Balkan Grit

The Pandemic Has Hit South-Eastern Europe Hard but Opportunities Beckon 
In poor regions like the Balkans, the economic impact of the pandemic will be far-reaching and acutely test social resilience. However, it will also provide opportunities for self-reliance and resourcefulness that could benefit Europe more widely. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) calculate that the economic contraction in the Balkans will range between 3% and 10%. The IMF also forecasts that Balkan economies, which have applied strict lockdowns to contain the pandemic, can start to rebound later this year with a 4.2% uptick in production once social restrictions are relaxed. Several countries are allowing small and medium-sized businesses to reopen in May, while larger public gatherings, including schools, shopping centers, parks, and sports venues will open more gradually if the contagion continues to decrease.

Continue Reading

Ambassador Godfrey: Transparency Key in Covid Fight

When the great American novelist Mark Twain was on a speaking tour in in London in 1897, someone started a rumor that he was gravely ill. Twain later learned of press reports that he had died, prompting a characteristic reply: “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Continue Reading


Author: Kurt Volker

Western Allies Should Stop Carping and Focus on Shared Values and Interests

In a world where Russia and China are increasingly aggressive, terrorists operate freely, and small powers like North Korea and Iran wield nuclear capabilities, we need allies. 

Continue Reading


“Some are born wise, some achieve wisdom, and some, I fear, have wisdom thrust upon them; we three seem to be in the last and most dangerous category,” observed Canadian Foreign Minister Lester Pearson, commenting on the committee of three foreign ministers — Pearson, Norway’s Halvard Lange and Italy’s Gaetano Martino — formed in 1956 to advise the North Atlantic Council on how to develop greater cooperation and unity among the allies.

Continue Reading