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                                                                                POLITICAL CRISIS IN BULGARIA

In March, Bulgaria has entered into a new political crisis following five consecutive parliamentary elections since April 2021. The ruling coalition of the center-right GERB and liberal PP-DB collapsed after the failure of the GERB’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mariya Gabriel to take over the premiership from the outgoing Premier Nikolay Denkov, implementing the agreement of the two parties for rotating the post after nine months. Consequently, the country is moving towards its sixth consecutive parliamentary election, maintaining the political instability and uncertainty. The Bulgarian President, Rumen Radev has nominated Dimitar Glavchev - as the Prime Minister-designate – to form a caretaker Government with the task to hold the snap elections. According to the Bulgarian Presidency, the extraordinary parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place on June 9th, 2024 together with the European Parliament elections.

The collapse of the ruling coalition was the result of disagreements between the two parts which reached their peak during the scheduled rotation of the Prime Minister between Denkov and Gabriel. The main points of the conflict are the cabinet’s composition and the terms of the agreement on the reform agenda. A speculation has emerged that GERB did not want to proceed with the reform agenda, deliberately torpedoing the negotiations with PP-DB.

Consequences of the Bulgarian political crisis are overcoming domestic interests. First of all the delay of the reform agenda could disorient Bulgaria for its strategic goals of the full integration in the Schengen zone and the entrance in Eurozone by 2025. Apart from that, Bulgaria is a NATO member state and a key weapons and ammunition supplier to Ukraine and there are fears that this support could be disrupted due to the political deadlock. There is also the possibility of strengthening of pro-Russian rhetoric by radical political forces of Bulgaria. Finally, the collapse of the ruling coalition could even affect the election of the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, which is supported by the EPP (GERB is a member of EPP), for a second term, disturbing the fragile balance of power within the European Council, which will decide the renewal of her term in the coming June.

April 6th, 2024

Ioannis Karampelas

President of HERMES Institute of International Affairs, Security & Geoeconomy






​​​​​April 18th, 2024

National Day of:

Republic of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe celabrates its National Day on April 18th every year, commemorating its independence from United Kingdom on this day in 1980. Zimbabwe was first influenced by Europeans with the arrival of The British South Africa Company in the 1890s. The area became known as Southern Rhodesia in 1895 and was governed by the British South Africa Company until 1922 when the European settlers voted to become a British Colony. In 1953, the United Kingdom created the Central African Federation, made up of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi). The federation was broken up in 1964 and Ian Smith became Prime Minister of the country (now called Rhodesia). Smith declared independence from Britain in 1965, with the government being run by the white minority, but was not recognised internationally and led to an extensive campaign of guerilla warfare within Rhodesia and the rise of the Zanu and Zapu organisations. The white minority finally consented to multiracial elections in 1980. Robert Mugabe and his Zanu party won the elections, with Mugabe becoming Prime Minister and Zimbabwe's independence being formally recognised on April 18th, 1980.​​​​​​