English OP/ED

2020 : Europe at Work in the Tumult

By Jean-Dominique Giuliani 2020 will not just have been the year of the lockdown! It may well also have been the year of a European awakening. The Union...

Erdogan, Rama and the 12 Nautical Miles

By Stavros Tzimas Immediately after Greece announced the expansion of its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea from 6 to 12 miles, some in Albania started playing the...

Violence against women and girls: No alternative but to join all forces to ...

An Op-ed by the Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, Ambassador Vincenzo Del Monaco A number of articles about violence against women and girls are making headlines...

Programme for Portuguese EU Presidency, Targets and Challenges

By Genc Mlloja Senior Diplomatic Editor Against the background of a 750bn euro recovery fund intact and the launching of the anti- COVID vaccination in all EU countries,...

Who jeopardizes Balkans?

It will be recorded in the history of international relations that all countries of the Balkans peninsula, starting from Slovenia to Bulgaria had or have officially applied for...

EU Cannot Ignore History in Balkans Enlargement

By DESSISLAV VALKANOV Few subjects are more obscure than Balkan history. It is a complex accumulation of facts and stories of bloodshed which mean nothing to an outsider...

IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL ON THE BRINK The ongoing European dilemma

The assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on 27 November 2020 near Tehran sent shockwaves that in no time were felt most strongly in Israel, Europe...

Đukanović’s war with the USA (and the West)

On 30 August 2020, Montenegro held the 11th parliamentary election since the first multi-party election in 1990, and the fifth since Montenegro gained independence in 2006.  The turnout...

EU between humanism and egoism

Time for clear words and actions With the Polish and Hungarian veto on the so-called Multi-year Financial Framework, the lingering conflict between the EU and its member countries...

A Balkan Statesman

By Dr. Yorgos Christidis North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev belongs to a rare breed of politicians in southeastern Europe. Forming the new government in the Republic of...

EU Dream Fading in Western Balkans, a Local’s View

By Ernest Bunguri It might be a trauma, but no one can claim Bulgaria's recent veto on North Macedonia's EU accession talks came as a shock. It was...

A New Path Forward for NATO and Russia

Relations between NATO member states and Russia are complex and troubled. It will take concerted efforts by both sides to move their interaction to a more positive plane....

Montenegro’s New Government Faces Uphill Battle

By Miodrag Soric Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic and his government could usher in a new political era in Montenegro. But he only has a slim parliamentary majority —...

No, Kosovo Is Not a Precedent for Nagorno-Karabakh

Time and time again, all sides have stated that Kosovo was a one-time thing and not a formal legal precedent. Invoking it in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh demonstrates an...

Will Biden Bail Out ‘George Washington of Kosovo’?

By Peter Lucas The man Joe Biden once hailed as “the George Washington of Kosovo” now sits in a detention cell in The Hague charged with war crimes...

Under Biden, the US will push for a ‘EU-goslavia’

Biden must work within the parameters of this new reality – not the one that existed in the 1990s when Biden formed his views about the Balkans. But...

The Great Powers’ Competition in The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) ...

By Corneliu Pivariu * The current landscape of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), after all the political, military and geopolitical evolutions the Arab world went through during the...

Thaçi’s gone. The thin line of Erdoğan’s brotherhood

By Gentiola Madhi Hashim Thaçi’s resignation six months before the end of his presidential term to face war crime charges raised by the EU-funded Specialist Chambers based in...

Who Is the Agressor Threatening Serbia?

By Marjana Doda Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Thursday with the Ambassadors of Quint countries in Belgrade. He met with the ambassadors of the United States of...

The Bells Ring for Everyone to Hear!

BY GENC MLLOJA As it happened in the meetings of the highest Chinese authorities with the top leaders of the European Union in late September and early October...

Is It End of an Era in Kosovo?

  Country facing a period of uncertainty as president resigns following court’s approval of war crimes indictment By Dzihat Aliju The question of whether the members of the...

The Criminalization of Politics

By William Cooper* American politics have become criminalized. A steady drum beat of words and deeds — from “lock her up” chants, to prosecutions of President Trump’s associates,...

