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WB Summit 1

  The ratification of the Macedonia name deal between Athens and Skopje on Friday capped a year in which the West renewed its focus on integrating the Western Balkans into the Euro-Atlantic community.   Bulgaria factored into the renewed push to integrate the region into NATO and the EU because Sofia made Western Balkan integration a focal point of its European Council presidency that spanned the first half of 2018. Sofia capped its EU presidency by hosting the EU-Western Balkans summit last May. The summit was a high-level gathering of EU and Western Balkan leaders, the first of its kind in 15 years.   Now that 2018 is complete and the Macedonia name dispute has been settled, one can have a clearer look at the fruits of Bulgaria’s push to

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makedonska carkva

  “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.” Ronald Reagan   Being an academic researcher I am not used to writing in popular style. Less I am used to writing as a journalist. Nevertheless, being an expert in theology I shall try to analyze the famous case of the proposal of the “Macedonian Church,” comparing it to the Bulgarian one.   First of all, I cannot agree with many Bulgarian analysts that the Patriarchate of Bulgaria must acknowledge the “Macedonian Church” as such. On the other hand, I do agree that the question is of a geopolitical importance and not just a local one. Second, I am absolutely astonished by Bulgarian society and its

This entry was posted in Bulgaria and tagged , , , , , by Светослав Риболов.

About Светослав Риболов

Svetoslav Ribolov, PhD, is Associate Professor of Early Christian Literature and Jewish Hellenistic Literature at the University of Sofia “St Kliment of Ochrid” and has published four books in his academic field. He studied Classical Philology and Theology at the University of Sofia and Thessaloniki; he specialized at the Trinity College Dublin and Ostkirchliches Institut Regensburg, and also studied Church and State relationships in US at the University of California Santa Barbara. He is editor-in-chief of Forum Theologicum Sardicense, member of the advisory board of International Journal of Orthodox Theology, and takes part in a few international academic associations. Since November 2017 he is director of Institute for Study of Religious Freedom (Sofia).
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IMG_makedonia

  Following an eventful June, Montenegro is in NATO, Macedonia is out Brussels’ doghouse and Albania’s pro-EU government has a new-mandate. Kosovo’s government is more of a mystery. And Serbia’s government is now being led by an openly gay woman — a development seen by many as a mere facelift.   While the Western Balkans made significant steps toward Euro-Atlantic integration, major ethnic-related issues remain unresolved and largely unaddressed. One such issue is the future of Albanians living outside of Albania.   The rosy picture is that the entire Western Balkans will integrate into the EU and possibly NATO. Borders will be abolished and rival ethnic groups will live peacefully and prosperously together, enjoying freedom of movement across the region and beyond.   That vision is coming into fruition very slowly,

Views:2294
zaev

In a parliamentary election full of twists and turns, a Macedonian party led by a former prime minister now under criminal investigation eked out a victory and picked up just enough seats to return to power. The result will likely prolong Macedonia’s political crisis, but it could signal the small Balkan state is climbing out of the European Union’s doghouse and is remaining on the path toward Euro-Atlantic integration.   Former prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s VMRO DPMNE party entered Sunday’s election as the clear frontrunner. Gruevski and VMRO ruled Macedonia for nearly a decade until, in January, the premier resigned under an EU-brokered agreement. Though Gruevski and many of his former government officials are currently being probed by a special prosecutor, VMRO amassed considerable popularity and control over Macedonian institutions