Experts & Staff

Vessela Tcherneva

Deputy Director

Areas of expertise

EU foreign policy; Western Balkans and Black Sea regions; transatlantic relations; regional studies; energy

Languages

Bulgarian, English, German, Russian

Biography

Vessela Tcherneva is deputy director of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Her topics of focus include EU foreign policy and the Western Balkans and Black Sea region.

Between January and July 2022, she held the position of Foreign Policy Advisor to the Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov. From 2010 to 2013, she was the spokesperson for the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a member of Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov’s political cabinet. Previously, she was secretary of the International Commission on the Balkans, chaired by former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and former German President Richard von Weizsäcker; supervising editor of the Foreign Policy Bulgaria magazine; and political officer at the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, DC. Tcherneva holds an MA in Political Science from the Rhienische Friedrich-Wilhelm Universität in Bonn.

Europe’s alternatives to Russian gas

Europe’s new Energy Union aims at securing European energy supply – but, if not from Russia, where will Europe obtain its gas?

Europe’s vulnerability on Russian gas

European member states have different degrees of exposure to disruption of supplies from Russia, which must be addressed to secure the future of the EU's Energy Union

Scorecard 2015: The view from Sofia

Bulgaria took few foreign policy initiatives in 2014 because of internal troubles, but the country made one tough decision in abandoning the South Stream pipeline project

Publications

Articles

The future of the European Political Community

As Europe’s leaders meet in Moldova, the potential of the European Political Community to contribute to security and foster connection across the continent is becoming ever clearer

Easy prey? Russia’s influence in Bulgaria

Newly released investigations have shed light on how corruption and the weak rule of law in Bulgaria enable Russian influence to thrive

Pandemic trends: Serbia looks east, Ukraine looks west

Public attitudes in Ukraine and Serbia raise pressing questions about EU enlargement. If member states are to sustain this process, they will need to base it on a shared sense of belonging

The end of tit-for-tat politics in Bulgaria

In an environment in which European and American interests are not always the same, it is short-sighted and dangerous for Bulgarian leaders to question their country’s geopolitical alignment

How Biden can make a big difference in the Western Balkans

Joe Biden has a longstanding relationship with the Western Balkans. A re-energised US policy on the region could be transformative, especially when working in tandem with the EU

Podcasts

Events

In the media