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02 June 2015

The Council of Europe is facing a crisis of credibility today, so deep that it appears to paralyse those in charge of the institution.

30 April 2015

Without migration Kosovo has no medium term economic future.

23 April 2015

There is no reason to expect sports organisations to condemn a regime for human rights abuses that is praised by the leading clubs of European democracies: the Council of Europe and the European Union.

19 March 2015

What is needed in discussions of corruption in the Balkans and Turkey is depth, not shallowness, and statements based on serious analysis, not preconceptions. The European Commission has the tool to ensure this. It only has to use it.

10 March 2015

The vision of a Europe in 2017 with more visa free travel, fewer Balkan asylum claims, better police cooperation and better respect for human rights is realistic. 

23 February 2015

We look at similarities between Yannis Boutaris (born in 1942), mayor of Thessaloniki, and Alexis Tsipras (born in 1974), Greece's new prime minister. Both are charismatic, unconventional, proudly secular and ready to defy taboos.


24 December 2014

The biggest challenge for leaders in Bosnia in 2015 will be to carry out reforms in the face of strong illusions about the causes of the Bosnian development crisis.

14 November 2014

Azerbaijan's dissidents are receiving global recognition but remain in jail. And so far the Council of Europe has barely reacted to their imprisonment.

04 November 2014

Rankings are dangerous when the results are misleading and when gaming the ranking becomes more important than focusing on what really matters for genuine reforms

16 October 2014

Unprecedented waves of political arrests in Azerbaijan and Russia are the result of a deliberate policy to crash all independent voices

02 October 2014

Drawing on decades of experience human rights defenders are sounding an alarm bell. Will it be a wake-up call for European institutions?

23 September 2014

We believe Leyla Yunus would be an excellent winner of the 2014 prize, on behalf of the community of beleaguered human rights defenders in Azerbaijan

04 September 2014

Azerbaijan has made a mockery of the Council of Europe and its role in defending the European Convention on Human Rights

24 July 2014

Any person caught up in a political trial in Turkey enters the world of Kafka's famous novel. This is what happened to Mehmet Orgen, a captain in the Turkish navy.

18 July 2014

In the past five years opposition to enlargement has deepened in every single EU member state. Can it still be a win-win policy?

06 June 2014

A wave of arrests has exposed the weakness and capture of international institutions such as the Council of Europe. It is also challenging the international human rights movement.

27 May 2014

With its focus on manufacturing and exports, Timisoara weathered the economic crisis much better than less industrial areas of South East Europe. Instead of collapsing, its industrial sector restructured.

19 May 2014

We do want to encourage leaders in democratic Europe to defend the core values which the current regime in Baku rejects

30 April 2014

The world remains a geopolitical jungle. It is worth, however, remembering today how easily the great European enlargement could not have happened.

23 April 2014

Ilham Aliyev is winning. His concerted campaign to undermine European democratic standards and the institutions that uphold them is working.

21 March 2014

No one can legitimately ask Ukrainians, Moldovans, and Georgians to give up their European perspective just to please the Kremlin

27 February 2014

The ultimate goal remains to complete the transformation of the European bloodlands of the 20th century into an integrated democratic continent for the 21st


03 December 2013

There is no room for complacency in either Chisinau or in EU capitals. Moldova's "success" remains fragile. It has not yet translated into concrete improvements felt by its citizens.

08 November 2013

Is election observation all a matter of personal opinion? Can parliamentarians sniff election fraud, simply because they are parliamentarians? This argument is absurd. 

08 October 2013

Non-implementation of the Sejdic-Finci decision does not justify blocking Bosnia and Herzegovina's application for EU membership

12 September 2013

The 50th anniversary of the Ankara Agreement is an appropriate occasion for both the EU and Turkey to get serious about the European idea of free movement and to make it a reality for Turkey's young generation

21 May 2013

Visa liberalisation has been a crucial element in the EU's relations with Romania, Serbia and Albania. Yet until recently it had not even appeared on the agenda of talks between Brussels and Ankara.

08 May 2013

The key message from all international observers, and in particular from the European Union, must be that all Albanian institutions must rigorously respect the laws they themselves have adapted

26 February 2013

When will Azerbaijani citizens be able to look back at political arrests and authoritarian rule in Baku with the same sense of amazement that Victor Hugo predicted for the future?

21 February 2013

If the countries that have undergone a formal visa liberalisation process are declared safe countries of origin, EU member states can provide for an accelerated examination procedure when dealing with claims from their citizens

08 January 2013

Instead of going back on visa liberalization, we propose that all EU members have short procedures for dealing with applicants from European countries that meet a series of human rights conditions and are therefore "safe countries of origin"


02 October 2012

To show what is at stake we have produced a political fable. It illustrates Azerbaijan's latest attempt to undermine the credibility of the Council of Europe.

06 July 2012

The green light for talks with Montenegro is a badly needed signal that progress is rewarded and that the EU perspective is real

24 May 2012

How an authoritarian regime in Baku sidesteped its commitments to the Council of Europe, silenced its critics and turned international election monitoring into political theatre

07 April 2012

The lack of employment opportunities today in the Western Balkans is generating quiet despair, especially among the young. Without radical change, without a serious and visible commitment to a new set of policies, the sense of despair now palpable in the region may become burning. 

22 March 2012

To get to the Schengen White List ESI recommends the following seven steps to be taken, starting this month

13 March 2012

The EU's current visa policy towards Turkey is unsustainable, and the time to revise it is now.

25 January 2012

Compared to where it stood in 1999, Croatia is undoubtedly a story of a successful transformation. It is also evidence that the strict EU negotiating framework can bring results.


01 September 2011

The less outsiders know about a foreign society the more easily they fall for illusions of an "hour zero" and view post-conflict societies as a tabula rasa only waiting for smart social engineers to work their magic

08 June 2011

Our aim is to raise the profile of this young state on the Caspian Sea; and to support the vision that Azerbaijan will also one day (soon) also join the club of genuine European democracies

12 January 2011

For anybody interested in understanding contemporary Turkish politics and the court cases which look into the dark world of ultranationalist associations the Malatya murder trial is a good place to start


22 December 2010

One of the nice things about knowledge is that it increases for everybody once it is shared.

16 December 2010

Is Europe a continent in decline? What kind of foreign policy can such a continent pursue?  

22 November 2010

Europe's border revolution – the attempt to implement on a continental scale a post-national approach to border management which provides both more liberty and more security – is going strong.

11 November 2010

Today's relationship between Turkey and the EU is like a Catholic marriage: divorce is not an option for either side. The only question is whether the couple will be a happy one.

21 October 2010

It should be obvious that in a country with an estimated 2,738,551 German Turks (Turkish citizens resident in Germany, German citizens who were once Turkish citizens and those with at least one Turkish citizen as a parent) Islam "also belongs to Germany".

10 July 2010

To those in EU capitals who prefer a slowing down of the enlargement process the fact that Macedonia, a Western Balkan front runner and candidate, is stuck is even welcome.

28 April 2010

What has come of the Rose Revolution almost six years later? And what is at stake in Georgia today?

12 March 2010

To suggest that Sweden, Germany, the US and other countries are motivated by spite, enmity or an all-powerful Armenian Diaspora is not serious.


10 December 2009

In Turkey, both secrecy and impunity for those defending the state against its enemies at home and abroad were long taken for granted.