Balancing between East and West: can Serbia benefit from a flexible foreign policy?
There are growing doubts about the region’s European perspective following a series of postponements in the opening of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia and the announcement of reforms of the enlargement methodology. Although Montenegro and Serbia are forerunners in the process, membership is still a long way off, especially after EU member states largely dismissed the 2025 membership perspective. This has resulted in a weakening of the EU’s gravitational force in the region, allowing space for other global and regional powers. The increase in economic cooperation between Serbia and China, as well as Serbia’s signing of a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, has made this especially clear. We discussed these issues with our guest, ambassador Duško Lopandić, CEP Council member. This episode coincides with the publishing of annual ranking of top think tanks worldwide by The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program by the University of Pennsylvania, where CEP regularly finds their place. CEP is ranked as the best think tank in the WB and among the top ten in Central and Eastern Europe.
Strict, fair & committed – the Dutch Approach to the Enlargement
In this episode, we speak about the Dutch approach to the accession of the Western Balkans in the European Union, the European Commission’s proposal for a revised accession methodology, proposal for participation of the Western Balkans at the Conference on the Future of Europe and what it’s like to make and maintain friendships when you’re a diplomat. Our guest is H.E. Gilles Beschoor Plug, the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Serbia and to Montenegro.
Behind the French “non”: Discussing the French proposals for reformed EU enlargement process
EU enlargement policy has returned to the spotlight in Brussels. France is mostly to blame, or to thank for this, firstly for yet another postponement of the start of North Macedonia and Albania's accession negotiations, and secondly for its latest initiative to reform the EU’s enlargement policy towards the Western Balkans. Our guest is His Excellency Jean-Louis Falconi, the Ambassador of France to Serbia.