Country Reports

Short political reports of the KAS offices abroad

European Union

Light and Shadows – An Analysis of the EU’s Preconditions for Albania

Entering EU accession talks with Albania is subject to fulfilling the six preconditions – even if progress has been made, central points have not yet been fully met.

After the German Bundestag had established conditions for entering accession negotiations with Albania already in September 2019, the Council of the European Union (EU) followed suit in March 2020. The Ministers for Europe of the 27 EU states adopted and supplemented demands from the Bundestag so that the West Balkan state must now fulfil 15 conditions before the individual negotiations chapters or clusters can be opened. Six of which still need to be fulfilled prior to beginning the 1st intergovernmental conference. Even though great hopes were placed on these six conditions being fulfilled before the end of 2020 and, thus, on the conference taking place as part of the German EU Council Presidency, the chances of this are currently dwindling. A more detailed analysis on the status of fulfilling the six preconditions shows that Albania has made some good progress over the last half year, though some central points have not yet been fully met.

dpa

Bosnia and Herzegovina – elections with surprising results

A stable turnout

The year 2020 was supposed to be a positive year for Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H). Pre-election promises made to the electorate included progress regarding the path to EU integration and NATO membership. Reforms were supposed to finally happen after the whole 2019 had been spent on the formation of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There were also positive changes: the GDP of Bosnia and Herzegovina had a steady and slightly increasing trend since 2017 and the employment rate was growing, too. However, the situation has changed. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the politics and economy. The local elections that were held in Bosnia and Herzegovina on November 15, 2020 were therefore a particular challenge for the country. As a result of a highly decentralised political system of Bosnia and Herzegovina, local politics has strong and powerful impact. At the same time, the elections give a hint at the upcoming general elections at the national level and the two entities in 2022.

Estonian Foreign Ministry / flickr / CC BY 2.0 / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Unstable Political Situation in Kosovo

The Kosovo Special Tribunal Confirms the Most Important Charges

On 5 November, Hashim Thaçi, President of the Republic of Kosovo and former political leader of the UÇK (Kosovo Liberation Army), resigned from office as State President following confirmation of his indictment by the Kosovo Special Tribunal in the Hague. During a press conference, Thaçi explained that he would step down as President to safeguard the integrity of Kosovo and would present himself to the Hague. A few hours earlier, Kadri Veseli, Leader of the PDK (Democratic Party of Kosovo, third strongest party in the 2019 elections), former President of the Parliament and Chief of the Kosovo Secret Service during the war, declared that the indictment against him had also been confirmed in the Hague, and that he would voluntarily present himself to the Special Tribunal.

U.S. Department of Energy

Corona-Update, USA (October)

Studies, Analysis and Commentary

Die Corona-Krise hat über die erheblichen gesundheitlichen Risiken und Folgen hinaus weitreichende Auswirkungen auf die Wirtschaft, Sicherheit, Forschung, Innen- und Außenpolitik sowie das gesellschaftliche Leben in den Vereinigten Staaten. Namhafte US-amerikanische Think Tanks und Experten setzen sich intensiv mit den unterschiedlichen Aspekten und Herausforderungen dieser in ihrem Umfang und ihrer Schnelligkeit beispiellosen Krise auseinander. Für einen Überblick über den aktuellen Stand der Diskussion stellt das KAS-Auslandsbüro USA mit Sitz in Washington D.C. regelmäßig eine Auswahl an Studien, Analysen und Kommentaren jeweils mit Links zu den Beiträgen zusammen.

Denis Simonet / flickr / CC BY 2.0

Camelia Bogdan v. Romania: a case of arbitrary suspension of a judge

European Court of Human Rights: Romanian judge Camelia Bogdan, who was suspended from the judicial service in her home country, had no legal remedy

The case "Camelia Bogdan v. Romania", involving a Romanian judge, represents a further stage in the litigations of representatives of the Romanian judiciary before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The case is to be viewed in the context of the disputes between the Romanian judiciary and the Social Democrat-led coalition in power until 2019. Camelia Bogdan (the applicant) was temporarily suspended from her office for questionable reasons without being able to effectively challenge the relevant decision. This is illegal according to a decision of the ECtHR of October 2020. Her right to a fair trial (Article 6 (1) ECHR) was infringed.

A TURKISH PERSPECTIVE ON SYRIA

A TURKISH PERSPECTIVE ON SYRIA

The current situation in Syria is still worth a closer look. The main actors in the Syrian conflict (Russia, Turkey, Iran and the US) are making it increasingly difficult to find common ground because of their different goals, visions and priorities.

gemeinfrei

Lithuania Has Voted for Change

The outcome of this year’s run-off election confirmed the election result of the first round of voting

The outcome of this year’s run-off election confirmed the election result of the first round of voting. While in the last election the seemingly clear-cut victory was lost during the 2nd round of voting, it was mostly representatives from the centre-right parties who prevailed in this election, even in the run-off. As a result, Lithuania will have a new government headed by Ingrida Šimonytė. The run-off election took place in 68 constituencies and only three candidates won their constituency during the first round of voting, including Šimonytė. In the run-off election, the party of the prospective future Prime Minister was successful in 26 constituencies. With a total of 74 representatives from parties of a potentially centre-right coalition versus 67 of the then opposition parties, there are great prospects for a successful term of office.

High hopes, low expectations – Brussels’ perspective on the future of Europe after COVID-19

Final report

On 1 July this year, Germany took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), at a time when the EU’s future hinges upon an apt European response to the COVID-19 crisis. What are the Brussels community’s main concerns and expectations of the German Presidency in light of the current situation and with respect to the EU’s long-term future?

Vereinte Nationen

Die Ziele der Nachhaltigen Entwicklung in Zeiten der Globalen Pandemie

Eine Bestandsaufnahme zur Agenda 2030 während der diesjährigen UN-Vollversammlung offenbart große Herausforderungen für die Weltgemeinschaft.

Zwei hochrangige multilaterale Konferenzen anläßlich der diesjähren 75. Sitzung der Vollversammlung der Vereinten Nationen (VN), der SDG-Moment und das Treffen der Staats- und Regierungstreffen zu Financing for Development, unternahmen den Versuch einer Bestandsaufnahme der Agenda 2030. Das Bild, das sie von der momentanen Situation zeichneten ist verstörend; jedoch gab sich die Weltgemeinschaft entschlossen, dem allgemeinen Pessimismus entgegenzutreten. Alle beteiligten Staaten und Institutionen riefen zu globaler Kooperation und Solidarität auf. Pünktlich zu ihrem 75. Geburtstag scheint die Stunde der Wahrheit für die Weltorganisation gekommen zu sein: Es herrscht Einigkeit, dass die VN und das multilaterale System niemals in ihrer Geschichte vor einer größeren Herausforderung standen. „COVID-19 hat die Grundfeste unserer Welt bis ins Mark erschüttert“ konstatierte Generalsekretär António Guterres.

Flickr/UN Geneva/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Geneva Barometer

Developments in the Geneva International Organisations mid-July – mid-October

The “Geneva Barometer” takes an occasional look at selected developments in the international organisations based in Geneva.

About this series

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is a political foundation. Our offices abroad are in charge of over 200 projects in more than 120 countries. The country reports offer current analyses, exclusive evaluations, background information and forecasts - provided by our international staff.

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Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.