Languages: Bulgarian, English, German, Russian
Areas of Expertise: EU foreign policy; Western Balkans and Black Sea regions; transatlantic relations; regional studies; energy
Vessela Tcherneva is the deputy director of the European Council on Foreign Relations and head of the Sofia office. Her topics of focus include EU foreign policy and the Western Balkans and Black Sea region.
From 2010 to 2013, Tcherneva was the spokesperson for the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a member of the political cabinet of Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov. 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; the 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.
Vessela Tcherneva - 21 January, 2015
A stagnating Western Balkan economy (and a weaker EU) has made Bulgaria the battleground of Russia's energy projects and Western pushback.
Vessela Tcherneva - 5 December, 2014
It has been two days since Vladimir Putin announced the death of the South Stream pipeline and the domestic political fallout in Bulgaria continues.
Vessela Tcherneva - 11 November, 2014
Observers will be watching to see how the new coalition government in Sofia handles the controversial South Stream gas pipeline project.
Vessela Tcherneva - 8 October, 2014
A look at the delicate political negotiations of Bulgaria's 2014 parliamentary elections.
3 October, 2014
The EU is ill-equipped to respond to foreign policy crises.
Vessela Tcherneva - 11 September, 2014
Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commission's new Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources, will help provide direction and cohesion to Juncker's commission.
Mark Leonard discusses the latest developments in Iraq with Myriam Benraad, Vessela Tcherneva and Julien Barnes-Dacy Bookshelf: Irak : l'EIIL est né des rancoeurs de 2004, la solution ne peut être que politique by Myriam Benraad The Good Spy: the Life and…
21 May, 2014
Mark Leonard talks to José Ignacio Torreblanca, François Godement and Vessela Tcherneva about elections, outcomes, and the role of the Russians. Bookshelf: José Ignacio Torreblanca; "Who will run Europe after the European parliament…
3 March, 2014
The key challenge for the West is to deter any possible Russian action in Eastern Ukraine, and pursue a twin-track policy aimed at de-escalation.
What will be the big foreign policy trends in 2014? Mark Leonard talks to Julien Barnes-Dacey and Vessela Tcherneva about what will shape the politics in the Middle East/North Africa and the Eastern Neighbourhood/Russia. Bookshelf: Sectarian Gulf: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the…
by Various authors - 09th June, 2016
Europe shouldn’t be afraid of Russian and Chinese efforts to integrate the Eurasian landmass, but should absorb them into its international order
by Francisco de Borja Lasheras, with Vessela Tcherneva and Fredrik Wesslau - 21st March, 2016
Host Mark Leonard has an intimate discussion with our heads of offices from Sofia and Warsaw, Vessela Tcherneva and Piotr Buras about their experiences, hopes and dreams during the transition times of the 1990s. How did their life and future change the minute the Berlin Wall…
18 October, 2019
North Macedonia and Albania wanted to start negotiations with the EU after having been candidate countries since 2005 and 2014. But the enlargement plans seemed to have stalled especially after opposition from France. Host Mark Leonard is joined by Susi Dennison, José…
Mark Leonard speaks with Vessela Tcherneva and Robert Cooper about the contested result and how it might be solved. Bookshelf: Carnegie report on the Balkan wars Safe Passage - The Transition from British to American Hegemony by Tori Schake The Master and Margarita…
12 May, 2017
This week, rather than putting out our ordinary podcast, we're leaving the floor to Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, head of ECFR Paris, who's hosting a discussion with the heads of most of ECFR's offices from around Europe to look at France and Macron's rise from the…
Mark Leonard talks with the director of ECFR's office in Sofia, Vessela Tcherneva and the director of ECFR's Wider Europe programme, Fredrik Wesslau about the crisis in Macedonia and the bigger picture of political stagnation and chaos in the Balkans, at a time when…
ECFR’s director Mark Leonard speaks with Soli Özel, ECFR Council Member and Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University in Istanbul and ECFR's Vessela Tcherneva on the upcoming Turkish constitutional referendum and Turkey's EU membership…