The Bulgarian EU Presidency sees a possible risk of Western Balkan hopefuls “looking elsewhere” while the bloc hesitates to move forward with their accession, the Bulgarian Ambassador to the EU told Brussels journalists on Monday (8 January).
The Western Balkans countries are in a much better shape than they were in the 1990s but the European Union should open accession talks with them as soon possible or risk seeing them wooed by Russia, China or radical Islam, the prime minister of Albania told an event in Brussels on Tuesday (5 December).
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.
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.
A new study looking into the practical, legal and technical aspects of further EU expansion has concluded that only one country, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, could meet the criteria for joining the bloc before 2023.
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.
If the Western Balkans are to overcome almost three decades of economic stagnation and crisis, they will need to double their annual growth rates. This will need a fundamental rethink of the EU’s enlargement policy, argue Tobias Flessenkemper and Dušan Reljić.
The European Union hopes six Balkan countries will agree at a summit on July 12 in Italy to create a regional common market that could be working within a year, a top EU official said on Tuesday (6 June), in the bloc's latest step to re-engage the region.