Enlargement

The Brief – Why is America eclipsing the EU in the Balkans?

17-02-2020

It’s very rare to witness first-hand an acceleration of history, and this is precisely what is happening in the Balkans now. In a very short time, Serbia and Kosovo took huge steps towards normalising their relations.

18-02-2020

Donors pledge an ‘overwhelming’ €1.15 billion for Albania quake recovery

International donors on Monday (17 February) pledged €1.15 billion to help Albania recover from a powerful earthquake last year, the EU chief announced, more than double the sum expected by Tirana.
17-02-2020

EU in ‘frank’ talks with Western Balkan nations seeking membership

European Council president Charles Michel on Sunday (16 February) met with leaders of the six Western Balkan nations seeking to join the EU, for 'frank' talks ahead of a key summit in Zagreb in May.
14-02-2020

Montenegro needs own church to repel Serb nationalism: president

Montenegro needs its own Orthodox church to ward off meddling from Serbia and cement its identity, President Milo Đukanović told AFP, as tensions seethe over who controls a faith shared by both countries.
14-02-2020

Mini-Schengen is not a ‘plan B’ for the Western Balkans

The idea of an inclusive regional Schengen and cooperation among the six Western Balkan countries, based on the four freedoms of the European Union, is not a replacement but the best way to prepare for EU accession, writes Edi Rama.
13-02-2020

New membership forms solve EU challenges

Associate membership and other innovations could be used to break the log-jam and the EU's enlargement fatigue, giving the EU a chance to turn a “historic mistake” into a historic opportunity, writes Manfred Kohler.

North Macedonia ratifies NATO accession protocol, but still waiting for Spain

North Macedonia's parliament unanimously ratified NATO's accession protocol on Tuesday (11 February),  taking Skopje a step closer to becoming the military alliance's 30th member in the coming weeks.
12-02-2020

US envoy warns Russia seeks to divide Balkans

The US envoy for the Western Balkans warned on Tuesday (11 February) that Russia is seeking to divide the region and hinder its integration with the West.
11-02-2020

(Yet) another ‘credible EU perspective’?

The European Commission’s new proposal for enhanced accession process of the Western Balkans is 'a small masterpiece of European compromise' that could foster momentum and reforms. But it still lacks details on funding and convergence and realistic target years, write Milena Lazarević, Sena Marić and Strahinja Subotić.
07-02-2020

Commission vows to strengthen ties with the Western Balkans

The EU's new enlargement methodology aims to strengthen ties with countries from the Western Balkans, especially with those that have already started EU membership negotiations  European Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Várhelyi said in Belgrade on Thursday (6 February). EURACTIV Serbia reports. 
05-02-2020

Bulgaria warns Serbia over refusal to extradite banker

Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev has written letters to the European institutions to complain about Serbia’s refusal to extradite a banker held responsible for what is considered Bulgaria's theft of the century, hinting it might affect Serbia's EU membership bid.
05-02-2020

EU set to modify member accession method to placate France

The EU is set to propose ways to modify the accession procedures for countries entering the bloc in a bid to placate France, but Brussels cautioned Tuesday (4 February) that any changes won't be major ones.
04-02-2020

Kosovo approves former leftist rebel as PM

Kosovo’s parliament approved a new prime minister on Monday (3 February) after four months of haggling over government posts, raising hopes that long-frozen talks with Serbia could resume. Former rebel leader Albin Kurti and his cabinet were installed only a...
27-01-2020

The Brief – Is Mini Schengen all it’s cracked up to be?

Diplomats are still wondering what’s behind the initiative of Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia, who last October decided to advance regional cooperation by forming a so-called “mini-Schengen” in the Western Balkans.
24-01-2020

US envoy tells Serbia, Kosovo to make concessions, cooperate

President Donald Trump's special envoy for the negotiations between Belgrade and Priština told the two former Balkan foes on Friday to make major concessions that would enable them to work together and focus on the economy.
Global Europe 24-01-2020

Greece and Turkey enter a cyberwar era

A number of cyberattacks took place this week between Athens and Ankara amid an ongoing escalating crisis between the two countries.  
22-01-2020

Serbia expects little from enlargement reform but hopes for more quality, speed

EU countries should soon reach a consensus on new enlargement methodology. Details remain unknown and it is not clear if the reform will also apply to Montenegro and Serbia, which are further along the accession path than the Western Balkans' other EU hopefuls.
21-01-2020

Czech FM: Visegrad countries will continue to promote EU enlargement

The Visegrad countries will need some time to close the ditches they have dug in recent years, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told EURACTIV.cz in an interview. He also voiced doubts about the need for a reform of EU membership negotiations, demanded by France, saying the process is already reversible at any stage.
16-01-2020

Albanian PM sues Kosovo counterpart for defamation over land-swap claims

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has filed a lawsuit for defamation against Kosovo’s outgoing prime minister, who has repeatedly said Rama was involved in talks about dividing up Kosovo along ethnic lines, a court in Pristina said on Thursday (16 January).
Global Europe 09-01-2020

MEP McAllister: The EU stands united behind Greece in crisis with Turkey

The European Union stands united behind Greece in its escalating dispute with Turkey, the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, David McAllister, told EURACTIV.com.
03-01-2020

North Macedonia PM Zaev quits before April polls

North Macedonia's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev resigned Friday (3 January) ahead of a vote in April called after the EU blocked the start of membership talks with Skopje, the key policy goal of his cabinet.
02-01-2020

Croatia priorities at EU helm: Brexit, enlargement

Brexit and EU enlargement will be priorities during Croatia's six-month presidency of the bloc, Foreign Minister Goran Grlić-Radman said Wednesday (1 January).
Arab Spring 27-12-2019

Moscow fumes at Ankara over meddling in Libyan crisis

Russia has condemned Turkey’s intention to send troops to Libya to support Fayez al-Sarraj, prime minister of the UN-backed Government of National Accord of Libya against the head of the Libyan National Army, General Khalifa Haftar.
Elections 18-12-2019

Serbia will not rush to join the EU until it is truly ready

As Serbia heads into an election year, the rhetoric of political parties rise. In an exclusive op-ed for EURACTIV.com, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić says a fair election requires all parties to participate and present their vision in order to give people a real choice.
17-12-2019

EU-mediated dialogue fails to persuade Serbian opposition to drop boycott plans

The participants of an inter-party dialogue mediated by EU lawmakers have agreed that there are no conditions for a fair and free election in Serbia. EURACTIV Serbia reports.

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