Enlargement

Climate change 19-06-2018

Why new coal in Turkey and the Balkans will test China’s and EU’s climate leadership

The EU and China have to live up to their responsibilities on climate change and use every opportunity to support the Western Balkans and Turkey to move beyond coal. This means renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, not new coal, argue Elif Gündüzyeli and Igor Kalaba.
18-06-2018

Tsipras and Zaev seal historic deal to end name dispute

Greece and Macedonia on Sunday (17 June) signed a historic preliminary agreement to rename the small Balkan nation the Republic of North Macedonia, ending a row that has poisoned relations between the two neighbours since 1991.
15-06-2018

Family history explains New Democracy opposition to Athens-Skopje name deal, says EPP’s Brok

European People's Party MEP Elmar Brok has a “great understanding” of Greece’s New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who faces internal party problems and opposes the freshly agreed deal between Athens and Skopje on the name dispute. However,  Brok told EURACTIV he hopes for a positive result in the end.
Politics 13-06-2018

The Brief – Anti-system diplomacy? Let’s have more!

On the same day, 12 June 2018, anti-system politicians in two wildly different spots of the globe did their best to solve the world’s most complicated conundrums.
13-06-2018

End of Macedonia’s name dispute opens road to EU talks and NATO membership

Macedonia and Greece yesterday (12 June) resolved a nearly three-decade row by agreeing to the name Republic of North Macedonia, opening the road for the landlocked country to start EU accession talks and to join NATO. Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran...

Criticism as Kosovo justice mission EULEX closes judicial operations

As an EU judicial mission prepares to leave Kosovo, the assessments of its decade-long mandate are mixed -- hailed by officials but criticised by the public.
07-06-2018

Macedonia expects more resistance as name solution nears – minister

Macedonia's deputy prime minister expects growing "external resistance" as negotiations on the name dispute with Greece get closer to a final deal which would unblock the country's NATO and EU membership bid.
05-06-2018

Kosovo-Serbia status remains biggest challenge in Balkans – EU envoy

Normalising relations between Kosovo and Serbia is "the most complicated process in the Balkans at the moment", according to the head of the EU's office in Pristina. But both sides need steady encouragement from the international community to reach a final solution and progress towards EU membership.
04-06-2018

Orbán hails attempts to derail solution to Macedonian name dispute

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán produced a video message on Saturday (2 June) supporting the efforts of Macedonia’s main opposition party to block a solution to the long-standing name dispute with Greece. He praised its refusal to bend "under pressure from foreign powers".
31-05-2018

Europe needs Balkans and Balkans need Europe, says Albania PM

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama calls for clearer enlargement prospects for the Western Balkans, saying it would be a "huge mistake" for the EU not to continue its engagement with the countries in the region. EURACTIV.fr reports.
31-05-2018

Local Orthodox church asks to drop ‘Macedonia’ from name as talks with Greece continue

In a move of high political importance, the Macedonian Orthodox Church has asked to go back to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, seen as the mother church of Eastern Orthodoxy, and lose the term “Macedonia” from its name.

EU rule of law generally good but clouds on the horizon

EU citizens generally think that judicial independence is going from strength-to-strength but in some countries, like newest member Croatia, the situation is still poor and even declining, according to the EU’s latest justice scoreboard.
29-05-2018

Western Balkan enlargement will catalyse a stronger Europe

Addressing the reforms needed to prepare the six Balkan countries for EU accession can be cathartic in effect, and reinvigorate the European Union, writes Andrey Kovatchev.
28-05-2018

Thousands call for Albanian interior minister’s resignation

Thousands of Albanian opposition supporters rallied in the capital Tirana on Saturday calling for the resignation of interior minister Fatmir Xhafaj, whose brother has been convicted of drug trafficking.
18-05-2018

Kosovo is not Catalonia, Kosovo’s Thaci tells absent Spanish PM Rajoy

Pristina ‘understands’ the decision of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy not to attend the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia, but “Kosovo is not Catalonia”, Kosovo's President Hashim Thaçi told EURACTIV.com.
17-05-2018

Skopje opposition’s stance takes centre stage in Tsipras-Zaev talks

Athens and Skopje have moved closer to resolving their long-running name dispute but are not yet in a position to talk about an agreement, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday (17 May).
17-05-2018

EU pledges funds to Western Balkans, but no firm promises in Sofia

The European Union pledged fresh funds for the Western Balkans on Thursday (17 May) to help its transport and digital infrastructure, renewable energy and education efforts. It also agreed to work closely on "security challenges". But talk of further EU enlargement remained elusive.
17-05-2018

Western Balkans remain in standby mode

EU members want to take their time with a new round of enlargement - something that the Western Balkans summit this Thursday (17 May) in Sofia is unlikely to change. EURACTIV Germany’s partner Der Tagesspiegel reports.
17-05-2018

EU socialists urge Tsipras and Zaev to show ‘leadership’ to curb nationalism

The President of the Party of European Socialists (PES), Sergei Stanishev, praised on  Wednesday (16 May) the efforts by Athens and Skopje to resolve the long-standing name dispute and urged them to show “leadership” against nationalistic trends.
17-05-2018

Tusk: With friends like Trump, who needs enemies

The European Union's top official launched a stinging attack Wednesday (16 May) on President Donald Trump, slamming his "capricious assertiveness" and saying the US leader acted more like an enemy than a friend.
Global Europe 16-05-2018

EU official: Europe must send signal that it protects its ‘own economic interests’

The EU leaders need to send a message to the rest of the world that Europe will look after “its own economic interests”, an EU official told EURACTIV.com ahead of an informal EU summit in Sofia, overshadowed by the US threat to hit EU companies operating in Iran with sanctions.
Economy & Jobs 16-05-2018

World Economic Forum: Western Balkans’ assets can help it control its destiny

The Western Balkans' very strategic location and entrepreneurial labour force are some of the assets that could help the region take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and take its destiny in its own hands, Martina Larkin of the World Economic Forum told EURACTIV.com in an interview.
Global Europe 16-05-2018

EESC chief: Western Balkans’ EU path driven by civil society empowerment

The success of the accession process of the Western Balkan countries needs “meaningful involvement” of civil society organisations in the integration process, Luca Jahier, president of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), told EURACTIV.
Global Europe 16-05-2018

In Sofia, EU leaders will seek united front on Trump

European Union leaders will try to forge a united response at a summit today (16 May) to US President Donald Trump's shock decisions on the Iran nuclear deal and trade tariffs.