Neighbourhood policy

Enlargement 20-07-2018

Greece-Russia ties shaken, Turkey pulls the strings

Systematic efforts to derail the Macedonian name deal, combined with increased Ankara-Moscow cooperation, are the main reasons that tensions between Greece and Russia have escalated of late, diplomatic sources told EURACTIV.com.
Global Europe 19-07-2018

Commission half-heartedly condemns divisive Jewish nation-state law

The European Commission has expressed concern, but no clear condemnation, of a controversial “nation-state” law passed by the Parliament of Israel. The law states that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country and strips Arabic of the status of an official language.

Russian and Syrian authorities set up centre for refugees returning to Syria

Russia's Defence Ministry said yesterday (18 July) that Russian and Syrian authorities had set up a refugee centre in Syria to help refugees return home from abroad.
Enlargement 16-07-2018

Zaev says Russian money used to instigate violence ahead of name deal referendum

Greek businessmen with close ties to Moscow have bribed citizens in Skopje to “commit acts of violence” ahead of the referendum on the name deal with Athens, Zoran Zaev, the prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), said on Monday (16 July).
Enlargement 13-07-2018

US-Russia tensions escalate over Greece, Macedonia name deal

The Kremlin accused Washington on Friday (13 July) of being behind the Greek government’s decision to expel two Russian diplomats who had allegedly tried to derail a deal resolving Greece's name dispute with neighbouring Macedonia.
Global Europe 13-07-2018

Israel reprimands EU envoy in row over discriminatory bill

Israel summoned the EU ambassador yesterday (12 July) over allegations of interference in the passage of a controversial law which could pave the way for Jewish-only communities.
Enlargement 03-07-2018

Balkans should build on momentum, focus on reforms – EU ambassador

The attitude that the EU owes something to the candidate countries in the Western Balkans is wrong, as well as the belief that concerns over the growing Russian influence in the region will be enough to bring someone "closer to the EU”, according to the EU Ambassador to Montenegro, Aivo Orav.
Global Europe 29-06-2018

EU summit approves tortured conclusions on migration after sleepless night

EU leaders reached a much-needed deal on steps to tackle migration after resolving a bitter row with Italy's inexperienced prime minister. Extended talks lasted through the night and only wrapped up on Friday morning (29 June). 

LIVE: Migration, eurozone test EU unity at fateful June Summit

EU leaders are meeting on 28-29 June to bash out a solution to the divisive issue of migration, which should help Chancellor Angela Merkel preserve her fragile government, and lay the groundwork for a scaled-down package of eurozone reforms wanted by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Enlargement 15-06-2018

Family history explains New Democracy opposition to Athens-Skopje name deal, says EPP’s Brok

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.
Global Europe 14-06-2018

EU unveils increased foreign aid budget for 2021-27

The European Commission has defended its plans to overhaul its foreign spending budget, promising that it would deliver a large increase in aid spending and ‘eliminate bureaucratic barriers’.
Enlargement 07-06-2018

Macedonia expects more resistance as name solution nears – minister

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.
Global Europe 06-06-2018

Macron warns of risk of ‘conflict’ over Iran nuclear deal

French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the risk of "conflict" in the standoff with Iran after Tehran announced plans to boost its uranium enrichment capacity as Europe scrambles to save a beleaguered nuclear deal.
Enlargement 04-06-2018

Orbán hails attempts to derail solution to Macedonian name dispute

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".
Enlargement 31-05-2018

Local Orthodox church asks to drop ‘Macedonia’ from name as talks with Greece continue

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.
Global Europe 22-05-2018

‘No alternative’ to Iran deal, Mogherini tells Pompeo

The EU's foreign policy chief warned Monday (21 May) there was "no alternative" to the Iran nuclear deal, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed unprecedented sanctions against Tehran following Washington's withdrawal from the pact.
Enlargement 18-05-2018

Kosovo is not Catalonia, Kosovo’s Thaci tells absent Spanish PM Rajoy

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.
Enlargement 17-05-2018

Skopje opposition’s stance takes centre stage in Tsipras-Zaev talks

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).
Enlargement 17-05-2018

EU socialists urge Tsipras and Zaev to show ‘leadership’ to curb nationalism

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.
Enlargement 17-05-2018

Tusk: With friends like Trump, who needs enemies

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.
Economy & Jobs 17-05-2018

France’s Total warns of Iran exit as EU struggles to save economic ties

French energy giant Total joined other European companies in signalling on Wednesday (16  May) they could exit Iran, casting doubt on whether European leaders meeting to try to salvage the Iran nuclear deal can safeguard trade with Tehran.
Global Europe 16-05-2018

In Sofia, EU leaders will seek united front on Trump

European Union leaders will try to forge a united response at a summit today (16 May) to US President Donald Trump's shock decisions on the Iran nuclear deal and trade tariffs.
Enlargement 15-05-2018

Bulgaria’s EU Presidency sees an ‘opportunity’ in Sofia on Macedonian name dispute

Bulgaria’s EU Presidency sees “an opportunity” in the long-standing name dispute between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) at a crucial meeting due in Sofia this week.
Global Europe 04-05-2018

Europeans push last bid to salvage Iran deal, but work on plan B

European powers still want to hand Donald Trump next week a plan to save the Iran nuclear deal, but they have also started work on protecting EU-Iranian business ties if the US president makes good on a threat to withdraw.