The Balkans and the European Union

"There used to be a strong military presence here, Bulgarian missiles pointed at NATO's southern flank, pointed at Greece, in this area. Now we're building pipelines and ports," Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov told his Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras, during the latter's recent visit just over the northern border to Bulgaria, when they inaugurated the construction of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria pipeline (IGB).

The Bulgarian leader was right, and it was an astute example he chose to underline the role that the European Union has played in eradicating animosity and promoting peaceful coexistence under the umbrella of the postwar European order between two historic enemies. The Greek-Bulgarian border did indeed personify the hate and suspicion between the two nations during the Cold War, both armed like lobsters and members of rival strategic alliances: SS-19...

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