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  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: In the Spring of 1991 Mette Skak, a Danish political scientist, and the author of this article, discussed in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridsky” during a BulgarianDanish conference the possibilities of building a security community in the Balkans – in a similar way as it has been created in the Nordic region of Europe and in the territory covered by NATO and then European Community (EC). The core idea of this concept, elaborated during the 1960s by the American political scholar Karl Deutsch, was to get rid of war as a method of solving conflicting interests between states. It is unthinkable and inapplicable for the member countries of the security community to use force in case of a dispute among them. Of course, certain preconditions are to be met by the participating states and key among them is compatibility of the values of the societies and the states in the group. The discussion led to naming this idea of the two scholars as ‘political science fiction’. To some extent this assessment was true – the wars in a dissolving Yugoslavia had not yet started, the former federation has been lured by the EC, USA and still existing USSR to preserve at any cost its integrity, the animosities of the Cold War Balkan international relations were still persisting, the national democratic transformations in the former totalitarian states were just beginning to toddle.
  • Topic: NATO, Regional Cooperation, International Security, Military Affairs, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Bulgaria, Balkans, Southeast Europe
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The first reflection about the geopolitical environment that Bulgaria faced after the tectonic systemic shifts in the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century thirty years later is that the efforts of the country to influence the transformation of the Balkans into a regional security community were successful. The second reflection is that Bulgaria was not able to influence effectively a similar development in the Black Sea area. Both the Balkans and the Caspian Sea-Caucasus- Black Sea area were conflictual knots of relations inherited from the Cold War divide. While the traditional European great powers that polarized the Balkan system of international relations pushing the small countries one against the other and the United States had the strategic interest of pacifying the South Eastern region of Europe, the dominating great power in the Black Sea area – Russia, aimed at preserving the opportunities of coming back to the territories that the Soviet Union lost after its collapse by preserving various degrees of conflictness in the neighbouring countries. Depending on the general condition of the Russian economy and state as well as its domestic political status different opportunities were either designed or just used to preserve the profile of Russia of the empire that sooner or later will be back. What are, in this regard, the perceptions in Bulgaria of the annexation of Crimea?
  • Topic: Security, International Security, Geopolitics, Conflict, Empire
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Caspian Sea
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: 70 years ago Bulgaria and the Peope’s Republic of China (PRC) established diplomatic relations. As a small country we are proud to be among the first that recognized the new great state and to have a record of long and constructive relations throughout this period. Despite the differences in the socio-political systems the bilateral relations of our countries are at its peak. The PRC is a key partner of both Bulgaria and the European Union (EU), to which my country belongs. I am personally grateful to the organizers of the high-level symposium for this first visit of mine to understand the sagacity of a Chinese proverb, I paraphraze, it is better to see something once than read about it one hundred times. China proved – and this is a lesson for all, that direct copying of experience and models of development of other countries may lead to nowhere. A methodological lesson in statecraft given by China from the end of the 70s of the last century till nowdays is that thinking big and whole while recognizing the truth in the facts of life, opening to the rest of the world and persistently reforming in a strategically chosen direction is the right way to success. The ability to take the best from the experience and wisdom of the past, sincerely seeking to share the achievements of mankind is a Chinese accomplishment that deserves to be studied by present and future politicians, including in my part of the world.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Bulgaria