About: EU-Western Balkans Summit

Enlargement 20-05-2020

Enlargement Package postponed until autumn, negotiation framework to go ahead in June

Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Várhelyi confirmed to EU lawmakers on Tuesday (19 May) that the publication of the European Commission's enlargement package has been postponed until autumn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enlargement 07-05-2020

EU and Western Balkan leaders reaffirm ties in veiled response to China, Russia

EU leaders confirmed their "unequivocal support for the European perspective" to their Western Balkans counterparts during a video-summit on Wednesday (6 May). However, the final declaration doesn't make reference to a tangible time frame for the region's accession to the bloc.
Enlargement 06-05-2020

EU’s COVID-19 aid to reassure Western Balkan hopefuls as virus set to hijack summit

As EU leaders e-meet with their Western Balkans counterparts on Wednesday (6 May), the focus will be on a €3.3 billion EU aid package to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. What is seen as an attempt to counter...
Enlargement 05-05-2020

EU leaders urge Skopje to solve its historic dispute with Bulgaria

The draft declaration of Wednesday's (6 May) EU summit with the leaders of the Western Balkans, seen by EURACTIV, calls on North Macedonia to find a solution to bilateral disputes in the implementation of the Treaty on Good Neighborhood Relations with Bulgaria.
Enlargement 05-05-2020

Western Balkans summit encourages ‘European perspective’ but omits enlargement

A virtual meeting of EU and Western Balkan leaders to discuss the future of the region on Wednesday (6 May) will produce a final declaration that is set to omit the word "enlargement" altogether, instead focusing on EU support during the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of continued adherence to European value and reforms.
Enlargement 05-05-2020

Time for a new approach to the Western Balkans

The EU's relationship with the Western Balkans appears to have turned a positive corner in recent months, with the decision to start the much-delayed accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, and the provision of substantial COVID-19 related medical and financial support. Nonetheless, fundamental issues remain, warns Vladimir Krulj.
Enlargement 07-02-2020

Commission vows to strengthen ties with the Western Balkans

The EU's new enlargement methodology aims to strengthen ties with countries from the Western Balkans, especially with those that have already started EU membership negotiations  European Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Várhelyi said in Belgrade on Thursday (6 February). EURACTIV Serbia reports. 
Enlargement 22-01-2020

Serbia expects little from enlargement reform but hopes for more quality, speed

EU countries should soon reach a consensus on new enlargement methodology. Details remain unknown and it is not clear if the reform will also apply to Montenegro and Serbia, which are further along the accession path than the Western Balkans' other EU hopefuls.
Enlargement 09-11-2019

Europe risks losing strategic clout in Western Balkans

Trouble spots and tensions surrounding the European Union are continuing: Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Eastern Mediterranean. In the south of the European Union, an arc of geopolitical instability is being formed and we must not allow it to expand, ten former foreign ministers warn in an open letter.
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 03-07-2018

Balkans should build on momentum, focus on reforms – EU ambassador

The attitude that the EU owes something to the candidate countries in the Western Balkans is wrong, as well as the belief that concerns over the growing Russian influence in the region will be enough to bring someone "closer to the EU”, according to the EU Ambassador to Montenegro, Aivo Orav.
Enlargement 18-05-2018

Kosovo is not Catalonia, Kosovo’s Thaci tells absent Spanish PM Rajoy

Pristina ‘understands’ the decision of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy not to attend the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia, but “Kosovo is not Catalonia”, Kosovo's President Hashim Thaçi told EURACTIV.com.
Enlargement 17-05-2018

Western Balkans remain in standby mode

EU members want to take their time with a new round of enlargement - something that the Western Balkans summit this Thursday (17 May) in Sofia is unlikely to change. EURACTIV Germany’s partner Der Tagesspiegel reports.
Enlargement 17-05-2018

Tusk: With friends like Trump, who needs enemies

The European Union's top official launched a stinging attack Wednesday (16 May) on President Donald Trump, slamming his "capricious assertiveness" and saying the US leader acted more like an enemy than a friend.
Economy & Jobs 16-05-2018

World Economic Forum: Western Balkans’ assets can help it control its destiny

The Western Balkans' very strategic location and entrepreneurial labour force are some of the assets that could help the region take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and take its destiny in its own hands, Martina Larkin of the World Economic Forum told EURACTIV.com in an interview.
Global Europe 16-05-2018

EESC chief: Western Balkans’ EU path driven by civil society empowerment

The success of the accession process of the Western Balkan countries needs “meaningful involvement” of civil society organisations in the integration process, Luca Jahier, president of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), told EURACTIV.
Global Europe 16-05-2018

In Sofia, EU leaders will seek united front on Trump

European Union leaders will try to forge a united response at a summit today (16 May) to US President Donald Trump's shock decisions on the Iran nuclear deal and trade tariffs.
Enlargement 17-04-2018

Commission proposes starting EU talks with Albania, Macedonia

The European Commission proposed on Tuesday (17 April) to open EU membership talks with Albania and Macedonia, in line with its new focus on the integration of the Western Balkans.
Enlargement 13-04-2018

The case for a joint ‘Western Balkans six’ accession to the EU

There could be no stronger incentive to overcome regional disputes and normalise relations than if the region would receive a clear message that all six countries will join the EU at the same time, writes Bekim Çollaku.
Enlargement 16-02-2018

EU split over expansion into Western Balkans

European Union foreign ministers disagreed on Thursday (15 February) over a proposal by the bloc's executive to push for expansion into the Western Balkans, a region still scarred by ethnic wars fought in the 1990s and dogged by a reputation for lawlessness.
Politics 12-01-2018

Juncker throws his weight behind Bulgaria’s Western Balkan plan

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday (12 January) he would personally talk to each of the six Western Balkan leaders to hear what they expect from the plans by Bulgaria's EU presidency to revive their long-stalled EU membership prospects.

Geopolitics loom large as Bulgaria takes over EU Presidency

Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest member state, on 1 January took over the bloc's six-month rotating presidency. The country will undoubtedly be under pressure by Turkey and Russia to move forward their difficult relations with the 28-members block.
Digital 05-12-2017

Gabriel to present plan in May to slash mobile roaming fees with Western Balkans

Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner in charge of digital policies, will announce a plan to get rid of mobile fees between the EU and Western Balkan countries at a May 2018 summit in Bulgaria.
Enlargement 14-07-2017

Trans-Europe Express: Will the EU ever get the Western Balkans right?

The EU's fast-and-loose approach to the Western Balkans has never been more evident than in the last few years.
Contribute