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AssessmentsSep 4, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Why Efforts to Build Bridges Could Threaten Peace in the Western Balkans
Just under the surface of the relative calm that has endured in the Western Balkans over the past decade, ethnic tensions and nationalistic fervor continue to bubble. In the final months of 2018, the region's peace will be tested in negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo as they work to normalize their relationship, especially by a controversial idea for swapping territory that could have destabilizing effects in the region. Meanwhile a referendum on officially changing Macedonia's name in an effort to put a long-running dispute with Greece to rest could stir up nationalist sentiment and political opposition in both countries.
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AssessmentsAug 9, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
Among the states in the second tier of Russia's hybrid warfare target set, the Baltics have proved the most vulnerable to Moscow's methods.
Russia Eyes Europe's Vulnerable Edges
The shadow of a great power looms largest over its neighbors. But that doesn't mean countries nearby don't feel its presence, too. The nations along Europe's periphery -- the Baltics, the Balkans and Central and Southern Europe -- are acutely aware of this reality. At the fringes of the Continental core, these states are ripe for manipulation as Russia seeks to prevent the expansion of and sow discord within the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, particularly over issues such as sanctions and military buildups.
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SnapshotsJul 11, 2017 | 09:30 GMT
Europe: Nations Courted With Funds and Promises in Show of Soft Power
When the leaders of Albania, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo sit down with EU leaders in Italy on July 12, the agenda will be familiar. The summit is the fourth in a series of annual get-togethers known as the Berlin Process, and its goal is to strengthen economic ties between the European Union and the Western Balkans, as well as among the countries of the Western Balkans themselves.
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Quarterly ForecastsApr 10, 2017 | 11:42 GMT
Trade will be at the forefront of many leaders' minds this quarter.
2017 Second-Quarter Forecast
Trade will be at the forefront of many leaders' minds this quarter as a new U.S. administration settles into the White House. Uncertainty surrounding the White House's intentions will linger, prompting the United States' biggest trade partners to look for new economic relationships elsewhere. Some will leverage security cooperation and promises of investment to get on Washington's good side -- or, at the very least, to try to fend off its punitive action.
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AssessmentsMar 28, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
In January, conflict almost erupted in the Balkans after the Kosovar government dispatched special police forces to stop a Serbian train headed into Kosovo's majority-Serb northern territory, emblazoned with the slogan "Kosovo is Serbia" in 21 languages.
Russia Stirs the Hornet's Nest
Today, as the European Union's divisions deepen and uncertainty prevails among NATO, Moscow has turned its focus to the Balkans once more. The region's stability has been such a hot topic in Russian President Vladimir Putin's meetings with the Kremlin Security Council this year that the council's chief even said it was a top priority for Moscow. Incidents of Russia's meddling in the Balkans have been on the rise, meanwhile, raising questions about whether it will the next theater in Moscow's struggle against Western power and unity. After all, stoking tensions in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia offers the Russian government a convenient means to increase its influence and further distract the West.
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Quarterly ForecastsOct 10, 2016 | 00:09 GMT
If the study of geopolitics focuses on the structural forces shaping the international system, then domestic elections only rarely matter. Leaders tend to bend to their environment, not the other way around. And yet in the final months of 2016 the United States, still the world's only superpower, will choose a president in an election that will shape U.S. foreign policy more than usual.
2016 Fourth-Quarter Forecast
If the study of geopolitics focuses on the structural forces shaping the international system, then domestic elections only rarely matter. Leaders tend to bend to their environment, not the other way around. And yet in the final months of 2016 the United States, still the world's only superpower, will choose a president in an election that will shape U.S. foreign policy more than usual.
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AssessmentsSep 22, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
A Referendum to Reheat Bosnia's Frozen Conflict
A Referendum to Reheat Bosnia's Frozen Conflict
Two decades after the end of the Bosnian war, tensions in the country are once again on the rise. In Republika Srpska, one of Bosnia-Herzegovina's constituent substates, the government has scheduled a referendum on whether to continue observing its Statehood Day on Jan. 9. Even though a Bosnian court outlawed the vote, Republika Srpska plans to forge ahead. Although on the surface the Sept. 25 vote appears to concern a relatively minor issue, it illustrates that in the more than 20 years since the war's end, Bosnia's conflicts have not been resolved but merely frozen.
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AssessmentsApr 11, 2016 | 09:30 GMT
Serbian members of parliament attend the National assembly during of a parliamentary session in Belgrade on July 26, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/GettyImages)
In Serbian Politics, Current Problems Hail From the Past
Serbia will hold parliamentary elections April 24, but they will do little to change the country's domestic and foreign policy. According to opinion polls, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic's Serbian Progressive Party will be re-elected, an outcome of which Vucic is fairly confident. In fact, parliamentary elections were not due until 2018, but Vucic called for early elections to consolidate his party's position in parliament. Opinion polls also show that nationalist parties will perform relatively well, which is a reminder of Serbia's complex political landscape. Regardless, the next government in Belgrade will have to operate within Serbia's traditional geopolitical constraints.
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AssessmentsNov 16, 2015 | 10:34 GMT
Has the Dayton Accord Run Its Course?
Bosnian politicians and foreign officials agree that the Dayton Agreement has run its course, but they cannot agree on how to modify or replace it. The inability to find a replacement means Bosnia's political and ethnic divisions will persist, hampering the economy and furthering those divisions. The European Union's waning influence in Bosnia will prevent Brussels from putting the brakes on this trend.
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