Week In Review: Harnessing Outrage in the Balkans

All Is Not Lost

The recent French veto on the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia set off a deluge of analyses and expert opinions, most of which focused on how damaging the move would be to reformist efforts in the region, as well as EU credibility. Others wondered whether enlargement itself was dead?

Yet, in his op-ed for Balkan Insight, Djordje Bojovic strikes a more upbeat tone. All is not lost. The French veto has once again placed the spotlight on the issue of enlargement, after the years that it had spent in the wilderness. It has also consolidated a pro-Balkans and pro-enlargement block within the EU. Supporters of enlargement, inside and outside the EU, must now harness this unexpected momentum to renew enlargement. French ideas for reforming the process are to be welcomed - as well as being a good way to call Macron's bluff.

Read more: Harness the Outrage Triggered by Macron's Enlargement Veto (November 13, 2019)

Scenting Victory

A Romanian woman checks her bag as she passes a campaign billboard of Romanian acting president Klaus Iohannis, in central Bucharest, Romania, 11 September 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis secured a fairly comfortable lead position in the first round of the Presidential elections held on November 10. While Iohannis won 37.49% of the votes according to preliminary results, his main challenger, former Prime Minister Viorica Dancila won 22.69% of votes cast.

With less than two weeks to go until the second round, we analyse the chances of the respective candidates. Iohannis was always the favourite in this race, and with Dancila as his sparring partner in the second round, there...

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