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  • Author: Christine Hübner, Jan Eichhorn, Luuk Molthof, Srđan Cvijić
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: France is one of the European countries with the highest rates of popular disapproval of countries in the Western Balkans joining the European Union. What is this disapproval based on, and how important is the issue of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans for people in France? Using a combination of 2020 survey data representative of the adult French population and in-depth focus groups with French voters, this report offers a comprehensive insight into the views of the French on whether or not the countries of the Western Balkans should join the European Union.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, European Union, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: In January 2019, Macedonia’s parliament approved, by a two-thirds majority, a constitutional amendment to change the country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia. While this represented a major step toward North Macedonia’s ultimate goal of establishing a durable, stable democracy, the name change must still be endorsed by Greece’s parliament before it can go into full effect. But as a new report from the Open Society European Policy Institute shows, a newly-named North Macedonia would still face significant challenges—and opportunities. North Macedonia: What’s Next? examines the 2018 Prespa Agreement between neighboring Greece and North Macedonia, which laid out agreed upon conditions for resolving the longstanding dispute over Macedonia’s name, and what it means for the larger project of integrating the countries in the Western Balkans more fully into the political and economic systems of Europe, the British Isles, and the United States. The report further explores how key players—such as the European Union, NATO, Russia, other Western Balkans states—approach the Prespa Agreement, explains the significance of the name change in larger geopolitical terms, and offers insight into possible scenarios for the final resolution of this fraught and lengthy conflict.
  • Topic: NATO, Democratization, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Democracy, Constitution, Nation-State
  • Political Geography: Balkans, Macedonia, North Macedonia
  • Author: Srđan Cvijić, Marie Jelenka Kirchner, Iskra Kirova, Zoran Nechev
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: The need for the European Union’s involvement in the Western Balkans, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine has never been more acute. The European Commission’s structures are not up to the job. A new approach is needed to respond to the realities on the ground and in member states. The European Union needs to boost the tools of the European Commission to move the process on from enlargement and move decisively towards the unification of Europe. This means creating a directorate general that would have the resources to drive forward the accession process with the Western Balkans countries and the ambitious trade and reform agenda in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. A new directorate general Europe could play this role.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Europe Union, Trade, Economic Integration
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Balkans