Enlargement

Ukraine: ‘We have already paid for our EU membership with blood’

10-05-2022

As Russia's war rages on in the country's east, Ukrainian officials are lobbying hard for EU leaders to grant the country candidate status as soon as possible, also as insurance to seal Kyiv’s strategic orientation.

23-05-2022

The Brief – Russia’s hub in the heart of Europe

The European Union has gone to great lengths to sanction Russia over its military aggression against Ukraine and the war crimes committed there. Some of the sanctions are very painful for EU countries, as many of them depend on Russian...
23-05-2022

France sees no EU entry for Ukraine before ’15 or 20 years’

A bid by Ukraine to join the European Union would not be finalised for "15 or 20 years," France's Europe minister said Sunday (22 May), pouring cold water on Kyiv's hopes for quick entry in the wake of Russia's invasion.
22-05-2022

Zelenskyy warns only diplomacy can end war, rejects alternative to EU enlargement

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned only a diplomatic breakthrough rather than an outright military victory can end Russia's war on his country, while pushing its case for EU membership.
17-05-2022

Sofia’s veto on Skopje is ‘a present for Russia’, Borrell says

The EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell put pressure on Sofia on Monday (16 May) to lift its veto over North Macedonia starting EU accession negotiations, by saying that the lack of solution is “a present for Russia”.
16-05-2022

Eastern Europe’s experience can help EU’s future enlargement

Hesitation about EU enlargement is short-sighted and potentially very dangerous, as this year's events have shown. The bloc's enlargement must be conceived of and executed as a geopolitical expansion, write Pavlína Janebová and Pavel Havlicek.
Europe's East 16-05-2022

Stop calling Putin, Estonia’s prime minister says

There is no point in talking to Vladimir Putin if we really want him to understand he is isolated, Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told EURACTIV in what can be seen as a thinly veiled criticism of French President Emmanuel Macron's largely unsuccessful phone diplomacy with Moscow.
13-05-2022

Ukraine’s integration can start today, EU Parliament chief says

The EU should open its doors to Ukraine, paving the way for immediate access to trade, programs, funding, transport, movement, and more, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview. Asked by EURACTIV what her thoughts are...
12-05-2022

Kuleba: No to EU candidate status would ‘kill our hope’

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba emphasised on Thursday (12 May) the importance of reaching EU-candidacy status for its morale in the war, while German economy minister Robert Habeck warned of giving “false promises.”
12-05-2022

The Brief – The cost of not solving the Bulgarian veto

Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is reshaping how the EU conducts its enlargement policy. That will put additional pressure on Bulgaria to lift its veto on neighbouring North Macedonia's EU accession negotiations.
Europe's East 09-05-2022

Three imperilled neighbours on this Europe Day

The European Union has to decide its future also by responding to the latest calls for EU membership from Ukraine and the two other Associated states, Georgia and Moldova, writes Tinatin Akhvlediani.
05-05-2022

Berlin says it will work for EUFOR Bosnia extension amid Russia concerns

Germany will work for an extension of the EU's peacekeeping mission in Bosnia as concerns mount about instability spilling over from the Ukraine war, but has not yet decided whether to provide troops, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said.
26-04-2022

Lack of Bosnia election reform before key ballot splits Croatia and EU Commission

Discontent with the absence of a hoped-for electoral reform in neighbouring Bosnia-Herzegovina, Zagreb has blasted as "illegitimate" the upcoming elections in BiH, while the European Commission repeated they were key for the fragile Balkan country's European future.
19-04-2022

Ukraine completes questionnaire for EU membership

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy formally submitted a completed questionnaire on EU membership to the bloc's envoy in Kyiv on Monday (18 April) and said he believed this step would lead to his country gaining candidate status 'within weeks'.
17-04-2022

Pro-Russia Serbs protest in Belgrade to support Russia and against NATO

Thousands of Serbs waving Russian and Serbian flags and carrying pictures of President Vladimir Putin marched through Belgrade to the Russian embassy on Friday, to protest Serbia's government bid to distance itself from Moscow after its invasion of Ukraine.
14-04-2022

The Brief – Reinventing EU enlargement

The war in Ukraine is urging us to rethink many EU policies. One of them is EU enlargement.
12-04-2022

The Ukraine war and the Balkans: When autocrats pose as stability guarantors

The war in Ukraine has triggered Western Balkan autocrats to position themselves as guarantors of stability and for that reason, regional political initiatives by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić should be ended, experts concluded at a conference held in Sofia on Monday (11 April).
08-04-2022

Serbian elections: Vucic’s victory marks the start of his party’s decline

The outcome of the Serbian elections on 3 April was in line with most expectations. The country’s strongman, Aleksandar Vučić, won more than convincingly in the first presidential round, with 58.65% of the votes. But the interesting part is in the details.
Global Europe 05-04-2022

Will ‘Postpolitik’ replace ‘Ostpolitik’?

The policy of pragmatic coexistence with autocratic Russia is now recycled in the hands of Russia’s ‘Trojan horses’ in the EU and Vučić’s Serbia, writes Radan Kanev.
Eastern Europe 04-04-2022

Associate memberships revisited: How to get the EU enlargement policy right

The alternative to a decades-long EU enlargement process would be to revive a concept discussed at the turn of the millennium: Associate memberships as a preliminary stage to full membership writes Andreas Wittkowsky.
04-04-2022

Vucic claims victory in elections ‘without suspense’

Serbia’s strongman Aleksandar Vučić claimed a landslide victory in general elections Sunday (3 April) paving the way for another term as president and extending his decade-long rule in the Balkan nation. Official results were set to be announced late Monday...
Elections 01-04-2022

Research finds 6,000 ethnic Albanians wiped from voting lists in Serbia

With just days to the Serbian presidential, parliamentary and partial local elections on Sunday (3 April), more than 6,020 citizens have found themselves removed from voter lists in a move activists and researchers say is because they are ethnic Albanians.
Disinformation 31-03-2022

Social media companies must increase regulation of their platforms to enable democracy in Serbia

Elections in Serbia and an explosion of pro-Russian disinformation show why manipulation of social media in the Balkans by state actors is now a critical issue for Europe, writes Antoinette Nikolova.
30-03-2022

Brave New Europe?!

For a long time now, there has been a dichotomy between methodology and the political aspects of the EU integration, which is put to the test now with the calls for fast-track EU membership of Ukraine and the tortoise pace of accession of the Western Balkans, writes Majlinda Bregu.
25-03-2022

Bosnia’s election law unexpectedly on the table at European leaders’ meeting

Zagreb used the political momentum in Brussels to push for the interests of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) at EU summit on Thursday (25 March).