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Balkan99HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON EUROPE, EURASIA, AND EMERGING THREATS OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FIFTEENTH CONGRESS FIRST SESSION MAY 17, 2017
Serial No. 115–47 Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs

Copyright: Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/ or http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/ Publication at RIEAS web site: (www.rieas.gr) on 12 March 2018

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:00 p.m., in room 2200 Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Dana Rohrabacher (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding. Read more

parliamentphotoPublished by the Authority of the House of Lords
HOUSE OF LORDS Select Committee on International Relations
1st Report of Session 2017–19 HL Paper 53

Copyright: www.parliament.uk
Publication date at RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 14 January 2018

Summary

In the 20th century, the Western Balkans endured a number of serious conflicts—each following periods of complacency, meddling or inattention from the international community, each expanding beyond the borders of the region, and each involving the UK. It is a region which, in many respects, remains in the shadow of the wars of the 1990s. Whereas many of its neighbours have progressed, political instability, inter-ethnic tensions and the competing influence of third countries have slowed progress towards regional reconciliation and greater consonance with the rest of Europe. The region suffers from authoritarian leadership, weak democratic institutions and serious challenges from organised crime and corruption. This situation is exacerbated by uncertainty about EU accession, a brain drain of young and educated people, and a rise in extremism and anti-democratic nationalism....Read more

oligarchy8Alexander Clapp
(Journalist based in Athens. His work has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement and The National Interest)

Copyright: https://www.the-american-interest.com/2018/01/05/new-greek-oligarchy/

The strange saga of a Greek-Russian tobacco tycoon shows how crisis-era Greece has regressed into a post-Soviet-style oligarchy.
Ivan Ignatyevich Savvidis has played many unusual roles in his life—one of the great tobacco tycoons of Eurasia, a member of Russia’s Duma, a confidante of Vladimir Putin —but it is his latest one that is now sounding off alarm bells throughout Europe. Savvidis is the parvenu of Greece’s oligarchic scene. Since the onset of the economic crisis, he has effectively seized personal ownership over vast sectors of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city and its maritime gateway to the Balkans. The fire sale of old state assets—an auctioning process ordained by the European Union as part of its enforcement of economic austerity, but which has become overwhelmingly rigged by vested political interests within Greece—has given Savvidis a rare opportunity to invest hundreds of millions of euros into his ancestral homeland. A soccer team, a grand luxury hotel, a tobacco conglomerate, a water-bottling company, a fleet of beach resorts, a television station, a trio of newspapers, great stretches of coastline and blocs of Thessaloniki real estate, the port of Salonika and its industrial warehouses: these are but a few of the holdings that Savvidis has quietly acquired in the last eight years. The buying spree has lately given rise to a strange new coinage across the newspaper headlines and streets of his adopted city: Ivanaptiksi, “prosperity emanating from Ivan.” Read more

mig101Muslims are projected to increase as a share of Europe’s population – even with no future migration







Copyright: http://www.pewforum.org/2017/11/29/europes-growing-muslim-population/ 
Publication date on RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 23 December 2017

In recent years, Europe has experienced a record influx of asylum seekers fleeing conflicts in Syria and other predominantly Muslim countries. This wave of Muslim migrants has prompted debate about immigration and security policies in numerous countries and has raised questions about the current and future number of Muslims in Europe. Read more

thucyd19Joshua Rovner
(Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. He is the author of Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell, 2011), and writes widely about intelligence and strategy).

Copyright: https://warontherocks.com/2017/12/thucydides-long-war-problem/ Publication at RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 15 December 2017

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth installment of “The Brush Pass,” a new column by Joshua Rovner (@joshrovner1) on intelligence, strategy, and statecraft.

Is there anything left to say about Thucydides?

