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.
Our experts pick out four main topics to pay attention to ahead of the NATO Summit in Brussels
Vessela Tcherneva - 04 July 2018
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
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.
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 fell? What are this generation’s thoughts 30 years later and predications for Europe in the coming 30 years?
This podcast was recorded on 21 November 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 Ignacio Torreblanca and Vessela Tcherneva to get to the bottom of things and the divisions particularly between France and Germany on this issue.
The podcast as recorded on 17 October 2019.
Mark Leonard speaks with Vessela Tcherneva and Robert Cooper about the contested result and how it might be solved.
Carnegie report on the Balkan wars
Safe Passage - The Transition from British to American Hegemony by Tori Schake
The Master and Margarita Reader’s Guide by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Age of Rubens: Diplomacy, Dynastic politics and the Visual Arts in Early 17th Century Europe
Breaking old habits in the Balkans by Robert Cooper
Macedonia’s looming war of interpretations by Vessela Tcherneva
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 outside in.
Nouveau podcast de notre série sur l'élection présidentielle de 2017 ayant pour objectif de traiter les thèmes d'actualité et de contribuer au débat dans la perspective des élections françaises.
Cet épisode des Views from the Capitals de l'ECFR examine les attitudes des gouvernements et opinions publiques dans les capitales européennes au sujet de l'élection présidentielle française et de la victoire d'Emmanuel Macron, en particulier concernant les enjeux de politique étrangère.
La discussion a eu lieu entre Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, directeur du bureau de Paris, Josef Janning, directeur du bureau de Berlin, Vessela Tcherneva, directrice du bureau de Sofia, Silvia Francescon, directrice du bureau de Rome, Piotr Buras, directeur du bureau de Varsovie, Susi Dennison, directrice du programme European Power et représentant l'opinion britannique, et Borja Lasheras, directeur du bureau de Madrid.
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 accession to the EU is losing its credibility in the region.
The podcast was recorded on 5th May 2017.
Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
Dubravka Ugrešić, Baba Yaga Laid an Egg
Anne-Marie Slaughter, The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World
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 prospects.
The podcast was recorded in Brussels on 24 March 2017.