Alice Taylor

Enlargement 23-06-2022

Western Balkans fume over enlargement deadlock

On the sidelines of the triumphant rhetoric over Ukraine and Moldova's imminent granting of EU candidate status, EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday (23 June) faced furious Western Balkan counterparts, highly frustrated about the lack of their own progress on the EU path.
Enlargement 22-06-2022

Albania confirms presence at EU summit, no word from Serbia, North Macedonia

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama confirmed on Wednesday (22 June) that he will attend Thursday's EU summit that will focus on enlargement, after announcing on Tuesday that he may boycott it due to Bulgaria’s veto over North Macedonia that is also holding up Tirana.

EU welcomes energy agreement between Kosovo and Serbia

An agreement signed between Kosovo and Serbia that will see Serbs in the north of Kosovo pay for electricity for the first time in 23 years has been welcomed by the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell and the Commission. Serbs...
Global Europe 21-06-2022

Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia could boycott EU summit, Vucic says

Serbian President Aleksander Vučić has said that he and his Albanian and North Macedonian counterparts will announce on Wednesday (22 June) at noon whether they will take part in an upcoming EU summit, set to have a big focus on enlargement.
Enlargement 16-06-2022

Western Balkan hopefuls hope to ride on Ukraine’s train to membership

Three of the four Western Balkan EU candidates have signed a joint statement with Ukraine in support of its EU candidacy, in a signal that fast-tracking the war-torn eastern country would not mess up their own slow-moving EU integration but...

Albanian government pledges Vjosa National Park but no timeline given

The Albanian government signed a memorandum of understanding with international company Patagonia to develop the Vjosa National Park, Europe’s first wild river park, as Prime Minister Edi Rama pledged that any economic activity affecting the river would be prohibited. Rama,...

Albania’s march towards gasification continues with two new gas fields

The government has announced the approval of two new solar panel parks and an agreement on two gas fields as part of a continued bid to diversify the country’s energy sector. Albania currently generates almost 100% hydropower, but as it...
Global Europe 13-06-2022

In Brussels, Bosnian leaders pledge commitment to Europe, democracy and stability

The leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 9BiH) political parties and members of the presidency met in Brussels on Sunday (12 June) to adopt an agreement pledging commitment to preserving a peaceful, stable, and independent state and adhering to EU values.

Kosovo to apply for EU membership by end of 2022

Kosovo will apply for EU membership at the end of this year, Prime Minister Albin Kurti said during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Pristina on Friday (10 June).
Agrifood 03-06-2022

Albanian farmers receive lowest government subsidies in region

Albanian farmers receive 18 times less financial support from the state than other countries in the region, according to an analysis published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, leading to concerns about the distribution of EU funds. Farming...
Global Europe 02-06-2022

Afghan refugees in Albania, forgotten and facing eviction

Afghan refugees staying in the Albanian coastal city of Shengjin until their visas for the US and other countries are processed say they are facing eviction, having their passports confiscated, and that many of the NGOs that were helping them...

Defunct Albanian natural gas fields could be operational soon

The Delvina Gas Company has applied to the Albanian authorities to complete works to explore the Delvina Field for natural gas in a bid to gasify the country further. An agreement was first signed to explore the region in 2007, but the...
Agrifood 19-05-2022

EU to fund Albanian agriculture, organic farming, rural development

The EU is set to plough some €112 million into Albanian agricultural and rural development, including sustainability, agritourism, and organic farming, as a part of the IPARD III programme announced on Wednesday. The programme covers 2021 to 2027 and seeks...

Bulgaria and Albania set ground for new gas corridor

A Memorandum of Understanding for the gasification of Albania was signed this week between three companies in the presence of Prime Minister Edi Rama and former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, signalling the start of a new potential natural...
Agrifood 17-05-2022

Albania pledges to meet Green Deal organic farming targets by 2030

Albania is confident it can reach the European Green Deal target of 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030 without negatively impacting farmers or consumers during the transition, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Frida Krifca said. Krifca represented Albania at...
Global Europe 12-05-2022

Serbia reacts strongly to Kosovo Council of Europe application

Following Kosovo’s submission of an application to the Council of Europe (CoE) on Thursday (12 May), Serbian President Aleksander Vučić called an urgent meeting of the National Security Council for Friday, claiming Pristina has violated a number of agreements.
Global Europe 10-05-2022

Thirty-one years after communism, Albanians demand democratic reform

A new report by the Albanian Insitute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) says the electorate wants more democratic progress in the EU candidate country, considered a hybrid, or only partly democratic, regime according to Freedom House.
Agrifood 10-05-2022

Albanian inflation strikes citizens, agribusinesses

Prices have continued to rise in Albania, hitting citizens’ wallets hard and putting small agricultural businesses in a perilous position as food and transport register the highest increases. According to INSTAT, inflation reached 6.2% in April, a new record following...
Technology 09-05-2022

Reporters Without Borders clap back at Albanian prime minister’s denials

Reporters Without Borders has responded to the claims by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama that the reports of media violations in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index were “lies” and “fantasy” by debunking his denials. Albania fell 20 places in...
Technology 04-05-2022

Albanian prime minister claims RSF report is lies, fantasy

Prime Minister Edi Rama has called the Reporters Without Borders’s assessment of press freedom in Albania a “lie” and “fantasy” after the country dropped a staggering 20 places in one year. On Tuesday morning, RSF released its annual World Press...
Technology 03-05-2022

Albania, BiH are Balkans biggest losers, North Macedonia improves in RSF report

The Western Balkans has consistently struggled with issues relating to the rule of law, media freedom, and upholding human rights. But some progress has been seen in the area of media freedom in 2021, although more needs to be done, according to the recent Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index.
Agrifood 28-04-2022

Albanian beekeepers cautious over draft law to align with EU acquis

Albania’s beekeeping sector will be regulated as the government has proposed the final draft of a new law that would impact those with just one hive, in an effort to align with the EU acquis. But not all beekeepers are buzzing over the news.

Albania looks at gasification with a €4 billion price tag

Amid the global energy crisis, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, Albania is working to diversify its energy sources, including by introducing gas and wind power, with the former set to cost up to €4 billion to implement.
Politics 22-04-2022

EU-mediated Kosovo-Serbia dialogue on license plates fails

Kosovo and Serbia have failed to agree on the issue of license plates, an issue that sparked unrest along the border in September 2021, after the deadline expired on Thursday, 21 April.