About: Western Balkans

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”.

Enlargement 04-04-2017

Tusk tells Macedonia, paralysed by political crisis, to focus on EU entry

European Council President Donald Tusk said in Macedonia yesterday (3 April) he hoped the country's leaders would avoid fuelling ethnic tensions and focus on advancing towards EU membership instead.

Enlargement 03-04-2017

Hungary warns about growing foreign influence in the Balkans

The growing influence of Moscow and Ankara in the Western Balkan region is raising concern among the leaders of European centre-right political parties, who have called for a revival of EU aspirations in the region. EURACTIV.com reports from Malta.

Global Europe 03-04-2017

Albanian foreign minister: New Balkan alliances oppose tribunals

In a wide-ranging interview, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania Ditmir Bushati explained the political situation in his country, the so-called ‘Tirana platform’ that has raised eyebrows in Macedonia, Balkan geopolitics and the need for the EU to do more for the six candidate countries.

Global Europe 29-03-2017

US Senate backs Montenegro’s membership of NATO

The US Senate yesterday (28 March) overwhelmingly backed the expansion of NATO to allow Montenegro to join the alliance, hoping to send a message that the United States will push back against Russian efforts to increase its influence in Europe.

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.