Taking for granted… be wary

By Donald Johnston* The title of these comments is inspired by my personal experience in important areas of public policy both as a politician beginning in the 1970s...

Europe: What to Do with America?

By Jean Dominique Giuliani On 3 November the United States will be voting and a few days later we should know the successor to the unlikely president the...

Albania’s Edi Rama Breaks with the EU

Once upon a time, Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama use to cultivate the image of an artist-politician who impressed the grandees of world politics by appearing in sneakers...

Fear, the Worst Counsel

By Jean- Domenique Giuiliani   But what has happened to the world's most advanced countries, and to Europe, who have sunk into health anxiety, taking decisions that are...

2020 Local Elections in BiH: Wave of political changes moves from Montenegr...

Local elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina are to take place on 15 November 2020. The total number of eligible voters in 3,283,194. The number of voters by mail...

Nikos Dendias Visits Tirana To Solve Maritime Dispute With Albania

By Dr. Lisen Bashkurti Today the division of the sea border between Albania and Greece is reemerging once again in regional geopolitics. This is the reason why the...

The death of the Second Republic: Understanding the spark for social mobili...

By Marie-Christine Ghreichi* Felt across the Mediterranean on August 4th, 2020, some 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the port of Beirut exploded, killing at least 190...

What If Trump Won’t Go? Europe Preparing for the Worst in Washington

Concern is growing in the European Union that Donald Trump might refuse to recognize the election results if he loses. Preparations are underway for the worst-case scenario. By Markus...

How Enlargement Is Running Out of Steam

By Florian Bieber* The release of the EU enlargement reports last week has moved from being a top event for the countries to a non-event, but spread out...

President ‘Gives’ Last Chance to ‘One-Party Parliament...

President 'Gives' Last Chance to 'One-Party Parliament' to Respect June 5 Accord President Ilir Meta has spoken again about the changes to the Electoral Code by majority and...

An Invitation for Cooperation vs. an Exclusion Letter

"Our cooperation will continue to contribute to the further strengthening and intensification of the excellent relations between the Albanian people and the Chinese people," has said Speaker Gramoz...

Serbian Officials Double Down on Ethnic Insult, Stoking Tensions with Alban...

By Bekim Bislimi, Ljudmila Cvetkovic, Andy Heil Serbia and its neighbors Kosovo and Albania have descended into a bitter diplomatic ruckus after officials in Belgrade invoked a slur...

Albania, Greece Must Reflect on Past Mistakes to Settle Maritime Borders Is...

By Akri Cipa* The failed 2009 deal should serve as a cautionary tale as the Albanian and Greek governments seek to discuss their respective claims in the Ionian...

Kosovo War Crimes File Leaks Deliver a Blow to Justice

The alleged leak of Kosovo war crimes case documents from the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague could compromise witnesses’ safety and hinder the prosecution of heinous crimes...

Bulgaria exports its problems to North Macedonia

In early 2020 Bulgaria entered a deep political crisis. The protests organized in the capital of Sofia and several other cities have been going on since July this...

A ‘Geopolitical’ EU Commission. Great Idea – But When?

By JONATHAN HOLSLAG* Shared challenges are supposed to give countries a powerful impetus to cooperate. In recent years it has often been argued that the increasing uncertainty 'surrounding'...

The Heart of the New Cold War

By ANDREW J. NATHAN For decades after US President Richard Nixon's historic trip to China, the West's engagement with the country was defined by core security and economic...

2020 US-Serbia-Kosovo agreement: New era of Serbia-US political and economi...

In Washington, on 4 September 2020, Serbia and Kosovo signed separate agreements with the United States on “economic normalization”. The agreements have no bearing on the existing dialogue...

Albanian Leader in Montenegro Wants Minorities in Government

By Samir Kajosevic Parties representing Montenegro’s national minorities must be part of the new government as the best way of protecting their national interests following a watershed August...

Is It Possible to Have a European Foreign Policy?

By Jean Dominique- Giuliani The speech given by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, was striking in the quality of its determination and proposals. Digital,...

