Current tensions in Macedonia are contributing to an environment of political uncertainty. Although some are espousing concerns that Macedonia’s plight is contributing to greater regional instability, there are more convincing indications that recent developments are being driven by the former government to delay SJO investigations.
Although Romania has been an EU member for 10 years, the degree of transparency and privatisation of its energy sector fall well below expected EU standards. As a result, Romania’s energy sector remains largely opaque and politically exposed.
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Nationalism still dominates political discourse in much of the Balkans, and is a major source of political instability. Going hand in hand with illiberal and authoritarian tendencies, nationalism is being used for utilitarian political purposes and appears to be a vehicle for the Kremlin’s low-cost drive to destabilise the EU's projects and interests in the region.
Macedonia’s 3-year political crisis has been fueled by a powerful pro-SDSM civil society sector funded by Western interests. The cards are on the table, and the battle is reaching new heights as civil society power players seek to exert greater influence at all costs.
The electoral victory of Vučić in the Serbian presidential elections will directly impact the composition of informal networks surrounding him and his inner-circle. The main determining factor, however, will be the nomination for the new Prime Minister, which will have to balance several domestic and international political factors.
Central Asia has acted as a region through which Turkey has sought to channel its soft power, namely through the Gülen Movement. However, because of the AKP-Gülen split, Turkey’s involvement in Central Asia is in decline.
The first visit by a Turkish President to Mozambique has been tainted by the political war between the Gülen movement and the Turkish state.
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The energy sector in Turkey not only plays a vital economic role, but it is also a tool for political interests. The overwhelming influence of the state in this sector has allowed the government to utilise it to reinforce the loyalty of its surrounding informal networks.
Reconstruction in Turkey and northern Syria are becoming potential investment opportunities for the AKP-controlled public housing institution, TOKİ. These construction projects, that could be partly financed by the EU, will also inevitably benefit Erdogan’s ‘constructocracy’.
The newly established Somali-Turkish relations is providing Erdoğan and his inner circle with a source of lucrative returns, which could soon be increased.
TÜSİAD has represented a voice of opposition against Erdoğan’s accumulation of power. However, the appointment of a new President may be a sign of TÜSİAD looking to softens its relations with the Presidency.
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Serbia under Aleksandar Vučić exemplifies a state where political and economic interests collude. Vučić governs through a system of entrenched loyalties, driving Serbia towards a personalized democracy.
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