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Europe under test in 2022

We are entering 2022 with the feeling that we have narrowly escaped a shipwreck and are now clinging to a piece of wood – knowing that new waves of the virus may come with their retinue of implications, and looking for references to know in which direction to swim. To set the direction to take, […]

The EU-Western Balkans summit: is there any hope?

The EU-Western Balkans summit in Slovenia on 6 October ended with a renewed sense of heightened impatience with the blockages in the accession processes of the six candidate countries. There is an urgent need for the economic and investment plan, that was proposed exactly one year ago, to materialise – especially as it is a […]

The EU should enlarge to the Western Balkans now

The EU needs a new policy towards the Western Balkans. It should enlarge to all countries of the region now if it wants to prevent other powers from taking advantage. Left without a concrete prospect of joining the EU, the countries of the Western Balkans are becoming less European and less democratic. The European Union […]

Role model no more

To mark the start of the six-month EU Council presidency of Slovenia, a grandiose musical and ballet performance was arranged on Lake Bled. This reminded me of my own very first visit to Slovenia, which was also linked to music, though with a much more modest profile. As an unassuming clarinet player in the wind […]

Fixing the ethics of enlargement

The EU’s current approach to enlargement reflects ethical positions that are seemingly promoting a utilitarian, meritocratic and deontological understanding of European integration. But what if the flaws the EU and Western Balkans currently face in their relationship had to do with more these ethics of enlargement than the accession methodology itself? We Europeans take pride […]

Elections in Lithuania: an anti-populist turn?

Lithuania, like many other countries in East-Central Europe, is on a borderline between a so-called limited-access system marked by a hybrid or authoritarian type of rule and an open-access system characterised by vibrant civil society, universalist ethic values and strong democratic institutions The legislative election in October 2020 has been a litmus test indicating which […]

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