Enlargement

Athens says Turkey ‘blackmailed’ Libya to sign MoU by sending weapons

Turkey blackmailed Libya to agree to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) demarcating maritime zones in the region by sending weapons to the country, Greek media quote a high-ranking diplomat as saying.

Bosnia closes ‘jungle’ migrant camp

Bosnia on Wednesday (11 December) dismantled tents at the makeshift migrant camp known as the "jungle" for its harsh conditions, after transferring hundreds of people who were living at the site to Sarajevo.
11-12-2019

Give us hope, give us membership talks, North Macedonia tells EU

The EU must deliver soon on its promise to open membership talks with North Macedonia, the country's foreign minister has told AFP, warning that messages of hope were ringing hollow after three rejections.
10-12-2019

EU Commission chief vows tough stance on Turkey amid escalating row with Greece

Ursula Von Der Leynen, the new President of the European Commission, said that the EU executive fully backs Greece in its dangerously escalating row with Turkey over maritime zones.
09-12-2019

Athens takes lead to ensure Western Balkans EU path

The Greek government is determined to take all necessary initiatives to ensure that the Western Balkan region’s EU ambition will become a reality soon, the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias has said.
06-12-2019

Commissioner Várhelyi: Youth to become new ‘focal point’ in Eastern Partnership

In one of his first public appearances, Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement, said on Thursday (4 December) reviving civil society and economy by reaching out to youth would be his priority in the context of Eastern Partnership.
06-12-2019

Albania elects Western-trained prosecutor general as part of judicial reforms

Albania’s parliament elected Olsian Çela as prosecutor general on Thursday (5 December) as part of judicial reforms sought by the West that are intended to kick out corrupt judges. The European Union has told Albania the reforms must remain a...
06-12-2019

Bosnia must overhaul judiciary, end political obstruction –report

Bosnia and Herzegovina must overhaul its complex and opaque justice system and do more to protect the rule of law if it wants to press its case to join the European Union, legal experts said in an EU-commissioned report on Thursday (5 December).

Bosnia should close ‘unacceptable’ migrant camp: Council of Europe

Bosnia should urgently close a temporary migrant camp or people will "start to die" during the winter period, a European human rights official warned Tuesday (3 December).
Elections 22-11-2019

Orban says Hungary to increase its EU influence with the enlargement portfolio

Hungarian nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán hailed Friday (22 November) the confirmation of Budapest's nominee as a key EU commissioner as the country's "biggest diplomatic success" in a decade.
Global Europe 22-11-2019

Serbia’s president accuses Russia of spying

Serbian intelligence agencies have uncovered a wide-ranging intelligence operation involving Russian spies and members of the Serbian military, President Aleksandar Vučić said on Thursday (21 November).
20-11-2019

EU faces rift over enlargement policy after French ‘non’

European Union members wrangled over the rules for joining their club on Tuesday (19 November), after France triggered anger by seeking to postpone bids from Albania and North Macedonia. At the 17-18 October summit, EU heads of state and government...
14-11-2019

Hungary’s Commission pick survives enlargement test, deflects on Orban

The Western Balkans must have a credible perspective of joining the European Union as it is in Europe's geopolitical interest, Hungary's Commissioner-designate for enlargement and neighbourhood told his European Parliament hearing on Wednesday (14 November).
14-11-2019

Commissioner hearings LIVE: Oliver Varhelyi

The European Parliament is grilling the proposed members of Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission in a second series of hearings on Thursday (14 November), after the regular hearings between 30 September and 8 October. Hungarian Oliver Varhelyi is the first...
12-11-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Macron’s crush on Serbia

Last August French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a 5-minute speech in Serbian in Belgrade. The effect of this most extraordinary effort on the audience was huge. Just like for Kennedy in 1963, the magic worked.
12-11-2019

Von der Leyen locks horns with Macron over EU enlargement

The new European Commission has yet to be approved, but its president-elect has already locked horns with French President Emmanuel Macron over the future of EU enlargement.

Macron questioning NATO in Economist interview raises eyebrows about his methods

Emmanuel Macron presented his geopolitical vision in an interview with The Economist on Thursday (7 November), and it once again attracted a wide range of criticism. By speaking of a "NATO brain death", this recent diplomatic blunder is putting the French president's partnerships at risk.
09-11-2019

Europe risks losing strategic clout in Western Balkans

Trouble spots and tensions surrounding the European Union are continuing: Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Eastern Mediterranean. In the south of the European Union, an arc of geopolitical instability is being formed and we must not allow it to expand, ten former foreign ministers warn in an open letter.
Global Europe 06-11-2019

Russia calls for closing UN office in Bosnia

Russia called Tuesday (5 November) for closing the office of the UN High Representative in Bosnia, claiming the senior UN official there is biased.
05-11-2019

Sassoli in Skopje: ‘Don’t lose hope’

Visiting European Parliament President David Sassoli urged North Macedonia on Monday (4 October) not to lose hope after the recent failure of the European Council to reach a decision for opening EU accession talks.
04-11-2019

US envoy knocks EU’s ‘bad message’ to the Balkans

Washington's envoy to the Western Balkans on Monday (4 November) criticised the EU for delaying the start of membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania, saying it sent a "bad message" to a region where all countries hope to join the bloc.
31-10-2019

Albania offers first comments on Macron’s enlargement damper

A conference in Tirana on Thursday (31 October) provided a rare insight into the state of mind of the country’s government, but also of other regional players, following the EU's recent failure to take a decision on opening accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia.
30-10-2019

EU socialists chief: North Macedonia name change deal should be ‘preserved’

When it fails to deliver its promises, the EU loses its credibility and shows little sense of historical responsibility towards the Balkans, Iratxe García, the chief of Social Democrats in the European Parliament, has said.
25-10-2019

Russia sends S-400 missile defense systems to Serbia for military drill

Russia said on Thursday (24 October) a division of its S-400 missile defense system would take part in a military drill in Serbia, underlining Moscow’s wish to keep a traditional ally on side even as Belgrade pursues links with NATO and the European Union.

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