About: Western Balkans

Enlargement 13-09-2017

Juncker waves ‘credible EU prospects’ at Balkans, but no fast membership

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker stayed true to form on the EU's enlargement prospects in his annual address on Wednesday (13 September), calling for a "credible enlargement perspective" for the Western Balkans while ruling out any fast track to membership.

Enlargement 21-08-2017

Kosovo’s election deadlock blocks funds, recognition

Kosovo's failure to establish a government two months after an election is stalling its bids for greater international recognition and blocking funds for the poverty-stricken country.

Global Europe 14-08-2017

Belgrade seeks ‘delimitation’ for Serbs in Kosovo

Serbia's foreign minister and a top ally of President Aleksandar Vučić has suggested a compromise to end a conflict over Kosovo, the newest independent European state, that is blocking Serbia's hopes of European Union membership.

Enlargement 14-08-2017

Western powers concerned at Kosovo political deadlock

Leading western powers voiced concern yesterday (13 August) at political deadlock in Kosovo, which has still not formed a government two months after snap elections in the tiny country, a former Serbian province.

Enlargement 14-07-2017

Trans-Europe Express: Will the EU ever get the Western Balkans right?

The EU's fast-and-loose approach to the Western Balkans has never been more evident than in the last few years.

Enlargement 13-07-2017

EU pledges funds for new Balkan railway, transport projects

This week's summit of the six Western Balkans EU hopefuls and EU leaders fell somewhat short of political expectations but produced concrete results in financing regional transport projects, most notably a railway link between the capitals of Macedonia and Bulgaria.

Enlargement 13-07-2017

At Trieste trilateral, Italy laments migrant burden

In the margins of the Western Balkans summit in Trieste, Italy's Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni criticised fellow EU member states on Wednesday (12 July) for leaving his country to grapple with the migrant crisis, despite pledges made by France and Germany.

Climate change 11-07-2017

Western Balkans cannot track climate action without appropriate monitoring

The European Commission has just announced it will drop a mechanism to monitor progress in limiting greenhouse gas emissions in the Western Balkans. The decision will make it difficult to track and manage the climate goals in a region that is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, warns Dragana Mileusnić.

Enlargement 11-07-2017

EU enlargement: A six percent target for the Western Balkans

If the Western Balkans are to overcome almost three decades of economic stagnation and crisis, they will need to double their annual growth rates. This will need a fundamental rethink of the EU’s enlargement policy, argue Tobias Flessenkemper and Dušan Reljić.

Enlargement 10-07-2017

EU seeks to nudge Balkans into economic, transport cooperation

The European Union will seek to give a new boost to the six EU hopefuls in the Western Balkans at a summit this week, by steering their talks on a common regional market and signing off on a number of transport and energy projects meant to attract investment to the region and boost its economy.

Politics 28-06-2017

Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency: Cohesion will be one of our priorities

Bulgaria will take over the rotating Presidency of the EU from 1 January 2018. Lilyana Pavlova, the minister for the Bulgarian Presidency, told EURACTIV.com about its priorities, which include security and migration, the Western Balkans and the future of cohesion policy.

Air Pollution 26-06-2017

Western Balkans holds breath for better air quality

In the Western Balkans, air pollution can be a fatal problem, made worse by some of those countries’ energy policies. Ioana Ciuta sheds light on the region’s developing crisis, which is claiming lives at an alarming rate.

Enlargement 22-06-2017

Mastercard poll: Serbians concerned about underground economy

The shadow economy limits the state's ability to provide public services, according to 2/3rds of Serbians surveyed. 8 out of 10 say it inhibits growth. For a country in which undocumented trade accounts for 30% of its GDP, the concern could not be clearer. EURACTIV.rs reports.

Digital 21-06-2017

Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria ‘presidency trio’ outlines priorities

Ministers representing the incoming Estonian, Bulgarian and Austrian presidencies of the Council of the EU outlined on Tuesday (20 June) their priorities, which seem to differ substantially.

Enlargement 16-06-2017

Kosovo lurches to nationalism as Brussels lets down its friends

Elections in the West Balkans are never easy. Federica Mogherini might consider intervening now on the side of the pro-European forces in Kosovo, writes Denis MacShane.

Global Europe 12-06-2017

New Macedonia leaders vow to revive EU/NATO bid

Macedonia's new leaders showed fresh resolve to revive the country's stalled bid for membership of the EU and NATO on Monday (June 12) by vowing to mend relations with estranged EU neighbours Greece and Bulgaria and implement long-delayed reforms.

Enlargement 08-06-2017

Berlin Plus: EU signals Western Balkans still a priority

Sigmar Gabriel hopes his new Berlin Plus plan will receive a warm welcome. Intended to dispel fears in the Western Balkans that the Union is preoccupied with domestic crises, Belgrade worries Berlin Plus is an excuse to leave Serbia in the "EU waiting room". EURACTIV.rs reports.

07-06-2017

EU hopes for Western Balkan common market deal by mid-2018

The European Union hopes six Balkan countries will agree at a summit on July 12 in Italy to create a regional common market that could be working within a year, a top EU official said on Tuesday (6 June), in the bloc's latest step to re-engage the region.

Transport 31-05-2017

‘Chinese Balkan corridor’ pits EU north against south

The Western Balkans have become China’s preferred access point to the EU, and a corridor to Europe’s north from the Greek port of Piraeus is being financed by Beijing. But Brussels fears EU rules will not be respected, while in northern countries, big ports resent the competition.

26-05-2017

On 11 June, Kosovo must elect a European future

Kosovo’s up-coming election is a chance for the country to confirm itself as a “bright spot” in the Balkans and choose the path towards European integration, writes Avdullah Hoti.

Global Europe 10-05-2017

Serbian FM: Albanian politicians are the main threat to Europe and the Balkans

EXCLUSIVE / The EU should recognise that Albanian politicians are the main threat to peace and stability not only in the Balkans but also in Europe, Serbia’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dačić told EURACTIV.com.

Enlargement 05-05-2017

Kosovo needs a new beginning

In Kosovo, far too much time has been spent on issues like border demarcation. Delivering peace instead of war is one thing but that is not enough when young people want a good education and their parents want jobs, warns Kosovar politician Kadri Veseli.

Global Europe 04-05-2017

Hahn: Everything is possible in Macedonia

Neighbourhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn told MEPs today (4 May) that with recent violence in the Macedonian parliament he saw “the impossible”, and then added “but obviously everything is possible” in the country.

Enlargement 04-05-2017

Chizhov: There is an alternative to Euro-Atlantic integration

Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's ambassador to the EU, told a group of journalists yesterday (3 May) that his country could offer an alternative to Macedonia, to the Western Balkans and to any countries, as, in his view, “there is always an alternative to Euro-Atlantic integration”.