AriRusila's Conflicts

Archives for EU enlargement

“If the Balkans find that too many obstacles are strewn about the road to Brussels, they may well be tempted to set out on the shorter road to Istanbul” (Misha Glenny, Balkan political analyst) Practically the Eastern EU enlargement for the moment is stopped. Croatia’s membership is a bit delayed, Turkey’s EU bid is dead… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

”Young people, they are starting to think that ethnic divisions are normal … if something doesn’t happen to change this, there will be no change.” (Emin Mahmutovic, civic activist) Despite international community’s state building efforts in Bosnia the country is splitting parts Since war 15 years ago foreign aid has exceed USD 80 bn for… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

Croatians voted for Change

The last election in Croatia can bring a refreshing change with new President Ivo Josipovic – a university law professor and a composer of classical music – but he will find a much tougher struggle ahead of him. This struggle not only due economical problems (national debt and unemployment) but also problems related to Croatia’s… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

Serbia on the road to EU

Serbia’s application to join the EU was finally made before X-mas. Early December EU foreign ministers agreed to unblock Serbia’s interim trade agreement, which is part of Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA). Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro have been approved by EU for visa-free travel within the EU Schengen area from January 2010. (More in my… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

First, a few quotes that relate to selection of EU’s top officials: Turkey is not a part of Europe and will never be part of Europe. (Mr Van Rompuy) If the point of the Lisbon Treaty was to create a more prominent face for Europe, the result on Thursday was the opposite. It appeared to… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

As Lisbon Treaty seems to come into force also the enlargement process in the Western Balkans got new boost. On 14 October 2009 the Commission adopted its annual strategy document explaining its policy on EU enlargement.The document includes also a summary of the progress made over the last twelve months by each candidate and potential… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

The “European perspective” is key concept for integrating western Balkans into EU. The main carrot for ordinary people during this millennium has been visa-free travel after some 17 years of isolation. On 15th July 2009, the European Commission submitted its proposal on visa-free travel for citizens of Western Balkans countries. After a non-binding opinion of… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

Twitter revolution did not change government in Moldova but created big drama instead including a couple of conspiracy theories and “fast-track” mini enlargement of EU with one million new EU citizens while same time Moldova possibly losing a quarter its citizens. So a relatively small improvised demonstration can lead its (mis)use for possible purposeful utilization… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

George Ivanov from the main ruling VMRO DPMNE party maintains a lead according to early results from (FYRO) Macedonia’s (later Macedonia) Presidential election although he is likely to face a run-off vote in two weeks time; then his challenger will be Ljubomir Frckoski from the Social Democrats. Macedonia could have a “Snow White Election”, the… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

While my special interests are laying in Balkans I keep an eye on Northern Black Sea – Caucasus, Ukraine and Bessarabia. Events there sure have their impact also in Balkans – if not direct so at least through their geopolitical, security or economical consequences. Today’s Caucasus with its surrounding regions is a frontline of power… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila