About: Western Balkans

Future EU 28-03-2017

Slovenian president: We should be in fast lane of a multi-speed EU

If the European Union decides in future to become a multi-speed bloc, Slovenia would want to line up with nations in the faster lane, Slovenian President Borut Pahor said on Monday (27 March).

Politics 24-03-2017

Juncker to US: If the EU collapses, there will be war in Balkans

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned US Vice President Mike Spence of another war in the Western Balkans if the EU collapses, including as a result of Donald Trump encouraging member states to leave after Brexit.

Enlargement 17-03-2017

EU pushes Western Balkans toward common market

The European Union yesterday (16 March) encouraged the Western Balkan countries to create a common market, which it estimated could create over 80,000 jobs in an area of high unemployment.

Politics 15-03-2017

Russia: Commission should play a more positive role in the Western Balkans

Speaking to EURACTIV.com, Russia’s Ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, criticised the European Commission’s handling of the crises in Macedonia and Kosovo, and regretted the “hysteria” over alleged Russian interference in Montenegro.

The Brief: Brussels’ Balkans balancing act

The European Union must perform a delicate balancing act as it seeks to win the tug of love over the Western Balkans with Moscow and Ankara.

Enlargement 13-03-2017

Brussels’ Balkan approach: Little carrot, broken stick

Once staunchly pro-EU, Kosovars are losing patience with Brussels, which they accuse of prioritising Serbian accession over their own sovereignty, warns the mayor of Kosovo’s capital, Shpend Ahmeti.

Global Europe 10-03-2017

EU leaders concerned over ‘return of Balkan demons’

EU leaders voiced concern yesterday (9 March) about "external influences" fueling division in the western Balkans, as Britain announced a summit to focus efforts on stabilising a key region vulnerable to Russian meddling.

Enlargement 09-03-2017

EU to recommit support to Balkan candidate countries

European Union leaders will pledge "unequivocal support" for the Balkans today (9 March) in order to counter Russian influence and reinvigorate the region's bid to join the bloc, diplomats said.

Global Europe 07-03-2017

EU ministers: Balkans becoming ‘chessboard’ for big powers

The EU warned yesterday (6 March) that the Western Balkans risk becoming a "chessboard" in a game between major powers, as Britain accused Russia of meddling in the region.

Enlargement 06-03-2017

Mogherini to debrief EU leaders on external threats to Western Balkans

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini will report to European foreign ministers today (6 March) on a trip she took to all six Western Balkans EU hopefuls, who find themselves under mounting geopolitical pressure.

Global Europe 03-03-2017

Balkan Mission Impossible for Mogherini

Europe’s foreign policy supremo, Federica Mogherini, is off on a mission even more difficult than getting Iran and the US to agree their nuclear deal, writes Denis MacShane.

Elections 24-02-2017

Hahn: All sides in Montenegro should show restraint

In an exclusive interview against the background of stalemate in Montenegro, Neighbourhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn told EURACTIV.com that he trusts the country’s political leaders will find a way to compromise, and that he hoped to meet them soon.

Future EU 23-02-2017

Resilient but shaky Bosnia marks a year since EU application

In the year since Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) submitted its formal application to join the European Union, little has gone according to plan for the fragile country, writes Sanford Henry.

Enlargement 30-01-2017

The approach the EU should take to the Western Balkans

The European Union’s approach to the Western Balkans is much the same as its approach to North Africa and the Middle East: prioritising stability. As a result, the Union risks aligning itself with increasingly illiberal and authoritarian regimes and mistaking their power for stability, argues Arlind Puka.

Slovenian parliament legalises migrant push-backs

Slovenia's parliament amended its laws yesterday (26 January) to enable police to seal the country's borders to most illegal migrants for a limited period in case of a new influx along the so-called Balkan route, sparking condemnation from rights groups.

Global Europe 27-01-2017

Tusk warns Montenegro, Western Balkans, against ‘alternatives’ to EU

European Council President Donald Tusk warned yesterday (26 January) against “nationalist rhetoric” in the Western Balkans that may seek to divert Montenegro, and other countries, from their Euro-Atlantic path.

Enlargement 20-01-2017

Croatian PM: EU-hopeful countries need motivation to continue with reform

The European Union must find the right narrative to address the frustrations of the Balkan countries, which are losing hope of joining the bloc as EU appetite for enlargement fades, said Croatia Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in an interview with EURACTIV.com in Davos.

Amnesty International slams Slovenia’s new anti-migration law

Amnesty International said the Slovenian Parliament should reject amendments to the Aliens Act that, once triggered, would breach international law.

Enlargement 12-12-2016

Hahn: EU ‘will never be complete’ without Western Balkan countries

Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn has praised the progress made by the Western Balkans in getting ready for EU membership and said that the bloc will “never be complete” without them.

Enlargement 30-11-2016

Hungary urges EU to speed up Balkan accession talks

Hungary called on the European Union to speed up accession talks with the Western Balkans yesterday (29 November), so as to "protect" the bloc from a future influx of migrants.

Enlargement 30-11-2016

Balkan candidates hope to reinvigorate EU bids with new strategy

Enlargement has fallen off the EU’s list of priorities and the Union is more than likely to shrink before it grows again. But the Western Balkans are still aspiring EU members and a new strategy has been developed that hopes to put them back on Brussels’ immediate agenda.

Enlargement 09-11-2016

Hahn wants ‘clear mandate’ to discuss if EU-Turkey relations have a future

Neighbourhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn, who is also responsible of enlargement negotiations, said today (9 November) that faced with the pressure of some political groups and some member states to freeze the negotiations with Turkey, he wants a clear mandate to discuss the issue with Ankara.

Enlargement 09-11-2016

Socialists and Democrats: Trump is dangerous

The results of the US election show the need for the EU to start focusing on its own interests, Knut Fleckenstein, vice-president of the Socialists and Democrats group (S&D), told EURACTIV.com.

Enlargement 03-10-2016

Serbia mulls more border controls in wake of Hungarian defiance

Serbia should be prepared to further tighten border security, President Tomislav Nikolić said today (3 October), in a sign regional leaders have been emboldened by Hungary's defiant line on migration.