The Balkans

Politics 17-09-2021

Đukanović: Russia tells us EU-NATO is not a good geopolitical choice

The geopolitical vacuum in the Balkans is being exploited by countries like Russia, Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović said during a visit to Zagreb. His Croatian counterpart, Zoran Milanović, said Montenegro is the victim of a lack of interest on the...
Politics 17-09-2021

Slovenian PM urges member states to back Lithuania in spat with China

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša called on fellow EU leaders to back Lithuania in its dispute with China when they meet in Slovenia in early October, saying the country faced “unprecedented and regrettable challenges vis-à-vis China.” China has condemned the...
Politics 17-09-2021

Croatia to enjoy USA Visa Waiver program by end of year

Croatian citizens will be able to travel to the US without a visa as early as the end of this year. Serena Hoy, assistant secretary for international affairs at the US Department of Homeland Security, told Hina news agency that Secretary...
Politics 17-09-2021

President Iohannis wants Romgaz to extract Black Sea gas

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has backed the partnership between OMV Petrom and Romania’s state-owned natural gas producer Romgaz in the offshore project Neptun Deep. The Black Sea deepwater perimeter, which is currently equally owned by OMV Petrom and US giant...
Politics 17-09-2021

Don’t be Europe’s idiots, warns Bulgaria’s chief health inspector

“If we continue to behave like the idiots of Europe, we will deal a terrible blow to our economy and tourism,” said Chief Health Inspector Angel Kunchev, who proposes restrictive measures against COVID-19 in the country. The decision to impose...
Politics 16-09-2021

Bosnian foreign ministry advises citizens against travelling to Serbia

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement advising its citizens not to travel to Serbia citing the alleged risk of arrest on charges of war crimes. “We recommend that all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who...
Politics 16-09-2021

Former Serbian President: Merkel knows Vučić undermines democracy

The former president of Serbia, Boris Tadić, said on Wednesday that all Serbian citizens not under the influence of the state propaganda and private media controlled by the Serbian Progressive Party, knew that President Aleksandar Vučić and his regime are...
Politics 16-09-2021

Croatian president agrees with Hungarian and Polish stand that EU can’t be supra-state

The European Union consists of national states and the EU cannot be a federation or a supra-state, Croatian President Zoran Milanović told the press in Rome. “There is no European federation or supra-state. It is a fantasy nurtured by some....
Politics 16-09-2021

Romania discusses energy price caps

The Romanian government will discuss a way to cap natural gas prices after a significant increase this year, Prime Minister Florin Citu said on Wednesday. In August, Citu said that introducing a cap on energy prices was off the table....
Politics 16-09-2021

Commission demands from Bulgaria ‘exact date’ to end coal

The European Commission wants a clear plan from Bulgaria to close its coal-fired power plants and ensure that European funding for the regions does not go only to the capital, Sofia. These are the two conditions set by Brussels for...
Politics 15-09-2021

Slovenia introduces COVID pass mandate

Virtually all services establishments and workplaces in Slovenia will require a COVID pass as of Wednesday, in a sweeping tightening of restrictions designed to stem a rapidly deteriorating fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. All workers and...
Politics 15-09-2021

Vučić calls on all Serbs in all Serbian countries, including Croatia, to hang a flag

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has called on Serbs to hang out the Serbian flag on Wednesday, because that date was defined as a Day of Serbian Unity, Freedom and National Flag. The call was made primarily to Serbs in Serbia...
Politics 15-09-2021

COVID figures rise

The number of coronavirus infections rose Wednesday by the highest daily figure in more than five months, government data showed. Almost 4,000 new infections were reported and the hospitals are again getting a high number of COVID patients, including in...
Politics 15-09-2021

Political conflict over COVID jabs in Bulgaria takes an ugly turn

The chairman of the parliamentary group of the leading “There is such a people” (ITN) party, Toshko Yordanov, called MEP Radan Kanev (Democratic Bulgaria, EPP) “garbage”. The latter had asked for the EU’s help with efforts to increase the number of vaccinated...
Politics 15-09-2021

Merkel meets Western Balkans leaders in Tirana, highlights regional cooperation

One of the statements after the meeting between Angela Merkel and prime ministers of six Western Balkans EU hopefuls underlined the need for further work on the so-called Berlin Process as one of the most important diplomatic initiatives since 2014,...
Politics 14-09-2021

Ciolos tells von der Leyen USR PLUS remains committed to reforms

USR PLUS remains committed to the reforms included in the governing program despite the fact that its representatives have left the government, said Dacian Ciolos, co-president of the party. Ciolos, who is also the chair of the Renew Europe group...
Politics 14-09-2021

Right-wing parties start campaign against euro in Croatia

Croatian Sovereignists, a radical right political party, have said they will not give up on the national kuna currency without a democratic fight. The campaign to fight against the euro started two years ago, but on Monday, Sovereignists raised their...
Politics 14-09-2021

Merkel says Kosovo issue must be closed before Serbia joins EU

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Belgrade on 13 September that Serbia had progressed in reforms, but both Serbia and the entire region still had a long way to go in their EU membership bid. “I know that the perception...
Politics 14-09-2021

Bulgaria’s political crisis dashes Skopje’s EU hopes

The ongoing political crisis in Bulgaria, which will have to hold its third parliamentary election in less than a year, leaves few chances that Sofia will lift its veto on the European integration of North Macedonia before the end of...
Politics 13-09-2021

EBRD Vice President says now is the right time to invest in Western Balkans railways

The Western Balkan railways are doing well in the process of adjusting to the EU railway network and pan-European corridors, while the sectoral priorities are opening markets, management and interoperability, the Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and...
Politics 13-09-2021

Danish Social Democrats: Croatia is right to return migrants

The Croatian government is doing the right thing by stopping illegal migrants at the Croatian border, the spokesman for the ruling Danish Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokraterne), Rasmus Stoklund, told Hina in an interview. However, he avoided commenting on criticism by several civil...
Politics 13-09-2021

Ciolos to abandon Renew Europe leadership if he becomes president of USR PLUS

Former EU Commissioner Dacian Ciolos told his liberal USR PLUS party members that he would resign from the presidency of the Renew Europe group in the EU Parliament if he became president of the party. Ciolos, who currently serves as...
Politics 13-09-2021

Bulgaria to hold parliamentary and presidential elections at the same time

Bulgarians will vote in both parliamentary and presidential elections on 14 November as the political crisis in the EU’s poorest country is deepening. Incumbent President Rumen Radev is expected to dissolve parliament this week. Following the last elections earlier this...
Politics 13-09-2021

Đukanović: Vučić would like Kosovo without Albanians and Montenegro without Montenegrins

In an interview with EURACTIV’s partner Jutarnji list, Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović said Serbia is a political, security and information base for the realisation of Russian geopolitical interests in the Balkans. According to him, Serbia believes it is time for a...