Could We Found a New EU Without Hungary and Poland?

By Tom Theuns* On 9 September, a remarkable exchange took place in the Dutch parliament between prime minister Mark Rutte and Green-Left MP Bram van Ojik. Discussing attempts...

IFIMES: The EU should live up what it stands for: We might be all Hong Kong...

On 26 June 1963, the then-President of the United States John F. Kennedy delivered his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, underlining the support of the Free World for West...

Trump’s Kosovo Show: No Big Deal

Sloppy White House package does little to advance dialogue and comes at a high price By MAJDA RUGE* BERLIN — Despite the unpredictability that surrounded the negotiations, one...

2020 Eastern Mediterranean: New episode of political tensions

The Eastern Mediterranean region is currently experiencing a new cycle of tensions between Turkey and Greece, which belong to the same system and are members of the North...

Recognizing Kosovo Through Economic Cooperation

By Biagio Carrano* For Donald Trump, economic interests are the essence of politics and signing economic normalization agreements also implies the political normalization of the parties involved. The...

“URA” that Unites Albanians and Serbs in Montenegro

By Marjana DODA One week after the parliamentary elections in Montenegro, a nationalist fury has started against the Albanian "kingmaker" who has a "veto" for the formation of...

Most Dangerous Waters in the World Are in the Mediterranean

NATO is caught in a combustible mix of oil, Libyan arms and longstanding grievances between Greece and Turkey By James Stavridis* As a Greek-American who lived in Athens...

Solidarity Movement– or the Beginning of the End of Communism

By Karol Bachura Polish Ambassador “Solidarity” (Polish: Solidarność) Independent Self-governing Trade Union "Solidarity" was founded in August 1980 at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland. Subsequently, it was...

An Uncertain Future for the German-Russian Pipeline

Threats of sanctions from the U.S. have put a stop to the contruction of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. The multibillion-euro project...

Kosovo Needs German Help to Fulfil EU Potential

By ALUSH GASHI AND DAVID PHILLIPS* PRISTINA & NEW YORK - Germany has provided copious and critical support to Kosovo stability and state-building in recent decades. But in...

Belarus between EU imperialism and Russian occupation

In the Republic of Belarus, presidential elections were held on 9 August 2020. The current President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko is the winner of the presidential elections at which he...

George Floyds of Europe Also Can’t Breathe

By Momodou Malcolm Jallow* Europe is ethnically diverse: it always was and always will be. This is a good thing. With citizens whose ancestry is drawn from all...

2020 Parliamentary Elections in Montenegro: End of Milo Đukanović’s...

The upcoming elections, scheduled to take place on 30 August 2020, will be the eleventh parliamentary elections since introduction of a multi-party system and the fifth since Montenegro...

A SPY WORKING IN MALTA TO OVERTHROW HOXHA’S REGIME

From an article written by Lucy Moore for Mailonline and Niamh Walsh For the first time, Maeve de Burgh has given an extensive interview - and the Irish...

Drums of War Again, in Europe

Everybody used to call the White House when there was trouble in Europe. During the euro crisis, US president Barack Obama himself got involved several times. Now president...

25th anniversary of Operation Storm/ Scent of ‘Olive Branch’ in...

During the Croatian War of Independence which started in 1991 many Albanian volunteers took part in the fighting in defense of Croatia, and according to data provided by...

KOSOVA’S POLITICIANS HELPING BELGRADE

By Janusz Bugajski Politicians in Kosova have to put aside their partisan and legalistic disputes for the good of the nation and the survival of the state. With talks...

Please Take More Care of People’s Health!

By Mons. George Frendo I make this call driven by love for our people and interest in the common good. Aren't we worried about the terrible situation of...

Montengro’s Albanian Community Would Benefit the Whole Country

By Visar Xhambazi* Ongoing attempts by Montenegro’s Albanian community and wider diaspora to form a joint electoral list continue to prove unsuccessful. In 2016, various Albanian groups ran...

