About: Albania

Enlargement 27-11-2019

Harnessing the potential of French proposals for the benefit of Western Balkans

In recent days, the discourse on the Western Balkans’ EU accession has been dominated by discussion of the (in)famous French non-paper, finally explaining the thinking behind the changes in the enlargement methodology announced earlier by President Macron. Milena Lazarevic explains how the French proposal might work.
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 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.
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.

EU should support Iranian freedom fighters instead of investing in a fading theocracy

The EU High Representative Federica Mogherini’s response to the series of Iranian terror plots on European soil has been a total silence, writes Jaromír Štětina.
Enlargement 06-07-2018

The Western Balkan challenge

The promise of future integration in the European Union helped many states on their journey to full democracy, writes Ditmir Bushati.
Enlargement 05-07-2018

Progress for Western Balkan nations – a step forward for federalised Europe

Though the EU has lately been busy dealing with issues such as Brexit and the migration crisis, it has found time to talk of the integration of the Western Balkans. A steady integration of the region is good news indeed as this could lead to a federalised Europe and a complete Union, writes Bernard Kouchner.
Enlargement 28-06-2018

Albania and Macedonia – a ray of hope and a warning for Balkans

Everyone was taken by surprise on Tuesday (26 June) when EU ministers agreed to set out a path for opening accession talks with Albania and Macedonia in June 2019. Many were doubtful this would be agreed, at a time when the EU is facing difficult challenges, write Adnan Ćerimagić and Zoran Nechev.
Enlargement 29-05-2018

Western Balkan enlargement will catalyse a stronger Europe

Addressing the reforms needed to prepare the six Balkan countries for EU accession can be cathartic in effect, and reinvigorate the European Union, writes Andrey Kovatchev.
Enlargement 03-05-2018

Defeating extremism in the Balkans

As a region deeply connected to the EU, the Western Balkans should no longer be forgotten. With Austria’s upcoming presidency of the EU, it is high time to reboot the region’s economic development and its integration into the Union, as well as recognise its progress in countering terrorism, writes Peter R. Neumann.
Enlargement 16-02-2018

Two cheers for Balkan Boris

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has come in for plenty of criticism in his 19 months in post. But there is one area of foreign policy where he has been faultless and where indeed Britain can play a leading role in shaping Europe’s future direction of travel, explains Denis MacShane.
Enlargement 04-12-2017

Albania 2018: Preparing for a breakthrough

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.
Global Europe 22-11-2017

Reversing negative trends in the EU’s neighbourhood policy

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.
Enlargement 05-10-2017

EU enlargement: Tear down mental walls in the Balkans

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.
Enlargement 11-07-2017

EU enlargement: A six percent target for the Western Balkans

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.
Enlargement 16-06-2017

Kosovo lurches to nationalism as Brussels lets down its friends

Elections in the West Balkans are never easy. Federica Mogherini might consider intervening now on the side of the pro-European forces in Kosovo, writes Denis MacShane.
Elections 12-05-2017

Albania: How not to lose an election? Refuse to take part…

All eyes are on elections in Britain, France and soon Germany but quite the most bizarre election seen in Europe since the end of communism is due to take ten days after the British poll next month, writes Denis MacShane.
Enlargement 20-03-2017

Forget Russia, new menace in Western Balkans is Trump-style populist politics

A new menace is stalking the Western Balkans: the region's political leaders themselves. Many are now retreating from serious engagement with Europe in order to play internal political games, writes Denis MacShane.
Enlargement 13-03-2017

Brussels’ Balkan approach: Little carrot, broken stick

Once staunchly pro-EU, Kosovars are losing patience with Brussels, which they accuse of prioritising Serbian accession over their own sovereignty, warns the mayor of Kosovo’s capital, Shpend Ahmeti.

Enlargement 30-01-2017

The approach the EU should take to the Western Balkans

The European Union’s approach to the Western Balkans is much the same as its approach to North Africa and the Middle East: prioritising stability. As a result, the Union risks aligning itself with increasingly illiberal and authoritarian regimes and mistaking their power for stability, argues Arlind Puka.
Enlargement 11-01-2017

Albania: At EU’s door 71 years after founding of brutal Hoxhaist regime

Albania is one of the many countries lining up to join the EU. Today marks the 71st anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania and the beginning of what would be horrible purges of non-communists, write Alex Fiuza and Steffen Kudella.
Energy 11-01-2017

As Russia’s gas market gets weaker, Europe gets stronger

The Southern Gas Corridor, pipeline interconnectors and LNG terminals, particularly in the northeast, have slowly but steadily been weakening Russia's pipeline hegemony, writes Agnia Grigas.
Enlargement 01-06-2016

Why Kosovo and the Balkans found relief in Austria’s election result

As president of the tiny Republic of Kosovo in the Western Balkans, Hashim Thaçi is the first one to admit to being very relieved by the results of the presidential elections in Austria.
Central Europe 12-04-2016

Enhanced cooperation needed between Visegrad Group & Western Balkans

The refugee crisis and the fight against terrorism have made the EU and Western Balkans realise first-hand how interdependent we have become. Now is the time for enhanced engagement with the Western Balkans write Ditmir Bushati  and Lubomír Zaorálek.

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