Enlargement

Global Europe 30-11-2020

Bullmann: EU needs open channel with Turkey, no ‘wrong compromises’ with Erdogan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel aims to keep a channel of communication open with Turkey as opposition forces in the country are advocating a different approach toward the EU, social democrat MEP Udo Bullmann told EURACTIV.
18-11-2020

Bulgaria spells out conditions for unblocking North Macedonia’s EU path

Bulgaria vetoed the decision to open EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia on Tuesday (17 November), a move which indirectly also affects Albania, another Western Balkans candidate which has advanced on its EU path in tandem with Skopje.
16-11-2020

Bulgaria says to block EU accession talks with North Macedonia

Bulgaria plans to voice its opposition on Tuesday (17 November) to starting European Union accession talks with neighbouring Republic of North Macedonia as the two countries have yet to settle disputes over history and language, Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said.
05-11-2020

Kosovo’s President Thaci resigns after war crimes indictment confirmed

Kosovo's President Hashim Thaçi, a former senior commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army guerrilla group, resigned with immediate effect on Thursday (5 November) after learning that the Kosovo war crimes tribunal had confirmed his indictment for war crimes.
05-11-2020

Former Kosovo rebel spokesman arrested, sent to Hague tribunal

A former ethnic Albanian rebel spokesman and Kosovo politician has been arrested in Pristina and transferred to a court in The Hague set up to probe war crimes during the 1990s Kosovo conflict. “Jakup Krasniqi was arrested today and transferred...
21-10-2020

Ethnic Croats to prop new Serbian government

Serbia's new government will have a shorter term, as the next general election will be held in April 2022 at the latest, simultaneously with the presidential polls and municipal elections in Belgrade, Serbian president and leader of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), Aleksandar Vučić, said on Tuesday (20 October).
Global Europe 13-10-2020

Borrell throws Turkey hot potato back into EU leaders’ hands

The EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell described yesterday (12 October) as “regrettable” Turkey’s decision to send back its research vessel Oruç Reis to Greece’s continental shelf, saying EU leaders will again discuss the issue at a summit this week.
08-10-2020

Commission calls for ‘good faith’ in Greece-Bulgaria deals with North Macedonia

The implementation of the name-change deal between Greece and North Macedonia (Prespa agreement) as well as a friendship agreement between Sofia and Skopje should continue to be implemented in “good faith”, an EU spokesperson told EURACTIV.com.
Global Europe 07-10-2020

Turkey’s EU membership bid evaporating, Commission says

The European Union's executive said on Tuesday (6 October) that Turkey's government was undermining its economy, eroding democracy and destroying independent courts, leaving Ankara's bid to join the EU further away than ever.
06-10-2020

Commission seeks to revive enlargement with new package

The European Commission published its long-awaited enlargement package on Tuesday (6 October) in a fresh attempt to revive the stalled process with promises of more substantial economic assistance in exchange for reforms. The package included country-specific reports on the progress of the six Western Balkans countries and Turkey.
06-10-2020

Road and rail at centre of EU investment plan for Western Balkans

Alongside the annual country-specific enlargement reports on all EU hopefuls, the European Commission presented on Tuesday (6 October) an investment plan for the Western Balkans, which it hopes will bring investment to the region, spur greening and enhance regional cooperation.
06-10-2020

Activists win battle, not war, against hydropower in the Western Balkans

Green lawmakers have hailed the cancellation of a hydropower plant in Albania but now fear that a forthcoming EU investment package for the wider region will promote small hydropower, which activists blame for destroying ecosystems.
01-10-2020

Tsipras calls for dual EU approach to Turkey to ensure sustainable dialogue

Europe needs to adopt a robust mechanism of sanctions on Turkey but at the same time push forward a tempting positive agenda in case Ankara decides to follow the path of logic, the former Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, said in a letter to EU socialist leaders.
28-09-2020

Historic or not? Greece and US lost in translation over North Macedonia

A joint statement signed on Monday (28 September) between the US and Greece, during a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has sent confusing messages about whether Washington and Athens consider the North Macedonia name change deal (Prespa Agreement) historic or not.
11-09-2020

Revolutionary hero’s identity stands in the way of Skopje’s EU path

Historic figure Gotse Delchev, considered as a national hero both in Bulgaria and North Macedonia, now appears to stand in the way of Skopje’s EU path. EURACTIV Bulgaria reports.
11-09-2020

Belgrade-Pristina deal only way to counter ‘influences from the East’, Kosovo PM says

Unless Serbia and Kosovo normalise their relations, the Western Balkans will remain vulnerable to foreign influence coming from the East, Kosovo's Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti warned MEPs on the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee Thursday evening (10 September.
08-09-2020

EU warns Serbia over Jerusalem embassy move

The EU voiced "serious concern and regret" on Monday (7 September) over Belgrade's commitment to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, casting a shadow over the resumption of Serbia-Kosovo talks.
04-09-2020

Serbia, Kosovo sign economic pact at White House

Former Balkan foes Kosovo and Serbia have agreed on a historic pact to normalise economic relations, US President Donald Trump announced at the White House on Friday (4 September), hailing the agreement as "historic".
01-09-2020

Serbia, Kosovo leaders gear up for tough US talks

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić is travelling to Washington this week for talks between Belgrade and Priština in the hope of discussing the economy while Kosovo Premier Avdullah Hoti insists that mutual recognition is the only topic he can discuss with...
31-08-2020

Montenegro’s pro-Western ruling party falls short of majority after election

Long-reigning President Milo Djukanovic’s pro-Western ruling party suffered a major setback in Montenegro’s tightly contested parliamentary election, final results showed on Monday (31 August). The party won most votes but fell short of a majority and will require a coalition partner to stay in power.
28-08-2020

Montenegro votes with identity, economy at the fore

Montenegro's pro-West leader is fighting to extend his party's 30-year grip on the EU candidate country on Sunday (30 August) in polls dominated by identity debates and anxiety over a pandemic-hit economy.
25-08-2020

Enlargement agenda: Investment plans, reforms and elections

In the wake of an "enlargement summit" in May that omitted the word enlargement altogether, the Western Balkans region is set to stay high on the Brussels agenda this fall and possibly even mark one or two milestones in the drawn-out process.
Global Europe 25-08-2020

Greece says Turkey is unreliable for dialogue ahead of German FM visit

The Greek government dismissed on Monday (24 august) Turkey’s stated intention to start a dialogue and de-escalate tensions over gas drillings activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Ankara is not reliable. “A reliable interlocutor is needed for a dialogue”, Greek...
Global Europe 21-08-2020

Merkel and Macron vow to ‘preserve’ EU sovereignty in eastern Mediterranean

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday (20 August) they would not accept attacks on EU member states’ sovereignty, amid an escalating row with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.
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