Kosovo and Serbia: An incomplete peace

By Professor Dr. Blerim Reka Talks between Kosovo and Serbia on a potential final peace agreement remains the hottest geopolitical issue in the Western Balkans. After two years...

Massacre Relived: Book Sheds New Light on a Kosovo Atrocity

A new book tells the stories of the survivors of the massacre in Krusha e Vogël/Mala Krusha on March 26, 1999 – when Serbian forces shot and burned...

From the Victory Day to Corona Disarray/ 75 years of Europe’s Collective ...

Legacy of antifascism for the common pan-European future* By Manfred Nowak The post WWII architecture is a strong and decisive reaction to the Great Depression, the rise of fascism,...

The ‘War of Civilizations’ Was Stopped in Turkey!

By Ibrahim Karagül   Three decades ago, immediately after the collapse of the Soviets, a new "enemy" was declared by the West. The Atlantic axis, which had been...

Would the Prophet Muhammad Convert Hagia Sophia?

Turkey’s decision to change the former cathedral into a mosque flies against the pluralist instincts of Islam’s founders.  By Mustafa Akyol* The recent decision by the Turkish government to...

A Land Swap Won’t Solve the Serbia-Kosovo Conundrum

By Ian Bancroft* The European Union is again taking the lead role in mediating between Serbia and Kosovo after a planned Washington meeting came to nothing - and...

Elections of Uncertainty in North Macedonia

Dr. Ioannis Armakolas* North Macedonia is going to general elections on July 15. Zoran Zaev’s centre-left SDSM and Hristijan Mickoski’s right-wing VMRO-DPMNE are set to compete for forming...

Will Libya be divided to East and West Libya?

The rapid development of events in Libya have led to the consent of the rebel general Khalifa Haftar[2]  to talks with the internationally recognized government in Tripoli. They would...

Parliamentary elections in North Macedonia 2020

International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) from Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses developments in the Middle East and the Balkans. On the occasion of the early...

“ A political and diplomatic Tsunami!

By Dr. Jorgji KOTE*  The indictment that the Special Prosecutor for Kosovo filed against  President Hashim Thaci, the former Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Veseli  and others has...

Hashim Thaci. Is he a Winston Churchill from the Balkans?

Hashim Thaci belongs to the charismatics of European politics. Some people praise him in the highest terms. Others want to see him behind bars as a war criminal....

Covid-19 Derails Germany’s EU Presidency Climate Focus

BERLIN - Expectations for climate protection were heaped onto 2020. The Paris Climate Convention means that Germany and its fellow signatories must sign up for higher climate targets...

Coronavirus Traces Found in March 2019 Sewage Sample, Spanish Study Shows

by Nathan Allen and Inti Landauro MADRID - Spanish virologists have found traces of the novel coronavirus in a sample of Barcelona waste water collected in March 2019,...

European Reconstruction: A Project Born of Uncertainty

The Franco-German proposal for a recovery fund sends a message of political realism.   by Dr. Antonia Colibasanu France and Germany on May 18 proposed a plan for...

The Triple Crisis Shaking the World

by Joschka Fischer More than just a public-health disaster, the COVID-19 pandemic is a history-defining event with far-reaching implications for the global distribution of wealth and power. With...

Venice Commission: An Opportunity to Move Forward

By Ambassador Yuri Kim This week, I had a chance to visit Kruja, the fortress of Albania’s hero, Skanderbeg. Facing attack after attack by the most formidable military...

Anatomy of a Kosovo Summit Catastrophe

The Trump administration is hosting Balkans leaders this week to culminate a peace process that’s gone wrong from the start. BY EDWARD P. JOSEPHIn March of this year, the...

Greece in the Balkans: Multiple Possibilities, Low Performance

By Dr. Ioannis Armakolas* Greece continues to ‘punch below its weight’ compared to both its potential and the expectations of its Balkan neighbors. Greek governments have systematically overestimated...

Sofia & Skopje Presidency Guided by “Deepening Vs Widening”/Region...

The joint presidency of the Berlin Process has discussed with the interested parties possible dates for the Summit to be held in Sofia, and indicative dates are 20...

