Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bulgaria and Romania at Europe's Edge

Dr. Stephanos Katsikas
European Union Center-affiliated faculty member, Dr. Stephanos Katsikas has had his article, "Bulgaria and Romania at Europe's Edge," published in the March 2014 issue of Current History. Dr. Katsika's article outlines how, although joining the European Union has been beneficial to both Bulgaria and Romania, the two countries integration into the EU has not been necessarily simple. In joining the EU, the two countries had hoped that this would be a simple solution to obtaining democratic stability, economic growth, and greater opportunity but their accession has not automatically granted them these benefits. This has led to the two countries struggling to meet their obligations as EU member states, and several steps need to be taken in order for Bulgaria and Romania to truly capitalize on their membership of the EU, such as combating corruption and organized crime, advocating and protecting human and minority rights, and enforcing judicial reforms. Being a member of the EU requires countries to actively participate in improving the state of affairs in said country; joining does not equate overnight change. Bulgaria and Romania must work towards achieving the higher ideals of national development and cooperation that being an EU member state evoke.

Dr. Katsikas is both the director of and a lecturer for the Modern Greek Studies program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also a lecturer for the Russian, East European and Eurasian Center. Congratulations, Dr. Katsikas!

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