About: Albania

Enlargement 20-11-2019

EU faces rift over enlargement policy after French ‘non’

European Union members wrangled over the rules for joining their club on Tuesday (19 November), after France triggered anger by seeking to postpone bids from Albania and North Macedonia. At the 17-18 October summit, EU heads of state and government...
Enlargement 12-11-2019

Von der Leyen locks horns with Macron over EU enlargement

The new European Commission has yet to be approved, but its president-elect has already locked horns with French President Emmanuel Macron over the future of EU enlargement.
Enlargement 04-11-2019

US envoy knocks EU’s ‘bad message’ to the Balkans

Washington's envoy to the Western Balkans on Monday (4 November) criticised the EU for delaying the start of membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania, saying it sent a "bad message" to a region where all countries hope to join the bloc.
Enlargement 31-10-2019

Albania offers first comments on Macron’s enlargement damper

A conference in Tirana on Thursday (31 October) provided a rare insight into the state of mind of the country’s government, but also of other regional players, following the EU's recent failure to take a decision on opening accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia.
Future EU 22-10-2019

Skopje on fire as MEPs slam EU leaders’ failure to open accession talks

Postponing the start of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania was a "serious mistake" and "grave error", European Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told MEPs on Tuesday, as negative effects already started showing in the Western Balkans.
Enlargement 18-10-2019

All eyes on France after inconclusive enlargement summit debate

After a long night of inconclusive discussions, EU heads of state are set to return to the EU enlargement issue today (18 October). All eyes are on France, as Emmanuel Macron's position has so far been the major stumbling block for opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania.
Enlargement 17-10-2019

Visegrad 4, North Macedonia in last-ditch effort to change French enlargement veto

In a last-ditch effort on Wednesday evening (16 October) before a decisive EU summit, the Visegrad Four and North Macedonian officials tried to sway the enlargement mood in Brussels.
Enlargement 16-10-2019

France halts EU enlargement

France blocked the opening of accession talks with North Macedonia on Tuesday (15 October), despite the promise made by the EU to Skopje that its historic name deal with Greece, the Prespa agreement, would earn it a ticket to EU membership negotiations.
Enlargement 15-10-2019

Leaders must take action, giving signals is not enough

The EU should allow North Macedonia and Albania to sit at the EU accession negotiations table this week - anything else would be a grave political mistake, argues Sergei Stanishev.
Enlargement 08-10-2019

Kosovo dissident Albin Kurti reaches halls of power

Political prisoner turned parliamentary troublemaker Albin Kurti is within reach of becoming Kosovo's next prime minister after an electoral triumph that could reshape the political scene in Europe's youngest democracy.
Enlargement 13-09-2019

Visegrad countries back opening of accession talks with North Macedonia, Albania

Four eastern European Union members on Thursday (12 September) backed the accession of Western Balkan countries to the bloc, saying North Macedonia and Albania should start talks this year.
Enlargement 10-07-2019

Will New Democracy undermine the positive momentum in the Western Balkans?

Following New Democracy’s return to power there are concerns in Brussels, Berlin and Washington about changes in Greece’s policy towards its Balkan neighbours, write Alexandra Voudouri and Ioannis Armakolas.
Enlargement 24-06-2019

Turkey, Russia and China covet Western Balkans as EU puts enlargement on hold

Unless the EU accession process of the Western Balkans picks up the pace, the six countries of the region may examine alternatives for their countries’ external orientation, including boosting relations with China, Russia, Turkey and the Gulf States, a report...
Enlargement 17-06-2019

North Macedonia nears accession talks, Albania falling behind

Member states will on Tuesday (18 June) postpone a decision on opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, most likely until September, as almost all capitals are prepared to green light Skopje while Tirana still remains a ‘no-go’ for a few, EU officials and diplomats told EURACTIV.
Enlargement 06-06-2019

Enlargement debate: Western Balkans, torn between hope and outrage

With enlargement being a “hot potato” for EU institutions, EURACTIV addressed the issue in a debate on Tuesday (5 June). Diplomats and journalists talked freely about the perceived reluctance of some member states, but also about existing real internal obstacles.

Commission: Suspending visa-free travel for Albanians should not be decided lightly

The European Commission said on Monday (3 June) it would assess a request by the Netherlands to suspend visa-free travel for Albanians, adding that such a decision should not be taken lightly.
Enlargement 03-06-2019

Police, protesters clash in Albania, US condemns the violence

Police in the Albanian capital Tirana on Sunday (2 June) fired tear gas and water canon at demonstrators demanding the resignation of socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama.
Enlargement 29-05-2019

Commission recommends opening accession talks with Albania, North Macedonia

The European Commission recommended on Wednesday (29 May) opening accession talks with two Western Balkan countries, Albania and North Macedonia, saying they had “embraced the opportunity and delivered on reforms”. But this will need to be approved by the member states....
Enlargement 28-05-2019

Albania’s riotous politics rattle EU dreams

Molotov cocktails in the streets and a mass resignation in parliament -- Albania's volatile political scene is exploding just as its European future is on the table, threatening Tirana's dreams of joining the bloc.
EU Elections 2019 22-05-2019

Frontex launches first joint operation outside EU, in Albania

The European Union's border agency Frontex said it had launched Tuesday (22 May) in Albania its first-ever joint operation outside the bloc's territory.
Enlargement 13-05-2019

Albanian protesters hurl petrol bombs, seek snap polls

Albanian opposition protesters hurled petrol bombs at the entrance of Prime Minister Edi Rama’s office on Saturday (11 May), after three months of demonstrations calling for him to quit over alleged election fraud and corruption.
Electricity 18-03-2019

The burden of coal at the doorstep of the Energy Union

At a time when the EU strives to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, coal still represents more than half of electricity across much of the Western Balkans and other EU neighbouring countries, writes Janez Kopač. Making things worse, coal plants are intensively supported by Chinese and US capital, without active opposition of the EU, he says.
Enlargement 13-03-2019

Albania opposition leader: The Commission is ignoring the reality on the ground

The EU has mistakenly sacrificed democracy for the sake of stability in the Balkan region, Lulzim Basha, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Albania, told EURACTIV.com in a telephone interview.
Enlargement 27-02-2019

Albanian police disperse opposition protest with teargas

Albanian police used teargas Tuesday (26 February) to disperse hundreds of opposition protesters who tried to prevent ruling Socialist MPs from entering parliament.

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