In some of the countries of the Western Balkans, criminal groups and political elites have grown increasingly interdependent. In particular, Serbia’s and Montenegro’s societies have suffered the most from these links. The two countries have long been considered frontrunners in the EU integration process, whose final completion, however, is difficult to foresee. Similarly, Albania’s EU negotiating process has also been delayed for years, in part because of the country's role in global drug trafficking schemes.
The fall of Slobodan Milosevic on October 5th 2000 was supposed to be watershed moment in Serbia’s democratic transition. Reforms were implemented slowly and not without resistance. Over the last decade, however, the new regime led by the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) has done its best to discontinue and reverse institution-building efforts of its democratic predecessors. The young party rode on the promise of fighting corruption and organized crime, thus gaining unprecedented popular support, but its bombastic measures came short of actual results.
All Western Balkan countries have, at least officially, committed to joining the European Union and promised to fight organized crime head-on, as one of the priority areas during their accession talks. The European Commission’s Country Reports have repeated ad nauseam that the key focus should be on having a track record in prosecuting organized crime with final convictions.
Una ripresa post-pandemica sostenibile richiede un ripensamento dei piani di investimento dei governi. Per superare le sfide servirà una visione a lungo termine.
The Balkans, which lie at the heart of South-Eastern Europe, have historically been an important transit route for drugs, especially for heroin coming from the East to be trafficked across Europe.
The German elections are just around the corner. After Angela Merkel’s 16-year-long reign, Germany seems to be heading towards a three-way coalition with the Social Democrats as the senior partner.
Will the new government support a swift, green and digital transition? Between Washington and Beijing, what changes for Berlin’s foreign policy? Will austerity make a comeback in Germany and the EU? And which prospects for German relations with Italy and France?
At the heart of the European project, the Franco-German tandem provides impetus for further integration within the EU. However, Brussels is yet to decide which direction it wants to take, and the French and Germans still have to agree on their position with regards to economics, foreign affairs, or enlargement. The geopolitical context provides a call for action for an EU which endeavours to become increasingly “geopolitical” and aims at “speaking the language of power”. How can the French and Germans cooperate, and which hurdles are they going to face?
The Germans did not pay much attention to this year’s election campaign until early September. The consequences of the pandemic, July’s devastating floods, and the dramatic collapse of Afghanistan dominated discussions in the media and among the public. But the 26th of September is now just around the corner and the race for the Chancellery has been in full motion in the last weeks.
For 16 years, Angela Merkel has shaped the dynamics of the EU, more so than any other European head of state. This was not only due to Germany’s economic and political leverage, but very much due to her as a person, too. Stoic, pragmatic and with a lot of patience, she was often able to mediate between different claims and interests and to position herself as a central figure when it came to negotiating workable compromises.
Thanks to the successful adoption of the UN Open Ended Working Group (OEWG)’s final report in March and the conclusion of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE)’s final report at the end of May, scholars, experts, and diplomats are rightfully rejoicing. Multilateralism is alive and kicking, especially around sensitive issues such as cyber ones.
Nonostante i Talebani stiano bloccando le partenze della popolazione, è molto probabile che l’Afghanistan andrà incontro a nuovi esodi di massa. I paesi europei, come sempre, sono divisi sull’accoglienza dei profughi.