Enlargement

22-06-2021

Slovenian FM: EU inaction in Western Balkans ‘strategically dangerous’

The EU needs to move "as soon as possible" from a wait-and-see approach to a problem-solving strategy in dealing with enlargement and the Western Balkans, Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar told EURACTIV in an interview about the priorities for his country's upcoming EU Council presidency.

Montenegro dismisses NATO drift allegations as ‘disinformation’ ahead of alliance summit

Allegations of a cooling relationship between Montenegro and NATO is disinformation and fake news, defence minister Olivera Injac told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.
China 03-06-2021

MEPs sound the alarm over Chinese mass surveillance project in Belgrade

The European Parliament is taking a close look at China's high-tech present to Serbia, a mass surveillance system that involves the installation of thousands of smart surveillance cameras equipped with facial recognition features, MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Greens/EFA, France) told EURACTIV in an interview.
30-03-2021

North Macedonia minister: Tensions should ‘naturally decline’ after Bulgarian election

Tensions between North Macedonia and its southern neighbour Bulgaria, which is blocking Skopje's EU membership bid, should "naturally decline" after the 4 April election in Bulgaria and pave the way for an agreement, North Macedonia's Justice Minister Bojan Marichikj told EURACTIV.
Eastern Europe 29-01-2021

Georgian MP: Mood in Brussels should not prevent EU membership application

Enlargement fatigue should not prevent the South Caucasian country from applying for membership of the bloc in 2024, even though the process might cause frustration domestically, Maka Botchorishvili, the newly elected chair of the EU integration committee of the Georgian...
Global Europe 12-01-2021

Turkish FM says the EU has ‘over-politicised’ accession negotiations

The EU has “excessively politicised” the negotiations between Ankara and Brussels, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told EURACTIV’s partner EFE in a written interview, calling on the bloc to take a more positive approach. He reiterated his country’s...
Europe's East 19-02-2020

Risk still there for Ukraine to become frozen conflict – OSCE chief

Despite recent rapprochement between Ukraine and Russia, the full implementation of the Minsk agreements is still "miles away" and there is still a risk that the separatist regions could turn into another "frozen conflict", OSCE Secretary-General, Thomas Greminger, said in an interview with EURACTIV.
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.
Defence policy 18-11-2019

Russia’s EU ambassador: The fall of the Berlin Wall was ‘a victory of common sense’

In a wide-ranging interview, Russia’s Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov spoke about gas transit talks with Ukraine, NATO and EU enlargement, nuclear arms control, Russia’s sales of the S-400 anti-aircraft system, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and Brexit.
Eastern Europe 30-10-2019

Tamar Chugoshvili: The ‘dynamics’ in EU politics are hugely discouraging for Georgia

In a wide-ranging interview with EURACTIV, Georgian politician Tamar Chugoshvili speaks of the reactions in her country following the recent EU decision not to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, and of Georgia’s plans to remain in the EU orbit nevertheless.
14-06-2019

North Macedonia president: We need date for EU talks before autumn

Decoupling North Macedonia and Albania’s EU path, by giving the green light to the former and holding the start of accession talks for the latter is not great, but is the only way forward, North Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview during his visit to Brussels on Thursday (13 June).
20-05-2019

Montenegro PM: ‘We are looking for a new opportunity with the EU’

EU membership candidate Montenegro is carrying "a heavy legacy, plagued with low standards and weak institutions", but it has already made progress and its EU orientation is "clear and strong", its prime minister told EURACTIV Germany in an interview.
23-01-2019

Romanian EU Presidency to push Western Balkans case, minister says

Romania's EU presidency will push to improve the prospect of membership talks for Western Balkan nations of Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania, but only after the European elections in May, the country's European affairs minister told EURACTIV in an interview.
15-10-2018

Mogherini: FYROM name change deal will transform entire South-East Europe

The recently reached "historic" name deal between Athens and Skopje will have a wider positive impact and a spill-over effect in entire South-East Europe, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said.
07-09-2018

Kosovo and Serbia need wide consensus to resolve conflict, expert says

The presidents of Kosovo and Serbia have floated the idea of a land swap to settle their disputes. The proposal, involving the predominantly Serb northern Kosovo and Preševo Valley in southern Serbia, has been welcomed by some and criticised by others for fear it might create further instability in the Balkans.
30-07-2018

Hahn on Western Balkans: Exporting stability instead of importing instability

The Commission is satisfied with its Western Balkans strategy, as it has triggered a new dynamic in the region. In an interview with EURACTIV Germany, Commissioner for Enlargement, Johannes Hahn, however, pleads for realism.
Europe's East 25-07-2018

Analyst: Visegrád Group’s anti-European course is anti-Ukrainian  

Relations between the Visegrád countries and Ukraine have deteriorated in recent years. But from the point of view of ordinary Ukrainian citizens, Central and Eastern Europe is still a very attractive model, especially in the economic sense, analyst Kateryna Zarembo told EURACTIV.pl.
25-06-2018

Greek FM: Europe must keep its word to North Macedonia and Albania

EXCLUSIVE / EU capitals should keep their word and open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania at the 28-29 June summit, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias told EURACTIV.com in a wide-ranging interview.

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.
20-04-2018

Hahn: Carrot for Albania and Macedonia, customs union for Turkey

With the Western Balkans accession talks underway, the EU’s enlargement policy is advancing. In the case of Turkey, however, there is a deadlock. In an interview with EURACTIV Germany, Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn comments on the recent developments.
Global Europe 20-04-2018

Ambassador: Turkey, EU should cooperate in safely returning Syrian refugees home

At the Varna summit, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his interlocutors that the EU should cooperate in Syria in terms of helping Syrian refugees to go back to their homes, Turkish ambassador to the EU Faruk Kaymakcı told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.
Global Europe 16-02-2018

Expert: Erdogan is turning international relations ‘decades back’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has opened up his entire reviewing agenda, challenging sovereign rights everywhere and basically testing the West's limits, Tasos Chatzivasileiou told EURACTIV Greece in an interview.
26-01-2018

Albania PM: We expect green light to open EU talks this year

Albania has done most of its homework on judiciary, crime and corruption and expects a "straightforward recommendation" to open EU accession talks this year, its prime minister told EURACTIV.com on Friday (26 January).
Global Europe 23-11-2017

Chizhov: Syria is almost settled, time for EU to step in

In a wide-ranging interview on Wednesday (22 November), Russia’s ambassador to the EU discussed Syria and other conflicts, the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit, his country's relations with Turkey and Bulgaria's Presidency of the Council of the EU.