Week in Review: Push and Pull

Cooperation Conflicts

The West Balkan countries' flags at a Western Balkan Conference in the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, April 29, 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE/MIKA SCHMIDT / POOL

Regional cooperation has always been a complex minefield to navigate in South-East Europe. Indeed, while regional cooperation has often been in short supply, there has never been a shortage of regional cooperation ideas, initiatives, frameworks and processes.

Much the same can be said of the current state of affairs. Different regional cooperation initiatives proliferate and - ironically - often become a point of contention - rather than cooperation in and of themselves. Our analysis looks at the current state of play, particularly with regard to the 'Berlin Process' and 'Open Balkans' initiative.

Read more: Competition or Complement? Calls to Restart Berlin Process Revive Balkan Dilemma (May 20, 2022)

Useful Destination

Dubai Marina Skyline. Photo: Unsplash/Kevin JD.

Dubai and the United Arab Emirates have been a land of opportunity for people from many walks of life for some time. Only a flight away from most Balkan capitals, the UAE is not nearly as 'distant' as it once was.

Organized crime, it turns out, is also exploiting this new frontier of opportunity. One of our investigations this week looks at how Albanian organized crime figures are finding refuge in Dubai, knowing that their home country will struggle to secure extradition.

Read more: Destination Dubai: Albanian Criminals Find Safe Haven in UAE (May 25, 2022)

An Old Debate

Illustration: BIRN

In 2017, North Macedonia's Government abolished state advertising in the country's media. The move came after years of...

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