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Fri, Apr 3, 2020

COVID-19 in the Western Balkans

COVID-19 overshadowed two major developments in the region: the EU decision to open membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania, as well as North Macedonia’s formal accession to NATO on March 27. In normal circumstances, this would have been huge news. Yet now the pandemic leaves little bandwidth for other matters, even in the Western Balkans.

New Atlanticist by Dimitar Bechev

Democratic Transitions Elections

Fri, Apr 3, 2020

Can coronavirus achieve elusive unity in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Their initial response to the COVID-19 outbreak shows that even the staunchest opponents of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s unity are capable of working within its institutions and putting the public interest before their ethno-political ambitions. Now they only need to be willing to do so outside of the threat of a global pandemic.

New Atlanticist by Semir Dzebo and Shelby Magid

Coronavirus Politics & Diplomacy

Thu, Apr 2, 2020

Forging the Four Freedoms Initiative for prosperity and peace in the Balkans

To demonstrate their readiness to fulfill the responsibilities associated with full-fledged membership in the world’s largest common market, the countries of the region launched the Western Balkans Four Freedoms Initiative to bring down barriers to intra-regional trade, travel, and labor movement. While not identical to Roosevelt’s plans, this project seeks to ensure the same outcome of peace and prosperity through liberty, opportunity, and growth.

New Atlanticist by Marko Čadež

International Markets Macroeconomics

Thu, Mar 26, 2020

EU greenlights North Macedonia and Albania membership talks: Breakthrough or symbolic gesture?

"The decision by the EU foreign ministers to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania comes at a time when Europe is battling a major public health crisis and is bracing for its economic aftershocks," Dimitar Bechev says. "Keeping enlargement alive speaks volumes about the union’s ability to muddle through."

New Atlanticist by Jörn Fleck

Democratic Transitions European Union

Mon, Mar 23, 2020

Last time in the waiting room for North Macedonia?

While there may still be a day or two before written EU conclusions seal the political deal, the government of North Macedonia looks forward to the end of this waiting period and the beginning of the rest of its story. With so much gloom in the world right now, it would be an extremely welcome two weeks in Skopje.

New Atlanticist by Teri Schultz

European Union The Balkans

Thu, Mar 19, 2020

Ambassadors call for global cooperation to meet coronavirus challenge

While societies around the world struggle to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), political leaders must continue to collaborate on solutions to mitigate the public health and economic effects of the virus.

New Atlanticist by David A. Wemer

Coronavirus East Asia

Thu, Mar 19, 2020

Atlantic Council press call: Unity among allies in the fight against the coronavirus

As the global community ramps up efforts to counter the rapid spread of the coronavirus, the United States and its allies and partners are taking extraordinary steps to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic. As these measures are put into effect, widescale quarantines are disrupting life for millions, the economy is facing its greatest challenge in over a decade, and longstanding geopolitical relationships are in the spotlight. How can the United States and its closest allies work together most effectively to combat this growing crisis? What lessons can we learn from countries at the leading edge of this fight in order to reduce the toll among our citizens and those of our closest friends? Ambassador Armando Varricchio, Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis, and Barry Pavel unpack these questions and discuss the latest on the ground in Europe and Singapore.

Press and members call

Europe & Eurasia European Union

Wed, Feb 19, 2020

TurkStream is South Stream 2.0—has the EU done its homework this time?

Flying largely under the radar, progress on the TurkStream pipeline has been met with little attention. This is quite unjust, as the project is a key piece of Gazprom’s future supply strategy.

EnergySource by Martin Jirušek

Energy Markets & Governance Geopolitics & Energy Security

Wed, Feb 19, 2020

Challenges and opportunities for Croatia’s new president

Croatia’s new president Zoran Milanovic entered office on February 18 with a legacy to build upon and several challenges to overcome. Over the last fifteen years, Croatia has made remarkable progress as a democratic state, joining NATO in 2009 and the European Union (EU) in 2013. Even so, the uncertain future of European integration, uneven economic development, and malign foreign influence present challenges for Croatia and the Balkans region. The United States, other EU members, and NATO allies have a role to play in supporting Croatia’s efforts to tackle these challenges.

New Atlanticist by Claudia Vaughn Zittle

Economy & Business Elections

Tue, Feb 18, 2020

Spain’s position on Venezuela jeopardizes unified fight for democracy

Support shown to the Maduro regime on ideological grounds serves to fuel further polarization, not only in Venezuela, but around the world. Whatever the nature of the relationship between the Maduro regime and Podemos, or ideological commonalities between the two, lending diplomatic support for Maduro is commending a dictatorship.

New Atlanticist by Cristina Guevara

Democratic Transitions Southern & Southeastern Europe