About: Balkans

Enlargement 13-02-2020

New membership forms solve EU challenges

Associate membership and other innovations could be used to break the log-jam and the EU's enlargement fatigue, giving the EU a chance to turn a “historic mistake” into a historic opportunity, writes Manfred Kohler.
Enlargement 20-04-2018

Beyond coal, nationalism and EU accession: Squaring the circle for Kosovo

Joining the EU means meeting all of its rules and criteria, including energy legislation. But bloc-hopeful Kosovo, just like its other Balkan neighbours, is struggling to make any headway there, writes Philippe Charlez.
Enlargement 03-04-2018

Ending state capture in the Balkans – bridging the gap between EU words and deeds

The EU is still failing to address the issue of state capture in the Balkans and, by choosing stability over democracy in the region, has been undermining its own credibility and values. But now it must take strong actions in view of the 2025 admission perspective, writes Shpend Ahmeti.  
Cybersecurity 03-11-2017

How the Cold War was replaced with fake news

The Cold War has faded into history but it was replaced by a media war which rages above all on the internet. Fake news play a major role now, argues Herbert Vytiska from EURACTIV Germany.

On 11 June, Kosovo must elect a European future

Kosovo’s up-coming election is a chance for the country to confirm itself as a “bright spot” in the Balkans and choose the path towards European integration, writes Avdullah Hoti.
Future EU 19-05-2017

Croatia at a crossroads

Croatia’s geostrategic position in the Balkans means the rest of Europe should pay attention to this weekend’s elections, writes Tomislav Karamarko.
Enlargement 02-03-2016

Kosovo at the crossroads

Kosovo has made great progress since gaining independence in 2008, but it still has a long way to go to secure a European future and avoid being consumed by its past, writes Hashim Thaçi.
Med & South 20-01-2016

Will the European Parliament defend Kosovo’s democracy?

Kosovo has illegally arrested one third of the parliamentary opposition. On Thursday (21 January) the European Parliament will discuss a draft resolution on Kosovo, which does not even mention the arrests, writes Andrea Lorenzo Capussela. 
Global Europe 19-01-2016

The Balkanisation of Europe

As foreign policy experts list their problems for 2016, the Balkans never gets a mention. That’s strange, as the region is the microcosm of all the differing conflicts in Europe, and even further afield, Denis MacShane writes.
Europe's East 27-08-2015

Now we can phone Kosovo, but is that enough?

It is time for Serbia to let go of Kosovo and allow the Balkans to move into the 21st century, writes Denis MacShane.
Richard Howitt MEP (UK, Labour) [European Parliament]
Europe's East 04-12-2014

Macedonia’s feeble flame of aspiration

Are European policy-makers crushing hopes of progress in Macedonia by putting enlargement on the back burner, Richard Howitt wonders. 
Enlargement 18-10-2013

Negotiations with Serbia can pull neighbouring states into accession swirl

Last week’s release of the annual EU progress reports on the Western Balkans and Turkey brings the EU’s accession policies back into the international spotlight. The prospect of starting membership negotiations with the EU has led to positive political developments and more stability in the Balkans, Dominik Tolksdorf writes.
Elections 28-06-2013

The EU’s Balkan Week shows enlargement isn’t dead

Enlargement of the EU may not be in the spotlight these days, but with Croatia joining the EU on Monday and the door opening further to eventual Serbian membership, there is a lot happening, writes Dimitar Bechev.
Enlargement 31-01-2013

EU enlargement: Slower and narrower than ever before

More countries are likely to join the EU, but the process will extend to the end of the decade. At present, the EU lacks real strategic interests in incorporating most of the current candidates. Furthermore, political fragmentation within the EU tempers any desire to grow further, writes Stratfor.
Enlargement 25-07-2011

Western Balkans: A regatta in stormy weather

The European Union should adopt a "regatta" approach to membership hopefuls in the Western Balkans as a competitive race for accession should spur reforms in the countries concerned, argues Bojan Sarkic, a former senior Montenegrin diplomat.
Global Europe 04-02-2011

Albania’s deadly riots: The latest development in a political tragedy

There is no end in sight to Albania's political crisis and January's fatal demonstrations have shaken what little faith remained among EU leaders and institutions, write Bledar Feta and Dr. Ioannis Armakolas from the 'Athens Working Group: Transforming the Balkans' at the Hellenic Centre for European Studies (EKEM).
Med & South 10-12-2010

Balkan gas interconnectors progress as Borissov grows wary of Nabucco

Progress on South-East Europe's gas interconnectors – small pipelines that will link the region to its more developed neighbours – is a promising sign that these countries will become less dependent on Russian imports, writes Dr. Theodoros Tsakiris, energy expert at the Hellenic Centre for European Studies (EKEM) and research associate for 'The Athens Working Group: Transforming the Balkans'.
Security 08-10-2010

Visa liberalisation for the Western Balkans: Kosovo the ‘ugly duckling’?

The EU is honouring its visa liberalisation promises to the Balkans but has explicitly excluded Kosovo – the ''ugly duckling'' of the region – and must come up with a tangible perspective for its citizens, writes Gunda Schumann, a former staff member of the EU's EULEX rule of law mission in Kosovo, in a commentary sent to EURACTIV Germany.
Elections 01-10-2010

High stakes in Bosnian elections

The political climate in Bosnia and Herzegovina has seriously deteriorated in recent years and following the elections this Sunday (3 October), the new government must aim for inter-ethnic consensus on the constitution, the country's EU path and a new socio-economic programme, writes Sofía Sebastián, associate researcher at think-tank FRIDE.  
Global Europe 19-07-2010

Fifteen years after Srebrenica, Serbia comes to terms with its past

The worst act of the Yugoslavian wars was the massacre of 8,000 Bosniaks by the Republika Srpska army at Srebrenica. Fifteen years on, Serbia and the rest of the Balkans must continue to confront the past in order to move forward, writes Ivan Vejvoda, executive director of the Balkan Trust for Democracy, in a July commentary for the German Marshall Fund.
Enlargement 08-07-2010

New rapprochement in the Western Balkans: How to advance it?

Despite a number of unresolved issues in the region, one can see a new spirit of rapprochement and genuine cooperation in the Western Balkans and its leaders must seize the moment in order to translate this trend into an irreversible process, writes Hido Biš?evi?, secretary-general of the Regional Cooperation Council for South-East Europe, in an exclusive commentary for EURACTIV.
Central Europe 31-05-2010

A sceptical view of the Slovenia-Croatia arbitration agreement

Despite long-standing good neighbourly relations between Croatia and Slovenia, the border dispute between the two countries remains unresolved. The main issues are how much access Slovenia will be granted to the coastline and the high seas, and whether to settle the dispute on the basis of international law or historical reasoning, writes Žiga Turk, secretary-general of the Reflection Group for the future of Europe, in a May blog post.

Croatian president has initiated new policy towards Balkans

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has adopted a new policy that is friendlier towards neighbouring countries. However, even though this may improve relations in the region, it has been a source of controversy at home, writes Marta Szpala of the Warsaw-based Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW), in an April paper.
Central Europe 06-05-2010

Size doesn’t always matter: Small pipelines serve regional needs better than mega-projects

Despite the participation of most Balkan states in the two major rival projects of the EU's Southern Gas Corridor Strategy (Nabucco and the Turkey-Greece-Italy Pipeline), their natural gas security interests are best served by the construction of three cheaper, smaller-scale and more readily deliverable interconnectors, writes Dr. Theodoros Tsakiris, an energy expert at the Hellenic Centre for European Studies (EKEM) and a member of the US-Greece Task Force on Transforming the Balkans.