Publication, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Department of European Studies

The publication, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Department of European Studies at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski " and edited by prof. Nelly Ognianova, contains articles by professors at the department.

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

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.

In this complex process, the actions of the European Union must be based on three main pillars: predictability, trust, keeping the promises. These three pillars are currently too fragile to maintain the overall construction of European Union – Northern Macedonia relations. Perhaps everyone will agree that the country has made important and significant steps in the right direction. Now is the time for the European Union to show courage and wisdom. But in the case when we say the European Union, we need to understand the Member States. The European Commission is clear in its assessment, but the decision has to be taken by the Member States. Some of them have clear and firm positions that negotiations with North Macedonia should begin, but others hide themselves behind diplomatic arguments and postpone this important decision.

Postponement is devastating! Disappointed pro-Europeans turn into Eurosceptics. Do not kill the desire for European integration in North Macedonia! The history will judge you!

Prof. Ingrid Shikova