In a year dominated by concerns over modern technologies — ballistic missiles, nuclear warheads, and cyber weapons — scholars have spent a remarkable amount of time arguing about a very old conflict. Thucydides’ classic history of the Peloponnesian War documents the catastrophic fight between Athens and Sparta from 431–404 BC. It was a horrendous affair. Conventional combat, gruesome disease, mass murder, and civil war tore apart the fabric of the ancient Greek world. The post-war was chaotic, violent, and impoverished. Read more

fraagosphotoFragoulis S. Fragos
( Ret-General, Greece)

Copyright: http://greece4greeks.blogspot.gr/
Publication at RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 4 December 2017

Honorable Minister,

Your Excellency the Ambassador of the United States of America,

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening.

Energy is not only difficult to find but it is the driving force behind political developments and re-alignments. All wars were fought due to competing interests, and this holds even truer for larger conflagrations. The most important of these were primarily triggered by the struggle over energy resources. ..Read more

terrorattack91by Maria Polizoidou
(Reporter, broadcast journalist, and consultant on international and foreign affairs, is based in Greece. She has a post-graduate degree in "Geopolitics and Security Issues in the Islamic complex of Turkey and Middle East" from the University of Athens)

Copyright: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11438/greece-terrorism - December 3, 2017.

European democracies in the Mediterranean are in danger of being swept away by a tsunami of uncontrolled immigration. We cannot allow this. Our societies cannot stand it. The European Union itself cannot stand it... [More than] one million 'foreigners' passed then [2015] through Greece and ended up in various countries of the European Union, mainly in Northern and Central Europe. Some of them were real refugees, from Syria and Iraq. But most of them were illegal immigrants from other countries of the world. Today it is estimated that the true refugees that are still coming are 20% of the total or fewer. The rest are illegal immigrants." Read more

balkansphoto81Dr. Ian Hope
(Col Dr Ian Hope is a Researcher at the NATO Defense College. His research interests include Strategy, Military Planning, Military Theory and the History of War, as well as Balkans and European Security Issues. The views expressed in this paper are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the NATO Defense College or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

Copyright: Copyright: http://www.ndc.nato.int - Research Division –NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy, No. 142, November 2017.

The Warsaw Summit affirmed Alliance interest in and commitment to many geographic regions and nations, without stating priorities. The Western Balkans drew attention, with Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro receiving specific mention in the Summit Communiqué.2 However, the Summit promoted a continuance of current NATO activity in this region, not a shift or amelioration. Implicit in this is that the status quo, a small NATO force in Kosovo to enhance security and several liaison offices to monitor partnership activity and the application of the Membership Action Plan in the other Western Balkans states, is sufficient. This paper will argue that such efforts are too small and disjointed to meet the growing challenges in the region, especially given NATO’s obligation to conflict prevention in the wake of its significant and successful interventions there in 1996 and 1999. Read more

atlanticphotoBY ASHISH KUMAR SEN
(Deputy director of communications at the Atlantic Council, USA)

Copyright: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/here-s-why-us-commitment-to-the-western-balkans-matters Publication date on RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 3 December 2017.

The United States and the European Union (EU) must deepen their engagement with the Western Balkans, a region where Russia, Turkey, and wealthy Arab Gulf states have extended their influence and that is considered integral to realizing the idea of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace, speakers and panelists said at the Atlantic Council on November 29. Read more

austriamapMax Hess
(Senior political risk analyst with the London-based AEK international, specializing in Europe and Eurasia).

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 21 October 2017

Note: The article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views of the Re-search Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS).

Sebastian Kurz, 31, is likely to become Austria’s new Chancellor following the 15 October election. He would be the youngest-ever head of government in the European Union and many of his supporters will be seen as a bold new face ready to lead Europe through and past the ongoing crises over migration, integration, fiscal authority, and identity that have dominated European politics, within and without the EU, in recent years. A new leader of Europe’s populist right is likely on the horizon, yet he has received little international attention compared with candidates such as Marine Le Pen or Nigel Farage who were always long shots...Read more

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