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.

Four things to know ahead of the NATO Summit

Our experts pick out four main topics to pay attention to ahead of the NATO Summit in Brussels 

Trump vs. EU: The dead end of the normative approach

A divided EU – with an unstable Germany, a UK on its way out and renegade central eastern member states – is only of interest to the US as an ally in competition with Russia and China

Power words: Europe’s stake in the Macedonian name dispute

By actively supporting Macedonia and Greece to settle their name conflict, the EU could energise other countries of the Western Balkans to engage in democratic reforms, while also strengthening their economic outlook – and counter an assertive Russia

The End of the Concept of ‘the West’?

The West is more and more divided and global strategic interests are diverging. The impact of the US President on views and transatlantic trust is significant. 

Bulgaria: The unforeseen effects of the Presidency

Bulgarian politicians and officials will have to challenge the stereotypes about Bulgaria during their six month presidency and learn to strike coalitions in the EU

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