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.

Fragility in the making

Bulgarians go to polls on Sunday. Instead of enhancing the fledgling democracy, the elections have increased feelings of uncertainty concerning Bulgaria?s democratic future.

Russia’s EU Trojan horse makes a change

Bulgaria seems to have learned a lesson from January?s gas crisis ? Europeanise its energy resources. Vessela Tcherneva gives a first hand account of the Sofia Energy Conference.

Moldova: time to take sides

The decision to hold a recount in Moldova’s disputed election offers the European Union an opportunity to rediscover its democratic agency, says Vessela Tcherneva

Bridging Europe’s solidarity gap

Today there is a new division in Europe – a solidarity gap. How will the EU bridge this perception, asks Vessela Tcherneva.

Gas crisis should refocus the EU’s priorities

Bulgaria was one of the countries worst affected by the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine. What lessons are there for Bulgaria to learn?

An overly comfortable limbo

Like Greece and Macedonia itself, the EU is too willing to accept Macedonia?s state of limbo

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