"There is a limit to how far Turkey will distance itself from the West, in particular during times of regional or international systemic crisis," writes Wilson Center Global Fellow Bulent Aras in his latest policy brief on "Turkey's Europe Momentum." Discussing Turkey's relationship with Europe, Aras suggests that "It is possible to generate new momentum for a dialogue with the EU once a carefully structured and expressed political rhetoric has been put into political circulation."
March 2006 - Among the wealth of ethnic media outlets in Eastern Europe, the Romani media has grown faster than all others despite small audiences, poverty, illiteracy and the absence of cultural, linguistic, political and social cohesiveness of their natural constituency in the region. Consequently, except for their potential symbolic value, the growth of the Romani media appears to defy the customary functions, roles and effects of minority media: to aid in minority identity creation, cultural preservation and political participation.
Interview with John Sitilides, Trud(Bulgarian text)
November 2002 - There are moments in life when a development that one does not find particularly desirable may generate a great sense of relief and even elation. Once a struggle is over, the side effects of its outcome may be seen and appreciated as the harbinger of a new and hopefully auspicious beginning.
December 2007 - Western attention in Southeastern Europe is focused on Kosovo, Bosnia and the surrounding Western Balkans. But, I ask that some attention also be paid to neighboring Bulgaria. This core state of the historical Ottoman Balkans is completing its first year as a member of the European Union and its fourth year as a member of NATO. I resist the temptation of dwelling on how unlikely this prospect seemed when I first went to Sofia as a young Foreign Service Officer some 40 years ago. Now, with the same special interest in wider economic prospects and the same domestic pessimism about its own political process that has repeatedly surfaced over the past century, Bulgarians should nonetheless be looking back with satisfaction on their initial year as a full member of the largest common organization in European history. On a personal level, a Bulgarian friend traveling to Italy welcomed the smile and a wave that replaced a scowl and a Schengen visa check at the Rome airport. Some 60 percent of Bulgaria's foreign trade is now with the EU, and as a new member, it is expecting 11 billion euros of adjustment assistance over the next six years. But before turning to the clouds that I found gathering over Sofia, let me first address the silver lining.
June 1997 - Transition in the Hungarian higher education system, begun with high hopes about ten years ago, has proven to be slow and difficult. Erno Zalai , professor and chair of mathematical economics and econometrics at the University of Economic Sciences in Budapest, Hungary, and a Wilson Center Guest Scholar, acknowledged that he and his colleagues greatly underestimated the magnitude of the political, economic, and cultural gap between East-Central Europe and Western Europe.