europe is now available.

October 28, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Tomasz Stępniewski

The Eastern Partnership: Between fundamentals and integration

By signing Association Agreements with some countries of the Eastern Partnership, the EU has embarked on a foreign policy experiment. In essence, it is an offer of integration without accession to promote transformative reforms in neighbouring countries. This necessitates a change in the nature of the support that the EU typically offered in the past.

The European Union has offered the six Eastern neighbourhood countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – a privileged relationship with the eventual aim of economic integration into the EU’s single market. To some, this offer has proven attractive as evidenced by the conclusion of the Association Agreements and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus, however, have opted for a looser relationship within the framework of the multilateral Eastern Partnership.

September 4, 2020 - Katarina Mathernova Kataryna Wolczuk

Failed Expectations? Belarus and the Eastern Partnership

When compared with other members of the Eastern Partnership, Belarus appears to be at the back of the line in terms of projects and endeavours. Belarus has not signed any partnership or co-operation agreements and the last attempt to restart bilateral relations disappeared in October 2019 when Frederica Mogherini’s visit was postponed indefinitely. Perhaps the current political situation in Belarus will provide the EU with an opportunity to reassess its policy towards Belarus and Belarus’s place in the Eastern Partnership.

When the first Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit took place in Prague in 2009, Belarus seemed to be demonstrating more hope than despair in terms of its internal and external political development. Another wave of western sanctions had just been mitigated and bilateral relations with one of the two major proponents and initiators of the Eastern Partnership – Poland – were reaching a new level of mutual trust and co-operation. Despite the fact that Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka did not come to Prague himself, unlike his colleagues from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine (Moldova was also not represented by the head of state), Belarusian media portrayed the Eastern Partnership Initiative as a success of Belarusian diplomacy.

September 4, 2020 - Veranika Laputska

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