Enlargement

EU-China 30-07-2018

Europe needs to wake up to China’s influencing strategies

As Europe is waking up to the Chinese party-state’s growing influence inside its territory, China experts in Europe need to make themselves heard, write Tabitha Speelman and  Matej Šimalčík.
06-07-2018

The Western Balkan challenge

The promise of future integration in the European Union helped many states on their journey to full democracy, writes Ditmir Bushati.
05-07-2018

Progress for Western Balkan nations – a step forward for federalised Europe

Though the EU has lately been busy dealing with issues such as Brexit and the migration crisis, it has found time to talk of the integration of the Western Balkans. A steady integration of the region is good news indeed as this could lead to a federalised Europe and a complete Union, writes Bernard Kouchner.
28-06-2018

Albania and Macedonia – a ray of hope and a warning for Balkans

Everyone was taken by surprise on Tuesday (26 June) when EU ministers agreed to set out a path for opening accession talks with Albania and Macedonia in June 2019. Many were doubtful this would be agreed, at a time when the EU is facing difficult challenges, write Adnan Ćerimagić and Zoran Nechev.
Climate change 19-06-2018

Why new coal in Turkey and the Balkans will test China’s and EU’s climate leadership

The EU and China have to live up to their responsibilities on climate change and use every opportunity to support the Western Balkans and Turkey to move beyond coal. This means renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, not new coal, argue Elif Gündüzyeli and Igor Kalaba.
29-05-2018

Western Balkan enlargement will catalyse a stronger Europe

Addressing the reforms needed to prepare the six Balkan countries for EU accession can be cathartic in effect, and reinvigorate the European Union, writes Andrey Kovatchev.
14-05-2018

Why we need to stabilise the Western Balkans

As Europe is confronted by different visions about its future, the question remains how these different visions will affect the developments in the Western Balkans. The Balkans remain fragile, and the external pressures and internal divisions could deliver fresh instability in the region.
03-05-2018

Defeating extremism in the Balkans

As a region deeply connected to the EU, the Western Balkans should no longer be forgotten. With Austria’s upcoming presidency of the EU, it is high time to reboot the region’s economic development and its integration into the Union, as well as recognise its progress in countering terrorism, writes Peter R. Neumann.
Global Europe 27-04-2018

Europe and Turkey: The end of illusion

The summit held in Ankara on 4 April between Putin, Erdoğan, and Rouhani provides an eye-opening depiction of the rapidly changing discourse of 2018 geostrategic international rivalry, write Gilles Pargneaux, Dr Alon Ben Meir and Arbana Xharra.
20-04-2018

Beyond coal, nationalism and EU accession: Squaring the circle for Kosovo

Joining the EU means meeting all of its rules and criteria, including energy legislation. But bloc-hopeful Kosovo, just like its other Balkan neighbours, is struggling to make any headway there, writes Philippe Charlez.
18-04-2018

A year of opportunity for the Balkans

The fact that the Western Balkans is being increasingly prioritised on the European agenda is no longer sufficient To achieve real progress in EU integration, the Western Balkan countries need a clearly defined plan that includes a concrete timeframe for all six countries, writes Ilhan Kyuchyuk.
13-04-2018

The case for a joint ‘Western Balkans six’ accession to the EU

There could be no stronger incentive to overcome regional disputes and normalise relations than if the region would receive a clear message that all six countries will join the EU at the same time, writes Bekim Çollaku.
12-04-2018

Time for a Juncker re-set: The importance of a membership perspective for the Western Balkans

To ensure the security and stability of the Western Balkans, the perspective of membership may no longer be enough. The EU should push back against Russian propaganda and engage in smarter outreach. It needs a new, more confident approach, writes Sir Graham Watson.
03-04-2018

Ending state capture in the Balkans – bridging the gap between EU words and deeds

The EU is still failing to address the issue of state capture in the Balkans and, by choosing stability over democracy in the region, has been undermining its own credibility and values. But now it must take strong actions in view of the 2025 admission perspective, writes Shpend Ahmeti.  
27-03-2018

The Berlin Process in the new enlargement strategy

Since its first summit in Berlin in 2014, the Berlin Process - a regional cooperation initiative bringing together seven key member states and the six Western Balkan countries - has provided a unique contribution to regional cooperation, writes Ardian Hackaj.
26-02-2018

Time for Juncker to help Bosnia-Herzegovina with a bridge from Dayton to accession

Two years after it applied for EU candidate status, Bosnia and Herzegovina will hand over the answers to the Commission’s questionnaire this week. Now it falls upon Juncker to hold BiH to its membership aspirations and the reform commitments expressed, writes Ivan Pepic.

16-02-2018

Two cheers for Balkan Boris

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has come in for plenty of criticism in his 19 months in post. But there is one area of foreign policy where he has been faultless and where indeed Britain can play a leading role in shaping Europe’s future direction of travel, explains Denis MacShane.
22-01-2018

A crazy idea  for a Western Balkans innovation agenda

If the EU plans to use the same old carrots and sticks to push the region further into enlargement territory, we are all in a situation ripe for disappointment, writes Georgi Kamov.
Air Quality 14-12-2017

Balkan coal power costing lives, urgent action is needed

More than 60,000 premature deaths in Europe could be prevented over the next decade if urgent action is taken on air pollution from Europe’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants, write Dragana Mileusnić and Ioana Ciuta.
12-12-2017

Four (and a half) reasons why Schengen would be better off with Bulgaria and Romania

The refusal to extend the Schengen area to Bulgaria and Romania is a blatant example of lack of solidarity, disrespect for commitments and disregard for the EU’s own decision-making process, writes Sergei Stanishev.
04-12-2017

Albania 2018: Preparing for a breakthrough

Albania looks to the EU to show that it recognises its potential as a partner, by starting accession negotiations in the spring of 2018. Ditmir Bushati explains why the next six months, under Bulgaria's presidency, will be of crucial importance.
28-11-2017

EU expansion receives an unlikely boost

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has a strong motivation for giving a boost to the largely stalled EU enlargement process, writes Sir Michael Leigh.
Global Europe 22-11-2017

Reversing negative trends in the EU’s neighbourhood policy

With the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit this Friday (24 November) and the Bulgarian Presidency in January 2018, the EU is at a juncture where it can reverse a very negative trend and breathe new life in its neighbourhood policy, Harry Nedelcu writes.
05-10-2017

EU enlargement: Tear down mental walls in the Balkans

Last week the European Commission dealt another blow to the Western Balkans by promising an accession strategy for Montenegro and Serbia while neglecting the other four Balkan countries, Hashim Thaçi, the president of Kosovo, writes in an exclusive op-ed for EURACTIV.