Week in Review: High Hopes and High Disappointments
Rebooting the System
The European union flag flies over the apostolic palace during visit of the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis, Vatican City, 22 May 2021. EPA-EFE/FABIO FRUSTACI
With EU enlargement stuck in a rut in the Western Balkans, the EU seems to have willingly deprived itself of its most effective soft power tool outside its borders. But can the Union influence events in its backyard without the (credible) promise of enlargement?
For Vesko Garcevic, a former Montenegrin ambassador to NATO, the answer is a clear - no. In his opinion piece for Balkan Insight, Garcevic attempts to 'think outside the box' in an effort to come up with ways to reboot enlargement.
Read more: Brussels Must Revive its Weakened 'Power Currency' in Balkans (May 28, 2021)
The New Guy
Christian Social Union (CSU) makes a speech during a session of the German parliament 'Bundestag' in Berlin. Photo: EPA-EFE/HAYOUNG JEON
A new era of sorts is dawning in Bosnia. After twelve years, the mandate of the longest serving yet least impactful High Representative in the country, Valentin Inzko, has come to an end. He will be replaced by Christian Schmidt, a former German Minister of Food and Agriculture.
Rumours of the new appointment have come and gone since last December. The appointment has now finally been pushed through, albeit against the wishes of Russia. In his opinion piece for Balkan Insight, Jasmin Mujanovic takes stock of the potential ramifications of this appointment and what might lie behind it.
Read more: Bosnia's EUFOR Mission Endangered by Russia-West Row over New Overseer (June 1, 2021)