Expecting the Unexpected

Hidden Advantage?

The news that Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell had been nominated to replace Federica Mogherini as the EU's Foreign Policy High Representative has attracted more attention in the Balkans than any other nomination for senior EU positions. In the never-ending game of one-upmanship between Kosovo and Serbia, Belgrade was quietly rubbing its hands while Pristina was wringing its wrists due to the fact that Borrell hails from a country firmly rejecting Kosovo's independence.

Quite how Borrell will juggle Spain's own position over Kosovo with the need to lead the EU's efforts to mediate a resolution in the dispute between Belgrade and Pristina remains to be seen. It will certainly not be easy. Yet unlike the simplistic analyses in the region which see his appointment as a boost for Serbia and a blow to Kosovo, our own, more nuanced analysis suggests that all of this could work to Borrell's advantage in breaking the deadlocked state of the current negotiations.

Read more: Spanish EU Foreign Policy Chief May Break Kosovo Deadlock (July 5, 2019)

Fruits of Labour

Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev [r] and vice Prime Minister in charge of economy, Koco Angjushev [r] attend a ground breaking ceremony at the economic zone near Skopje. Photo: economy.gov.mk

A little over a year after the signing of the Prespa Agreement which resolved the Greek-Macedonian name dispute and half way into the mandate of the current reforming North Macedonian government, Skopje seems to be reaping the first economic benefits of the increased stability. While economic growth may be recovering, economic experts say the government could do a lot more to speed it along. It will certainly need...

Continue reading on: