A 🧵about a confusing signals on 🇪🇺 enlargement to the #WesternBalkans 👇
1⃣ During her ongoing #WB6 tour @vonderleyen is sending clear messages of hope, to 🇲🇰"You will be part of the EU, It is not a question of if, but when", to 🇦🇱"as future EU member, I also want Albania to fully take part in the Conference on the future of Europe"
2⃣Yet a @Reuters piece, quoting unnamed 4 🇪🇺 diplomats, wrote "fearing a political backlash in member states, [EU] can no longer agree to give a guarantee of future membership to the six Balkan countries" reuters.com/world/europe/e…
3⃣Regardless of the gossip by these 4 horsemen of the enlargement apocalypse, we all knew that despite the fact that a vast majority of 🇪🇺 supports future membership of the #WB6 some member states, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, are reticent.
4⃣In 2019, in Paris, at the time 🇫🇷&🇳🇱were blocking the opening of the accession talks with 🇦🇱🇲🇰,a high ranking MP from the ruling 🇫🇷 #LREM party said France cannot support the opening because it would lose votes in the then upcoming EP elections europeanwesternbalkans.com/2019/02/13/wes…
5⃣In 2020/21 with @d_part we tested this thinking within #LREM and we proved that, yes superficially French are against enlargement to #WB6 but that this issue is not important to them and that it would not influence their voting behavior. @BalkanInsight
6⃣If you are not subscribed to BI here is my older thread about France and #WB6 enlargement (history, politics, geopolitics and public surveys)
7⃣Regardless our research proves them wrong, same French politicians have been repeating exactly the same tune this summer: pushing enlargement would hurt us in the elections
Here at the @PrespaForum
@ZoranNechev moderated the debate
8⃣So either they did not read our report, in which case they should and we are here for them, or electoral card is a "polite" way of sending another message to 🇩🇪🇮🇹 and all other 🇪🇺 states that support enlargement. But which message would that be?
9⃣If it's "no enlargement before deepening of the Union" fine, we have the new accession methodology, but it doesn't work. 🇧🇬's veto of 🇲🇰 is a case in point. To overcome this we need #QMV, Commission has proposed it for other FP areas in 2018, but what does Paris think about it?
🔟Others suggested ways how to reinvigorate enlargement @rumeliobserver @adicerimagic through opening the single market to the #WB6 esiweb.org/proposals/open… and @CEPS_thinktank @StevenBlockmans through staged enlargement cep.org.rs/wp-content/upl…
1⃣1⃣ Beyond Paris, the Hague, but maybe Copenhagen and some other more discreet EU capitals, also fear a "political backlash" if they appear supportive of enlargement. But do they actually know what their electorate thinks about it and would this matter to them?
1⃣2⃣Germany has been sending a clear message , "Europe will only be truly united when all the countries of the Western Balkans join the EU". Finishing the job started in 1989 has to be done, but how to translate this into member state politics?
1️⃣3️⃣ 1st is geopolitics: Our research shows most convincing pro-WB enlargement argument in France is that it would make Europe stronger and more united, 43% of participants of our focus groups changed their opinion on enlargement from - to +because of it, including the hard right

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More from @srdjancvijic

2 Feb
1-[THREAD] on French politics and #WesternBalkans enlargement. Our NEW research breaking the myths! opensocietyfoundations.org/publications/i… More on @BalkanInsight balkaninsight.com/2021/02/01/sup… or an in depth analysis with @Sebgricourt on @j_jaures tomorrow. @osfEUpolicy @d_part Image
2-Until a few years ago, French enlargement policies were decided by the executive and a “close-knit community” of people. French public opinion mattered little. #NatashaWunsch @BiEPAG wrote about it aei.pitt.edu/66050/1/pub_58… ⬇️ Image
3-With the 2005 referendum on the European Constitution, the French government (to lure the right to vote "yes") proposed amending the French constitution in order to subject any future enlargement to a popular vote. "any future enlargement"= 🇹🇷 context ovipot.hypotheses.org/321 Image
Read 25 tweets
23 Nov 20
1-Who is @ABlinken Biden’s nominee for the Secretary of State? A very good summary of @guardian. theguardian.com/us-news/2020/n… and priceless piece on his life and background washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/styl… Here mainly a Balkan angle. My thread
2-Antony Blinken is a seasoned diplomat involved with the US foreign policy ever since the Clinton years. He is usually described as a “pragmatic realist” and, like Biden, a “liberal internationalist”
3-From 1999 to 2001, he was a Senior Director for European and Canadian Affairs. From 2002 he went to the Senate to work as the staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and ever since then he is Biden’s main man on foreign and security policy
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20 Nov 20
1-The election of the new 46th Serbian Patriarch (Full title: Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, and Serbian Patriarch), who are the candidates, the election process and what's at stake. My thread
2-During the period of interregnum, the church will be lead by a caretaker, most probably Hrizostom, the Metropolitan Bishop of Dabrobosna, Archbishop of Sarajevo and Exarch of all Dalmatia. A Bishop unlikely to become the Patriarch
3-How is the new patriarch elected? The Assembly of Bishops of the SPC votes. It elects 3 candidates who win most votes. Their names are written on 3 pieces of paper and placed in the Bible. The oldest of the archimandrites (superior abbot) prays over it the entire night
Read 23 tweets

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