Enlargement

21-10-2021

EU, US warn about ‘divisive rhetoric’ in Bosnia, urge dialogue

The United States and the European Union voiced support on Wednesday (20 October) for Western Balkan countries' efforts to join the EU but expressed concern about "increasingly divisive rhetoric" in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
20-10-2021

EU candidate Serbia misaligned with EU foreign policy, Commission says

In its annual report monitoring Serbia's progress toward EU accession, the European Commission highlighted Belgrade's significant misalignment with EU foreign and security policy.
15-10-2021

‘EU can play dumb as long as it wants’ on Croatian border violence

Several officials on the ground, as well as first-hand testimonies given to EURACTIV by migrants, have detailed signs of systematic illegal border violence and pushbacks by Croatian police against people attempting to cross over from Bosnia. EURACTIV travelled to the...
13-10-2021

One Serb shot, 6 policemen injured in Kosovo clashes

One Serb was shot and six police officers injured on Wednesday when police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd that became hostile after raids on suspected smugglers in a volatile area of Kosovo populated by the Serb minority.
Global Europe 13-10-2021

Albania’s declining media freedom won’t impact EU accession

The European Commission has said it will not require Albania to withdraw plans for a controversial law that would bring all online media under state supervision in order to open EU accession negotiations.
13-10-2021

Ex-BBC chief regrets departure from Balkans amid media decline

Amid growing state media capture and decreased journalistic freedom in the Western Balkans, a former chief of the BBC World Service said on Tuesday (12 October) he regrets the closure of the world’s largest international broadcaster in the region.
06-10-2021

EU leaders offer words, funds to disillusioned Western Balkans

EU leaders failed to make any further tangible commitment to enlargement on Wednesday (6 October), and instead promised once again "the European perspective" and broader economic support to the increasingly disillusioned Western Balkans, in the hope of keeping the region on its European path.
06-10-2021

Sofia asks Skopje to stop the ‘erasure’ of Bulgarians

At the Western Balkans summit in Brdo, Slovenia, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev told North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev that the "subtle erasure" of Bulgarian identity in the neighbouring country must stop before Bulgaria lifts its veto on Skopje’s EU accession negotiations. EURACTIV Bulgaria reports.
05-10-2021

EU leaders to restate Western Balkans enlargement commitment but without timeline

EU leaders are set to reconfirm their commitment to further enlargement ahead of a summit with the six Western Balkan hopefuls on Wednesday (6 October), offering much broader cooperation to the region but failing to commit to a timeline, according to a draft document seen by EURACTIV.
29-09-2021

EU no longer agrees on Balkan membership guarantee, diplomats say

The European Union, fearing a political backlash in member states, can no longer agree to give a guarantee of future membership to the six Balkan countries once promised a place in the club, according to four diplomats and an internal...
Global Europe 27-09-2021

Albanian prime minister criticises Serbia’s ‘theatrics’ in Kosovo

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama voiced support on Monday (27 September) for Kosovo’s decision to require Serbian vehicles entering its territory to display temporary Kosovo plates, a move that has sparked fresh tensions in the region and prompted international calls for a swift de-escalation.
27-09-2021

Albania’s prime minister comes to Kosovo in the midst of escalation with Serbia

Kosovo’s political parties have rallied together as Serbian troops gather along the border, following an alleged attack on two Kosovo interior ministry offices on Saturday 25 September.
27-09-2021

North Macedonia holds high-stakes census, first in 20 years

In the country called today North Macedonia -- which gained independence in 1991 following the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and came close to civil war in 2001 -- the long postponed census is far from being a statistical operation.
14-09-2021

Merkel labels Balkans EU accession ‘absolute geostrategic interest’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday (13 September) that EU membership of the Western Balkans region, a theatre of competition between the West, China and Russia, is of absolute geostrategic interest for the bloc.
14-09-2021

US wants to see Western Balkans as part of Europe, ‘full stop’

Washington hopes EU countries "understand" that the Western Balkans should be part of Europe "full stop" and is worried about the weak message coming from European capitals, the newly appointed department of state official responsible for the region said on Monday (13 September).
09-09-2021

Vucic and Orban formalise their ‘special relationship’

Hungary, whose government has been at odds with Brussels for a long time, has emerged as a major pro-Serbian lobbyist within the EU and this special "illiberal" relationship was formalised on Wednesday (8 September), Serbian journalist Darko Čačić reports for EURACTIV Bulgaria.
08-09-2021

Greece reassures Serbia its position on Kosovo has not changed

Greece will stick to its position of not recognising Kosovo's statehood and has called on both Serbia and its former province to continue EU-facilitated talks, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told EURACTIV Serbia in an interview.

Slovenia aims to make EU-Western Balkans summit regular feature

Slovenia's EU presidency will host an EU-Western Balkans summit in early October and its desire is to make these summits a regular annual event as a means of accelerating the EU enlargement process, Foreign Minister Anže Logar has said.
Global Europe 31-08-2021

EU removes US, Western Balkan countries from COVID safe list for non-essential travel

The European Union on Monday (30 August) recommended that its member states reimpose travel restrictions on US tourists over rising covid infections in the country.
Global Europe 20-08-2021

US hails Albania for taking in Afghans

The United States on Thursday (19 August) saluted Albania, Canada, Chile, Mexico and Uganda for agreeing to take in Afghans being evacuated in a major airlift after the Taliban victory.
19-08-2021

Serbian President fumes as Twitter exposes his ‘friendly media’

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has compared himself to Donald Trump as a politician victimized by Twitter, after the social media took the decision to tag many of the media organisations which support him as “pro-government”.
16-08-2021

Albania, Kosovo say ready to temporarily house Afghan refugees

Albania and Kosovo have accepted a US request to temporarily take in Afghan refugees seeking visas to enter the United States, the country two countries said on Sunday (15 August).
Global Europe 03-08-2021

Bosnia’s new top international envoy takes office amid tensions

German politician Christian Schmidt on Monday (2 August) took over as the top international envoy in Bosnia despite opposition from Russia and Bosnian Serbs who consider him "illegal" and say they won't work with him.
26-07-2021

Serbia fumes over Croatia’s plan to put Tesla on euro coins

Croatia's plan to put famous inventor Nikola Tesla on its euro coins has sparked criticism in Serbia, whose central bank said Monday (26 July) it would take the issue to the EU.