Democratization through Integration?

The accession to the EU is an indisputable sign of establishing democratic governance, but the problem is that some of the Central and Eastern European countries that are already considered consolidated are showing signs of retreat. [...]

How and Why Did the Laggards Turn Out to Be the Forerunners of a Major Transformation in the EU’s Integration Strategy?

How and Why?

The multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 – the political message for the future of the European Union

              An article in the latest issue of Diplomacy Magazine by Prof. Ingrid Shikova, MFF 2021-2027 - The Political Message for the Future of the European Union. Proceed to the magazine here:

Conference proceedings with the reports of the Fifth International Conference of the European Studies Department, “United We Stand Strong”

              The Conference proceedings “United We Stand Strong” presents the reports of the Fifth International Conference of the European Studies Department, which took place in Sofia on 31st May – 1st June 2018, organized within the framework of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, with the support of Erasmus+ Programme. The four sections in the conference proceedings correspond to the four round tables within which the lecturers and researchers presented their reports: “The Future of the European Union and the Young People – Economic Growth and Social Cohesion?”, “European Perspective for the Western Balkans”, “Security and Stability in a United Europe”, and last but not least, “The Lessons Learnt: Enlargement, Communication, Rotating Presidency”. What future should we choose for Europe, how should we continue together, what decisions should we take, what concrete steps should we make in order to be united and strong? These were only some of the questions to which university lecturers, experts and students were searching for an answer in the discussions. In the fifth edition of the conference the presentations were organised as round tables, which gave the opportunity for a livelier debate and exchange of ideas between the panelists and the rest of the participants. The Conference Proceedings presents the reports of the lecturers from leading universities in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Montenegro, Turkey, Macedonia and Bulgaria. The publication is supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and was accomplished thanks to the support of “Hanns Seidel” Foundation and the kind hosting of the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria for holding the conference. United We Stand Strong

Has the EU’s Eastern Enlargement Brought Europe Together?

The research project “Maximizing the integration capacity of the European Union: Lessons and prospects for enlargement and beyond” (MAXCAP) aims to assess the process of EU’s Eastern Enlargement. The leading notion of the 9 renowned European universities and expert organizations is that the assessment of EU’s approach towards the integration of the countries of the Eastern Enlargement has the potential to inform the current enlargement process, including Western Balkan countries and Turkey, who aim at EU accession. This multifaceted assessment can help build a foundation for policy recommendations to improve the integration capacity of the EU in the future. By presenting the research findings as well as opinions and discussions from the international seminar in Sofia, this publication is a continuation of the productive dialogue among academic circles and institutions, which is at the heart of the MAXCAP project. The approaches towards future EU enlargements have to be sensitive to the diverse trajectories of the societies of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, which are not necessarily only negative, as the debate in Sofia has shown. This calls for innovative research instruments which can register the specificities in the different national cases, including public attitudes towards integration. The texts in this publication are primarily aimed at the solution of this methodological task.


European Perspective for the Western Balkans

Prof. Ingrid Shikova delivered a lecture on topical issues of the European Union to the Regional Academy "European Perspective for the Western Balkans", organized by the Bulgarian School of Politics "Dimitar Panitza", involving 28 young leaders from Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, including journalists, experts, civil servants, representatives of NGOs. [...]

Do not kill the desire for European integration in North Macedonia!

If the European Union really wants to be a transformative power, it must decide to start negotiations with North Macedonia. This decision is important not only for the future of the country but also for the future of Europe. In order for Balkan countries to enjoy stability and development to continue democratic and economic reforms, the door to the European Union must be open rather than closed. When they enter the open door, it will depend on each country's readiness for reconciliation, on the implementation of the necessary reforms and its preparation to "bear" membership of the European Union. This means putting a "strict but fair" conditionality, as well as that all participants in this process should do their job. [...]

Prof. Ingrid Shikova took part in the conference “The Importance of the Romanian rotational presidency of the Council of the EU for Serbia and the Western Balkans”

Prof. Ingrid Shikova took part in the conference "The Importance of the Romanian rotational presidency of the Council of the EU for Serbia and the Western Balkans", organised by the Centre for Foreign Policy and Hanns Seidel Stiftung in Belgrade. She presented the results of the Bulgarian Presidency and discussed the perspectives for Serbia's EU integration process in the panel "Serbia and the Western Balkans - the perspective of the presidencies of the neighboring countries Bulgaria and Croatia". [...]

Why can’t Brussels improve Bulgaria’s judicial system?

The Cooperation and Verification Mechanism designed to improve the judiciary has failed to generate meaningful reform in Romania and Bulgaria, Professor Georgi Dimitrov, member of Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at Sofia University, says in an opinion piece for the latest issue of Kapital Quarterly, the English-language edition of Capital newspaper - See more here.  This is an abridged and simplified version of Prof. Dimitrov's analysis whose original version is available here.

Simulation game with the students from “Vasil Levski” Class of the European Studies Dept.

A simulation game was organized on 18 December 2018 with the students from “Vasil Levski” Class of the European Studies Dept. of Sofia University as part of the project activities under the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (2016-2019). The students took up the roles of heads of state and government and had to take difficult decisions on the Multi-annual Financial Framework for the period 2021-2027. The discussions were heated, the arguments were well-selected and convincing. [...]

Recent analyses

BREXIT The Shakespearean Way



“The Money Game (in the EUbudget for the period 2021-27)”

For a Change in the Status Quo, but Without Affecting the French Jewel – CAP


Better Late than Never!

Bulgaria as a mediator between Russia and the EU: wanting is one thing, being capable of doing is another

Can the small steps become the "Balkan miracle"?

Crucial Months for the Future of the European Single Market

Do We Need a Social Dimension of Europe?

Don’t Tell Me Where the Priorities of the European Union Are, Show Me the Financial Framework

European Elections 2019: the Procedures are Now Clear, May the Political Debate Begin

From Western towards European Balkans

GYMNICH - What is That?

How irresistable can an offer be?

How not to look like those we oppose – EP Resolution on countering propaganda (of Russia)

Let’s Talk About the Priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency

Participate now! It matters…

Protecting Whistleblowers in The European Union – a First Step on a Long and Uncertain Road

Punishment or praise for whistleblowers – the European citizens can decide

Referenda in the EU – who is afraid of the direct democracy thermometer?

Spray against refugees (and what Europe do we aim for?)

The “Orban” formula

The Brexit Drama – End of First Act

The Eastern Enlargement and the European Perspective for the Western Balkans - Is It Not Time for the Copenhagen Criteria To Be Updated?

The Elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands – three key battles for the future of the EU

The Grand Coalition in the European Parliament and the future of the European political consensus

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Kosovo Condition under the Condition of the “Objective Circumstances”

The Rotating Presidency – Ambitions and Realities

The Rotating Presidency Urgently Needs an Internal Political Consensus

The Sixth Scenario and the Eurozone

The Transformative Power of the Irish Border

The Western Balkans Have the Right to Participate in the Debate on the Future of the European Union

The Western Balkans, The Bulgarian Presidency…and Christmas Miracles

The White Paper on the Future of Europe – All and Nothing

Things Do Not Always Happen by the Book

Thou Who Do Not Resist Evil, Thou Foster it

Turkey’s Accession to the EU and the Emperor’s New Clothes

United in Sanctions?

We Are Dancing “RACHENITSA” under the Benevolent External Monitoring

What’s New in the Debate on the Future of the Economic and Monetary Union?

Will “The Republic on the Move” Turn into „Europe on the Move”?

Zbyshko and the Teutonic Peacock Feathers – about the Risk of Polish Challenges to Germany