Fryderyk Chopin – the Polish Composer and Patriot

On the eve of World Music Day By Karol Bachura Ambassador On the eve of World Music Day, the Polish Embassy, through joint efforts with the Municipality of...

Vladimir Putin: The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II

75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and our Future World War II ended in 1945 with the victory of the Soviet Union and its...

Serbia needs a strong government and continuation of initiated reforms 

At the upcoming elections, 250 deputies of the Republic of Serbia National Assembly (Parliament) will be elected under proportional representation system. The total number of eligible registered voters...

Iron Fist for Pacific East

 Dr. Stephen R. Nagy* “Americans performed three very different policies on the People’s Republic: From a total negation (and the Mao-time mutual annihilation assurances), to Nixon’s sudden cohabitation....

Albania: Public Information Becomes a Casualty of COVID-19

By Gentiola Madhi The pandemic officially reached Albania on 9 March, immediately followed by a two-months long lockdown with fierce restrictive measures, declaration of state of emergency (in...

Will Europe become the new destination for workers from the Gulf and Saudi ...

The oil-dependent member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are currently facing numerous challenges in the aftermath of two simultaneous global crises that have hit the global regional economies:...

Kosovo to Restart EU/US-led Serbia Talks

By ANDREW RETTMAN AND EKREM KRASNIQI BRUSSELS - Restarting talks on Serbia relations will be the new Kosovo prime minister's top priority, he said, but will the EU...

How the World Economic System Will Regenerate Itself

What now is the key concern worldwide are a “Covid-19-free world” and its social, economic, and financial repercussions, particularly their impact on the life of people.  Likewise the...

Implementation ofJustice Reform Must Go On in Albania

By Genoveva Ruiz Calavera* After years of hard work in building solid foundations for an independent, accountable and truly impartial judiciary in Albania, there is only one way...

Dodik and Đukanović destabilizing factors in Balkans and Europe?

The global crisis caused by the Covid-19 crisis has shown that the strongest countries were the most vulnerable and not ready to respond to the proliferation of the deadly virus....

White Paper on European Critical Health Infrastructure

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has highlighted the economic, social, political and structural weaknesses of the European Union. It has resulted not only in human tragedy, but also in political...

Reconstruct

By Jean-Dominique Giuliani* Most of the world's leaders have been pushed to take exceptional measures, shutting down the economy, social life and, in brackets, our freedoms. On the...

Merkel and Macron Find the Strength for Europe

By Peter Müller France and Germany have once again banded together for the greater good in Europe. Their show of unity was long overdue. When Emmanuel Macron talks about...

Serbia – scene of confrontation of intelligence services?

Regular parliamentary, provincial and local elections in Serbia were scheduled for 26 April 2020. However, due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the declaration of state of emergency...

Why Is Greece an Outlier in EU’s Covid-19 Response?

By MARIANTHI N HATZIGEORGIOU AND MINAKSHI RAJ As the 2008 economic crisis dominated headlines from late 2007 onward, several countries, including Greece, experienced drastic cuts to public health...

“Why We Are Only Macedonians and Nothing Else?”

By Dejan Azeski* Bulgarian historiography is decisive that before 1944 there was no Macedonian national feeling and that 99% of the Orthodox population on the territory of geographical...

Historical Disputes Threaten North Macedonia – Bulgaria Rapprochement

By Yorgos Christidis* Historically, Bulgaria’s policy on the Macedonian question has been characterized by abrupt changes that can be confusing. As after September 1944 when following its inclusion...

Trump Is Stirring Kosovo Chaos in Kosovo at the Worst Possible Time

BY MIECZYSLAW P. BODUSZYNSKI, VICTOR PESKIN The Trump administration has sown political turmoil in Kosovo at exactly the moment when stable governance is needed to face the COVID-19...

EU at Crossroads

The European Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights...

Anthony Fauci’s Quiet Coronavirus Rebellion

By Chris Cillizza  WASHINGTON - Dr. Anthony Fauci said something radical during his Senate testimony Tuesday on the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic. "I am very...