Enlargement

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.
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.
15-05-2018

Bulgaria’s EU Presidency sees an ‘opportunity’ in Sofia on Macedonian name dispute

Bulgaria’s EU Presidency sees “an opportunity” in the long-standing name dispute between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) at a crucial meeting due in Sofia this week.
14-05-2018

EU to meet Balkan leaders under shadow of Trump

EU leaders will seek to boost ties with the Balkans at a summit on Thursday (17 May), but it looks set to be overshadowed by the rift with US President Donald Trump over the Iran nuclear deal.
11-05-2018

Serbian citizens not ready for personal sacrifice over Kosovo

Many Serbians see Kosovo's independence as a realistic option, according to a new survey. A majority are also not ready to make any personal sacrifices to regain control over the former Serbian province, whose independence Belgrade refuses to recognise, and are much more preoccupied with economic issues instead.
Global Europe 09-05-2018

In Eastern Europe, ‘Immortal Regiment’ marches eclipse Europe Day

What is 9 May? For most in the EU, it’s Europe Day, in commemoration of the 1950 Schuman Declaration, the cornerstone of what is today the European Union. But in Eastern Europe, Russia has in recent years promoted a different kind of celebration, more in the vein of Cold War era parades.
09-05-2018

Montenegro investigative reporter shot and injured

An attacker shot an investigative reporter in Montenegro Tuesday (8 May), police said, prompting calls from the European Union and the United States to protect journalists in the Balkan country.
08-05-2018

New prosecutor named as Kosovo war crimes court keeps working on first indictments

The court examining war crimes against ethnic Serbs in Kosovo said on Monday (7 May) it has appointed a new chief prosecutor, who will pick up the court's efforts to issue its first indictments, three years after it was established.
Global Europe 07-05-2018

Greece sends home Turkish citizen who ‘accidentally’ crossed the border

Greece deported to Turkey on Monday (7 May) a Turkish citizen who accidentally crossed into its territory last week, in a move the local press described as a goodwill message to Ankara, which still holds two detained Greek soldiers.
02-05-2018

Commission budget proposal hardly makes EU enlargement possible

The Commission proposal for the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, unveiled on Wednesday (2 May), shows that the funds allocated for EU enlargement are 1.2 times superior to the previous budget period. But no country joined the EU in 2014-2020.

Mattis applauds Macedonia effort to solve name dispute

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday (1 May) praised Macedonia's efforts to resolve a decades-old name dispute with Greece, and said he hoped the Balkan country will be able to join NATO.
Global Europe 27-04-2018

Commission defies Turkey’s pressure and insists on Greek soldiers’ release

The European Commission insists that the two Greek soldiers arrested in Turkey should be released, despite Turkey’s pressure on the EU to take a step back from the issue.
27-04-2018

We are aware of ‘Europeisation fatigue’, warns Albanian minister

Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati briefed a small group of Brussels journalists on Thursday (26 April) about his country’s EU ambitions, following the Commission’s proposal to start accession negotiations with Tirana and a visit of Prime Minister Edi Rama to Berlin last Wednesday.
Energy 27-04-2018

Serbia starts to embrace clean energy

2018 will be a crucial year for Serbia's energy sector as 250 megawatts from renewable sources are to be connected to the grid. The same amount again will come online in 2019. EURACTIV Serbia reports.
25-04-2018

The Brief – Macron pulls the Balkan rug

Playing fast and loose with the Balkans is not a great idea. The EU has already found that out the hard way, more than once. Now the region needs clarity and supervision in order to gradually progress towards mainstream Europe. Apparently Emmanuel Macron missed that memo.
25-04-2018

Don’t turn your back on us, Albania PM tells EU

Denying Albania the prospect of one day becoming a European Union member could fuel Muslim radicalisation in the Balkan country, endangering regional stability, its prime minister Edi Rama said.
Delyan Peevski, photo by Dnevnik
Future EU 25-04-2018

Bulgaria is last on media freedom in EU and in the Balkans

Bulgaria, which currently holds the rotating EU Presidency, ranks last among all EU countries in terms of media freedom. It is also the worst in the Western Balkans, a region Sofia hopes to bring closer to the EU.