Neighbourhood policy

Enlargement 16-01-2019

Tsipras goes against all in Greek parliament on North Macedonia name deal

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will most probably survive a confidence vote on Wednesday (16 January). But his party Syriza is alone defending the historic name change deal reached between Athens and Skopje.
Politics 10-01-2019

Merkel to press Greece on reforms, Macedonia name deal, during rare Athens visit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will urge Greece to press on with tough economic reforms and maintain strict fiscal discipline when she visits Athens on Thursday (10 January) for the first time in nearly five years.
Global Europe 09-01-2019

Erdogan rebukes Trump’s top security adviser over Kurds in Syria

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rebuked Washington's national security adviser on Tuesday (8 January) for demanding that his country not attack Kurdish fighters in Syria, accusing him of complicating President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw US troops.

Under Dutch and Danish pressure, EU hits Iran with sanctions after murder plots

The EU hit Iran’s intelligence services with sanctions on Tuesday (8 January) after accusing Tehran of being behind plots to assassinate regime opponents on Dutch, Danish and French soil. The move by the 28-nation bloc was announced as the Dutch government said it...
Enlargement 04-01-2019

Macedonia’s Zaev sees ‘existential dangers’ outside of Euro-Atlantic institutions

The name-change deal reached between Athens and Skopje does not turn against any other country, including Russia, and its only objective is to establish peace and stability, the prime minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Zoran Zaev, said on Friday (4 January).
Enlargement 05-12-2018

Mitsotakis calls on Greek parties to reject Macedonia name change deal

The leader of the main Greek opposition party, New Democracy (EPP), called on Wednesday (5 December) on Greek political parties to block the name change deal recently reached between Athens and Skopje after almost thirty years of dispute.

EU should sanction Iran over missile tests, US says

The United States is pressing the European Union to consider economic sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missiles, a senior US official said on Tuesday (4 December), warning of a wider regional conflict if Tehran's ambitions remain unchecked.
Enlargement 29-11-2018

EPP’s Weber under pressure to break his silence over Macedonia name deal

Manfred Weber, the European People’s Party (EPP) Spitzenkandidat for the EU elections, has been silent over the name change deal reached this year between Athens and Skopje. The deal has been generally endorsed by the EPP but rejected by some of its members, including those from the two countries involved.
Global Europe 13-11-2018

US belittles EU’s ‘special purpose vehicle’ as companies flee Iran

The United States is not too concerned by Europe's idea for a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to get around US sanctions with Iran as companies are already withdrawing from the country in droves, the senior official for financial intelligence said.
Global Europe 08-11-2018

Morocco pushes development in disputed Western Sahara

Building roads and expanding cities, ports and industrial parks -- Morocco is pressing ahead with economic development in Western Sahara without waiting for a political settlement on the disputed territory.
Enlargement 02-11-2018

Athens and Skopje break ‘air embargo’ after 15 years

The first direct flight from Skopje to Athens took place on Thursday (1 November) after a 15-year “air embargo” in a sign that the two countries are determined to turn a new page in Balkan politics, after being locked in a diplomatic dispute over Skopje's official name.
Global Europe 02-11-2018

Netanyahu lashes at ‘hostile’ EU, but finds friends on Bulgaria trip

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticised the EU's "hypocritical and hostile attitude" on Thursday (1 November) as he left for talks with four eastern European leaders in Bulgaria.
Global Europe 31-10-2018

Iranian spy service suspected of assassination plot in Denmark

Denmark said on Tuesday (30 October) it suspected an Iranian government intelligence service had tried to carry out a plot to assassinate an Iranian Arab opposition figure on its soil.
Global Europe 29-10-2018

Russia, Germany, France and Turkey call for lasting ceasefire, constitutional meeting for Syria

The leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Turkey stressed the importance on Saturday (27 October) of a lasting ceasefire in Syria, and said a committee to create a new constitution should meet by the end of the year.
Global Europe 26-10-2018

France expels Iranian diplomat over planned terrorist attack

France has expelled an Iranian diplomat in response to a failed plot to carry out a bomb attack at a rally near Paris organised by an exiled Iranian opposition group, diplomatic and security sources say.
Global Europe 26-10-2018

Macron, Trump confer ahead of Istanbul Syria summit with Putin

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone Thursday (25 October) with US counterpart Donald Trump about strategy ahead of a four-way summit on Syria in Istanbul this weekend, the Élysée palace said.
Global Europe 25-10-2018

EU mechanism for Iran trade to be symbolically ready on 4 November

A new European Union mechanism to facilitate payments for Iranian exports should be legally in place by 4 November, when the next phase of US sanctions hit, but will not be operational until early next year, three diplomats said.
Enlargement 24-10-2018

Commission asks Turkey to respect international agreements after new spat with Greece

The European Union remains committed to good neighbourly relations and respect of international agreements, an EU spokesperson told EURACTIV.com following tensions between Athens and Ankara on the expansion of territorial waters in the Aegean.
Enlargement 17-10-2018

Greek FM resigns, Tsipras to finalise Macedonia deal personally

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will take over the foreign affairs portfolio following a surprise decision by Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias to resign on Wednesday (17 October).
Future EU 16-10-2018

Hungary takes fight against NGOs to EU level

At a Luxembourg meeting of EU foreign ministers on Tuesday (15 October), Hungary called on the EU to stop funding for NGOs that undermine the sovereignty of neighbouring countries such as Israel and Egypt or states that contribute to illegal migration.
Enlargement 09-10-2018

EU responds to FYROM president, insists on not importing disputes during enlargement

Experience garnered during previous enlargements has taught the EU a lesson: the bloc should not import existing disputes when granting membership, an EU spokesperson told EURACTIV.com after FYROM President Gjorge Ivanov accused Brussels of “double standards”.
Enlargement 03-10-2018

Controversy in Greece: did New Democracy have secret contacts with Zaev?

A big controversy is ongoing in Greece following reports that the country’s largest opposition force, New Democracy, which strongly opposes the name deal with Skopje, has had secretive contacts with the Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Zoran Zaev.
Enlargement 03-10-2018

Tsipras and Zaev reportedly in the running for Nobel Peace Prize

The prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia, Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev, are among the favourites to become nominees for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, according to a Swedish journalist specialised in covering the secretive decision-making of the Nobel committee.
Enlargement 01-10-2018

Greek MP: Zaev is granted ‘crucial’ political benefit after the referendum

The result of Sunday's referendum in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on whether to accept a name deal with Greece provided a "crucial political benefit" for its prime minister despite a low voter turnout, Nikos Xydakis, an influential parliamentary representative in the Greek house, told EURACTIV.com.