Member state builders
Mikulas Dzurinda 

Slovakia’s marathon man
“I don’t remember very significant problems. I only remember a big effort – every day, a very big effort.”
Vesna Pusic 

Crusader for a European Croatia
“If you look at Croatia the way it was ten, eleven years ago and the way it looks now, in every aspect it is a different country.”
Monica Macovei 

Fighting corruption in Romania
“The accession process is a unique opportunity to carry out in 10 to 20 years transformations that would otherwise take a hundred years.”
Stipe Mesic 

Croatia’s transformative president
“The Hague [Tribunal] helped the whole region.”
Radmila Sekerinska 

Earning EU candidate status for Macedonia
“If there was one umbrella policy that could help us to change the country, it was definitely the perspective of EU membership.”
Adnan Terzic 

A unifying goal for Bosnia
“I heard that they were making bets in Brussels that we would not be able to meet the requirements in five years.”
Nadezhda Mihaylova 

Breaching the Schengen Wall
“When I visited Brussels for the first time it was like the first day in school, when you go and nobody knows you.”
Gordana Djurovic 

Independently towards the EU
“In comparison with the late 90s, the golden era of enlargement, this period is ‘enlargement plus’. It has been quite hard for Montenegro.”
Janez Potocnik 

Leading Slovenia’s accession negotiation
“We wanted to demystify the process.”
Nickolay Mladenov 

Politics and the new generation in Sofia
“If you deny Bulgaria membership you will not help the institutions become more ready.”
Jan Figel 

Catching up in Slovakia
“After the split of Czechoslovakia it seemed like the Czechs were going west and the Slovaks east or nowhere.”
Ivica Racan 

Leading Croatia into the future by taking on its past
“I am satisfied … [Now] it would be hard to go back to the 1990’s.”
Milica Delevic 

Europeanising Serbia
“The more you see that the accession process is alive, the more incentives you have to build EU-style institutions.”
Juliana Nikolova 

Building Bulgarian teams
“You cannot imagine the enormous differences between the administration in 1992 and 2007.”
Elena Kohutikova 

Slovakia’s Mrs Euro
“The Euro is for me a signal that the country has grown up.”
Agneza Rusi 

Navigating Macedonia’s long road to the EU
“The most important thing [about visa liberalisation] was that we entered a process which was well defined, with clear benchmarks and with clear rewards.”
Ivan Vejvoda 

The Western Balkans’ ambassador
“Democracy takes time to build.”
Alojz Peterle 

Rebranding Slovenia
“The only real obstacle at that time was Italy. We were blocked for one year.”
Lidija Topic 

A Bosnian sculptor in Brussels
“For me, Europe was the stabilising factor for the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina.”
Dimitrij Rupel 

Controversial foreign policy in Slovenia
“You know, if we manage to put everyone in the same package and everyone became a member at the same time, it would be much easier.”
Silvana Lyubenova 

Voluntary standards in Bulgaria
“Accession negotiations means making a time schedule for your reforms.”
Simon Humar 

The EU acquis in practice (slide show)
“In 1995 we had about 15 pieces of legislation and you could list them on one piece of paper. Now the list covers 15 pages.”
Alina Mungiu-Pippidi 

Finishing the Romanian revolution
“If there had been no offer for Romania to join the EU, we would look like another Belarus now.”
Evgeni Dainov 

Civil society and Rock and Roll in Bulgaria (video)
“The problem was that the country was in transition, but it didn’t seem to be transiting to anywhere…”
Martin M. Simecka 

Media and reform in Slovakia
“For Slovakia, in my view, the biggest historical event is not 1989 but 1998.”
Borjan Jovanovski 

Reanimating multicultural values in Macedonia (video)
“I saw the idea of European integration as an opportunity to re-import some of our values which had been attacked by nationalists.”
Ditmir Bushati 

From anarchy towards the EU
“When we were opening towards the West, we realised that the most important game in town was the EU.”
Ivo Prokopjev 

Creating Bulgaria’s market economy vvideo)
“When the change happened, I was in the first year at the University of Economics. We started with Marx and we finished with Adam Smith.”
Osman Topcagic 

From war to European integration in Bosnia
“It’s peace, it’s stability, it’s economic prosperity. With the experience of the war, we have embraced such an idea full-heartedly.”
Ivan Kostov 

Bulgaria’s turning point
“In 1997 many people were joking about our ambitious ten years plan to join the European Union.”
Janez Drnovsek 

New Age and independence in Slovenia
“I think that I should do a little more to help the others.”

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