Milorad Dodik, the president of the Republika Srpska, inspects an honor guard during a parade marking the 26th anniversary of the Republika Srpska in the Bosnian town of Banja Luka, Jan. 9, 2018 (AP photo by Amel Emric).

Bosnia-Herzegovina could be on the brink of a political collapse that triggers a new conflagration in the Balkans. There is a growing consensus among experts that this is the country’s most dangerous moment since the 1995 Dayton Accords, which ended a war that cost 100,000 lives and displaced more than 2 million people. Analysts also say stability in the Balkans has been eroded recently by the disengagement of the European Union and United States. “The prospects for further division and conflict are very real,” the international community’s chief representative in Bosnia, Christian Schmidt, wrote in a report to the United Nations that was […]

Polish soldiers sit on an army vehicle as they drive past a checkpoint close to the border with Belarus in Kuznica, Poland, Nov. 16, 2021 (AP photo by Matthias Schrader).

There is cautious optimism in Brussels that the temperature seems to be dialing down on the crises with Belarus and Russia on the EU’s eastern border, as Minsk takes a step back in its long-running border standoff with Warsaw and Moscow has not yet made any military incursion into Ukraine, despite once again massing troops on the border. But there is also a feeling in Brussels and across the continent that the events of the past few weeks are a harbinger of dark days ahead. EU defense ministers met Tuesday to discuss both the “hybrid warfare” by Belarus at the […]

Conservative independent candidate Peter Marki-Zay celebrates his victory in the opposition primary race, in Budapest, Hungary, Oct. 17, 2021 (AP photo by Laszlo Balogh).

In 2018, opposition candidate Peter Marki-Zay’s surprise victory in a mayoral by-election in the small town of Hodmezovasarhely pushed Hungary’s opposition into a half-hearted bid to cooperate in that year’s parliamentary vote. However, the effort never got off the ground, leaving Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party to stroll to yet another two-thirds supermajority. Now, with months to go before the next elections, a diverse slate of six opposition parties insist that this time, they’re determined to unite in a bid to finally defeat Orban’s illiberal regime, which has ruled the country since 2010. Last month, the United Opposition selected […]

Polish border guards stand near barbed wire as migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere gather at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, Nov. 10, 2021 (BelTA pool photo by Ramil Nasibulin, via AP).

Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, Europe Decoder, which includes a look at the week’s top stories from and about Europe. Subscribe to receive it by email every Thursday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it directly to your inbox. There is growing frustration across Europe with the European Union’s slow reaction to what the bloc’s leaders are calling “hybrid warfare” at its eastern border with Belarus. But fraught relations with Poland, the member country most affected by the crisis, are complicating a collective response, with growing concerns that a further round of sanctions […]

U.S. President Joe Biden, center, speaks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a plenary session at a NATO summit in Brussels, June 14, 2021 (AP photo by Olivier Matthys).

Tensions within NATO over the past two decades have led some to assert that the old military alliances of the 20th century are a thing of the past. Soon, the argument goes, they will give way to looser, ad hoc groupings like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, comprising Australia, India, Japan and the United States; the AUKUS security pact among Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States; or other “coalitions of the willing” formed to address specific concerns, like those that intervened in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. To be sure, the past 30 years have punched some […]

People protesting against Italy’s COVID-19 Green Pass walk past customers sitting at a cafe in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shopping arcade, Milan, Italy, July 24, 2021 (AP photo by Antonio Calanni).

Half a decade ago, Europe’s far-right politicians and their parties found themselves enjoying a promising set of circumstances. Just as the continent was struggling to recover from a deep recession, huge numbers of refugees started crossing its borders. It was an ideal combination for nationalist populists, who used the ensuing rise in xenophobic sentiment to boost their political fortunes. But then the refugee flows eased, and economies started to recover. As the far-right parties’ influence waned, they began to ask: Could they find new controversies to continue fueling their ascent? Enter the COVID-19 pandemic. Across Europe, the far right has […]

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to the media at the conclusion of an EU summit in Brussels, Dec. 13, 2019 (AP photo by Olivier Matthys).

Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, Europe Decoder, which includes a look at the week’s top stories from and about Europe. Subscribe to receive it by email every Thursday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it directly to your inbox. Brexit-watchers had their eyes fixed on Paris today for a meeting between French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune and U.K. Brexit Minister David Frost to discuss the two countries’ dispute over fishing licenses. It doesn’t appear any solution has yet been found, though France isn’t yet following through on its threat to ban British […]