About: EU enlargement

Enlargement 29-09-2021

EU no longer agrees on Balkan membership guarantee, diplomats say

The European Union, fearing a political backlash in member states, can no longer agree to give a guarantee of future membership to the six Balkan countries once promised a place in the club, according to four diplomats and an internal...
Enlargement 09-09-2021

Vucic and Orban formalise their ‘special relationship’

Hungary, whose government has been at odds with Brussels for a long time, has emerged as a major pro-Serbian lobbyist within the EU and this special "illiberal" relationship was formalised on Wednesday (8 September), Serbian journalist Darko Čačić reports for EURACTIV Bulgaria.
Enlargement 19-08-2021

Serbian President fumes as Twitter exposes his ‘friendly media’

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has compared himself to Donald Trump as a politician victimized by Twitter, after the social media took the decision to tag many of the media organisations which support him as “pro-government”.
China 22-07-2021

Montenegro starts paying off $1 billion Chinese road loan

Montenegro paid the first instalment of a billion-dollar road loan from China that critics say could wreck the Balkan nation's economy.
Enlargement 15-07-2021

Political scientists say EU has lost the battle for the Balkans

The EU has lost the battle for the Balkans, where Russia and China are offering bonuses without asking for reforms, geopolitical experts told an online conference organised by EURACTIV.bg this week, proposing increased cooperation and a Balkan common market as the best way forward.
Enlargement 06-07-2021

Analysis: Vucic’s balancing act with the EU

Serbia's progress towards the EU should not be expected as long as Aleksandar Vučić is the most powerful politician in the country, writes Darko Čačić, in an article he submitted to EURACTIV Bulgaria.
Enlargement 21-06-2021

Integrity compliance in Western Balkans infrastructure projects

Civil society has an important role to play to make sure that corruption in infrastructure projects and wrong prioritisation do not derail a €30 billion EU financial plan for the Western Balkans, a group of authors write.
Enlargement 18-06-2021

EU-Serbia: A stagnation comfortable for both sides

No progress in Serbia’s EU integration process appears to be a solution that fits both the EU side which is increasingly critical toward the authoritarian trends in Belgrade and the lack of progress with Kosovo, and the ruling bloc in Belgrade which doesn’t see EU relations as important for its voters, writes BETA agency.
Global Europe 09-06-2021

EU not considering joining US in sanctioning Western Balkans

US-type sanctions for the Western Balkans are not on the agenda, the European Commission said after President Joe Biden signed order blocking property banning entry to the country of those "contributing to the destabilising situation in the" region on Tuesday.
Enlargement 02-06-2021

Leaked paper sheds light on poor rule of law, media situation in Serbia

The print media in Serbia that most often violate the journalistic code of professional conduct continue to be the beneficiaries of public funding, warned an internal EU paper obtained by EURACTIV that painted a bleak picture of the EU candidate country's democratic record.
China 02-06-2021

Montenegro learns true cost of China-backed $1 billion road to nowhere

Two sleek new roads vanish into mountain tunnels high above a sleepy Montenegrin village, the unlikely endpoint of a billion-dollar project bankrolled by China that is threatening to derail the tiny country's economy.
Europe's East 26-05-2021

Independence Day of Georgia – a story of freedom lost and regained

On 26 May, when Georgia celebrates its Independence Day, David Zalkaliani, the country's vice prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, describes what this day means for his compatriots.
Eastern Europe 20-05-2021

Kakha Kuchava: In Georgia we are changing the political culture

In a wide-ranging interview, Kakha Kuchava, the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, told about the latest developments since the mediation by Council President Charles Michel, the role of Russia and the new format of ‘Associated Trio’ between Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.
Enlargement 18-05-2021

The EU should resist moves to halt Balkan enlargement

EU enlargement to the Western Balkans has been marked by continued roadblocks and unjustified delays. The region's window of opportunity might close soon, another delay could deal a death blow to the enlargement process altogether and that is why the EU should not ignore Albania’s progress, writes Akri Çipa.
Eastern Europe 18-05-2021

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine formalise their higher EU ambition

The three former Soviet republics hoping to join the EU have formalised their cooperation towards a more ambitious European integration on Monday (17 May) during a meeting of their foreign ministers in Kyiv.
Digital & Media 03-05-2021

In Serbia, fake news is spread by state-backed media

Two recent reports focusing on democracy and media freedom by the international NGOs Reporters Without Borders and Freedom House went almost unnoticed in Belgrade. On World Press Freedom Day (3 May), EURACTIV Bulgaria looked at their Serbian neighbour, an EU candidate since 2012.
Enlargement 27-04-2021

Serbia’s Vucic ‘treating the EU as if stupid were its middle name’

Serbian President Alexandar Vučić deflected EU criticism on the worsening situation of rule of law and media freedom in his country, with the help of media under his control. EURACTIV looked at the real picture.
Enlargement 20-04-2021

Populism and cozy ties with Russia and China: Vucic takes Serbia further away from EU

European tolerance has greatly contributed to Serbian President Alexander Vučić and the ruling Serbian Progressive Party's establishing an authoritarian system that has nothing to do with the rule of law, writes Svetla Miteva.
China 16-04-2021

Montenegro tries to cool EU row over $1 billion China road

Montenegro's finance minister on Friday (16 April) tried to ease concern over a near $1 billion Chinese-backed road project, insisting the country could afford to repay the debt and did not need EU help.
Enlargement 02-02-2021

EU regrets Kosovo’s decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem

The European Union voiced regret on Tuesday (2 February) at Kosovo's decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem, made as part of a broader deal brokered by the previous US administration, saying it "diverges" the tiny Balkan country from the EU position.
Eastern Europe 29-01-2021

Georgian MP: Mood in Brussels should not prevent EU membership application

Enlargement fatigue should not prevent the South Caucasian country from applying for membership of the bloc in 2024, even though the process might cause frustration domestically, Maka Botchorishvili, the newly elected chair of the EU integration committee of the Georgian...
Eastern Europe 28-01-2021

Georgia is ready to apply for membership by 2024 – Is the EU ready too?

The absence of the official “enlargement perspective” doesn’t meant that Georgia should be discouraged lodging a membership application. But in order to succeed, Georgia should be more creative in its foreign policy, write Teona Lavrelashvili and Steven Van Hecke.
Global Europe 12-01-2021

Turkish FM says the EU has ‘over-politicised’ accession negotiations

The EU has “excessively politicised” the negotiations between Ankara and Brussels, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told EURACTIV’s partner EFE in a written interview, calling on the bloc to take a more positive approach. He reiterated his country’s...
Enlargement 07-01-2021

EU enlargement in 2021: Moribund or revenant?

In the Western Balkans, where all EU applicant countries (bar Turkey) are located, the year ahead will be dominated by Europe's quest for a vaccine and efforts to restart the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.