Reuniting Europe

Archives for Enlargement & Neighbours

I don’t think that Felipe Gonzalez, chairman of the ‘Future of Europe’ reflection group, reads my blog, but I had challenged him and the other “wise men” not to neglect the place of Turkey in their report. Now it turns out that there is only one accession country mentioned by name, and the country is… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Iceland not in Europe?

From a scientific point of view, Iceland is not part of the European Continent, as it is not part of its continental shelf. By the way, Cyprus is not part of the continental shelf of Europe either. But is Iceland in Europe or not? Frankly, until a few days ago, I was a bit confused… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

“We are so focused on the quality of Croatia’s accession negotiations that speculation about an eventual monitoring mechanism does not have any place and I take my responsibilities very seriously in this regard. I am not in the business of running an accession process that requires such a mechanism,” Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Štefan… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

I was quite impressed by the speech of Parliament President Jerzy Buzek at the EU summit yesterday (25 March). Buzek spoke quite clearly as of behalf of Eastern Europe, on at least two topics: the need to promote cohesion in the Europe 2020 strategy, and the urge for a geographic balance in the European External… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Who defeated communism?

A high official from the European People’s Party said yesterday that his party alone defeated communism, while other parties were ‘blind’. I have a lot of consideration for the role of European Christian Democracy during the Cold War, but I think many actors contributed to the fall of the Berlin wall. I also hope that… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

This question was recently raised at round tables held in Paris and Berlin. My short answer is no. Bulgaria and Romania are countries with a more difficult transition, but keeping them out for longer would have been a worse choice. I didn’t say a worst mistake. Let’s not forget that Sofia and Bucharest were promised… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

The Dutch extreme-right Freedom Party, led by controversial anti-Islamist Geert Wilders, looks set to make large electoral gains at the upcoming general election in the Netherlands. And it could well become part of the next government coalition. Even the outgoing government of Jan Peter Balkenende was creating enough obstacles for further enlargement. Dutch opposition to… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

I find it weird. Yanukovich, whom the Western press tagged as pro-Russian, is reportedly getting more support from Brussels compared to his pro-NATO predecessor Yushchenko. In any case, this is a good development, as I see it. the EU has to be more explicit on what it can offer to Ukraine. And if Russia raises… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Bulgarian agriculture minister Miroslav Naydenov described the ‘swaps’ as “the biggest theft” in Bulgaria’s tormented transition from communism to a market economy. I agree with him. Under the so-called ‘swaps’, local authorities authorise the exchange of privately-owned low-rated land with state-owned parcels located in the most attractive tourist locations. Those who benefited from the scheme… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Yanukovich appears to have won, not least because outgoing president Yuschenko played his cards against Tymoschenko. I prefer to call those players by their names, instead of adding ‘tags’ to them. The Western coverage of the Ukraine elections appears rather simplistic, with Tymoshenko portrayed as strongly pro-European and Yanukovich – as a Kremlin puppet. I… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev