EXCLUSIVE / EU capitals should keep their word and open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania at the 28-29 June summit, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias told EURACTIV.com in a wide-ranging interview.
The Dutch parliament blocked on Thursday (21 June) the opening of EU accession negotiations with Albania. The EU summit will decide on 28-29 June whether to open negotiations with Macedonia and Albania.
The member states are expected to vote next week on whether to open accession talks with Albania, as the Commission has recommended. The Balkan country has made progress in improving the rule of law but its EU prospects remain vague as several EU capitals have called for caution in planning the bloc's next enlargement.
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.
Greece and Macedonia on Sunday (17 June) signed a historic preliminary agreement to rename the small Balkan nation the Republic of North Macedonia, ending a row that has poisoned relations between the two neighbours since 1991.
European People's Party MEP Elmar Brok has a “great understanding” of Greece’s New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who faces internal party problems and opposes the freshly agreed deal between Athens and Skopje on the name dispute. However, Brok told EURACTIV he hopes for a positive result in the end.
Macedonia and Greece yesterday (12 June) resolved a nearly three-decade row by agreeing to the name Republic of North Macedonia, opening the road for the landlocked country to start EU accession talks and to join NATO.
Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev …
Macedonia's deputy prime minister expects growing "external resistance" as negotiations on the name dispute with Greece get closer to a final deal which would unblock the country's NATO and EU membership bid.
Normalising relations between Kosovo and Serbia is "the most complicated process in the Balkans at the moment", according to the head of the EU's office in Pristina. But both sides need steady encouragement from the international community to reach a final solution and progress towards EU membership.
Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán produced a video message on Saturday (2 June) supporting the efforts of Macedonia’s main opposition party to block a solution to the long-standing name dispute with Greece. He praised its refusal to bend "under pressure from foreign powers".
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama calls for clearer enlargement prospects for the Western Balkans, saying it would be a "huge mistake" for the EU not to continue its engagement with the countries in the region. EURACTIV.fr reports.
In a move of high political importance, the Macedonian Orthodox Church has asked to go back to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, seen as the mother church of Eastern Orthodoxy, and lose the term “Macedonia” from its name.
EU citizens generally think that judicial independence is going from strength-to-strength but in some countries, like newest member Croatia, the situation is still poor and even declining, according to the EU’s latest justice scoreboard.
Thousands of Albanian opposition supporters rallied in the capital Tirana on Saturday calling for the resignation of interior minister Fatmir Xhafaj, whose brother has been convicted of drug trafficking.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.