Enlargement

23-07-2021

Outgoing Bosnia peace envoy imposes jail terms for genocide denial

Bosnia's outgoing international peace overseer decreed amendments to its criminal code on Friday (23 July) to allow jail terms for the denial of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, a frequently expressed view among nationalist Serbs.
China 22-07-2021

Montenegro starts paying off $1 billion Chinese road loan

Montenegro paid the first instalment of a billion-dollar road loan from China that critics say could wreck the Balkan nation's economy.
15-07-2021

Political scientists say EU has lost the battle for the Balkans

The EU has lost the battle for the Balkans, where Russia and China are offering bonuses without asking for reforms, geopolitical experts told an online conference organised by EURACTIV.bg this week, proposing increased cooperation and a Balkan common market as the best way forward.

Logar quizzed on Western Balkans non-paper, Iran statements

Presenting Slovenia's EU presidency priorities in foreign affairs to the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, Foreign Minister Anže Logar faced questions by MEPs about a non-paper on redrawing Western Balkan borders, the situation of North Macedonia and Albania, and PM Janez Janša's recent statements about Iran, and media freedom.

Slovenia, Bulgaria seek compromise on North Macedonia’s EU bid

Slovenia's President Borut Pahor met his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev on Thursday (8 July) to discuss Bulgaria's veto on North Macedonia's bid to join the EU.
09-07-2021

EU to help Western Balkans boost youth employment schemes

EU employment and social affairs ministers and their counterparts from the Western Balkans met in Slovenia for talks on measures to get young people into the labour market, with regional officials calling for the implementation of a work guarantee scheme for youth.
Digital & Media 11-06-2021

Campaign group flags judicial interference in journalist cases in Serbia and Montenegro

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) flagged on Friday (11 June) two instances where key judiciary figures interfered with legal proceedings in cases involving two investigative journalists in Serbia and Montenegro.
Global Europe 09-06-2021

EU not considering joining US in sanctioning Western Balkans

US-type sanctions for the Western Balkans are not on the agenda, the European Commission said after President Joe Biden signed order blocking property banning entry to the country of those "contributing to the destabilising situation in the" region on Tuesday.
Digital & Media 09-06-2021

Serb tabloids call Mladic ‘hero forever’ as he loses final appeal in genocide conviction

Ratko Mladić, the wartime Bosnian Serb commander dubbed the “butcher of Bosnia”, lost the final appeal in the genocide conviction against him before the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT) in The Hague on Tuesday (8 June), prompting a wide range of reactions in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia.
Digital & Media 04-06-2021

Balkan media conference: ‘The EU barks rather timidly to enemies of press freedom ‘

Media freedom throughout Europe needs all the support it can get, but the situation in the Balkans is particularly worrying, participants told an online conference "Media Freedom in the Balkans” organised by EURACTIV.
02-06-2021

Leaked paper sheds light on poor rule of law, media situation in Serbia

The print media in Serbia that most often violate the journalistic code of professional conduct continue to be the beneficiaries of public funding, warned an internal EU paper obtained by EURACTIV that painted a bleak picture of the EU candidate country's democratic record.
China 02-06-2021

Montenegro learns true cost of China-backed $1 billion road to nowhere

Two sleek new roads vanish into mountain tunnels high above a sleepy Montenegrin village, the unlikely endpoint of a billion-dollar project bankrolled by China that is threatening to derail the tiny country's economy.
Digital & Media 21-05-2021

Printing houses in Serbia refuse to publish new daily newspaper

United Group, a leading multi-play telecoms and media provider in South-East Europe, announced in April it was launching a daily newspaper in Serbia with a responsible editorial concept, to counter the bad situation with print media in the country. However, no printing house in Serbia has so far accepted to print the new daily, called Nova.
17-05-2021

Serbia rewards president’s controversial media aide with top culture post

Serbia’s appointment last week of Suzana Vasiljević, media aide to President Aleksandar Vučić, to the management of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, despite her lacking any connection to classical music, has raised many eyebrows in the country.
12-05-2021

Facing pressure, Bulgaria tries to explain its North Macedonia veto

Facing pressure from EU members, the Bulgarian ambassador to the EU explained on Tuesday (11 May) to the EU ministers his country’s decision to veto the start of neighbouring North Macedonia's accession negotiations.
10-05-2021

EU faced with ‘deep disappointment’ in Western Balkans

EU foreign minister will discuss the Western Balkans on Monday (10 May) to determine how to improve cooperation with the region, burdened by lingering nationalism, a weak economy and widespread disappointment with its fading EU membership prospects.
05-05-2021

US and EU back Western Balkans borders at UN

The United States and the EU expressed support for the territorial borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have recently been called into question, and for the UN envoy to the country, who has been criticized by Russia.
28-04-2021

Albania PM declares victory but opponents cry foul

Albania's prime minister declared victory in parliamentary elections on Tuesday (27 April) and claimed a record third term in office, but the opposition has refused to accept the result.
27-04-2021

Serbia’s Vucic ‘treating the EU as if stupid were its middle name’

Serbian President Alexandar Vučić deflected EU criticism on the worsening situation of rule of law and media freedom in his country, with the help of media under his control. EURACTIV looked at the real picture.
27-04-2021

Washington voices support for Western Balkans’ EU path after non-paper scare

The United States voiced full support and pledged to help the Western Balkan countries' efforts to join the European Union on Monday (27 April), after an unofficial diplomatic note suggesting border changes in the region raised fears of renewed ethnic tensions in the south-eastern corner of Europe.
26-04-2021

Albania parties at loggerheads after hard-fought election

Albania's opposition claimed victory after a parliamentary election on Sunday (25 April) seen as crucial to the country's dreams of EU membership, but the ruling party said it was too soon to call a result.
22-04-2021

EU action awaited as phantom paper further unhinges Western Balkans

A firmer stance from Brussels – noticeably missing last week – against a controversial document proposing border changes in the Western Balkans would help calm the growing anxieties in the region, analysts said. At the same time, regional and international...
20-04-2021

EU to provide vaccines for Western Balkan frontline healthcare workers

The EU will provide 651,000 COVID-19 jabs from its joint procurement for frontline healthcare workers in the six partner countries in the Western Balkans, the European Commission announced on Tuesday (20 April). The announcement comes after China and Russia distributed...
China 16-04-2021

Montenegro tries to cool EU row over $1 billion China road

Montenegro's finance minister on Friday (16 April) tried to ease concern over a near $1 billion Chinese-backed road project, insisting the country could afford to repay the debt and did not need EU help.