Macedonia's parliament yesterday (30 July) set 30 September as the date for a referendum on changing the country's name to the Republic of North Macedonia, a high-stakes vote aimed at resolving a long-running row with Greece and clearing the path to join NATO and the EU.
The Commission is satisfied with its Western Balkans strategy, as it has triggered a new dynamic in the region. In an interview with EURACTIV Germany, Commissioner for Enlargement, Johannes Hahn, however, pleads for realism.
The European Union said it struck a deal on Wednesday (18 July) with Macedonia to deploy border guards to the non-EU Balkan state to help cope with any migrant surges. Serbia and Bosnia are expected to follow.
Russia and Greece were poised on Wednesday (11 July) to expel two of each other's diplomats in a rare dispute that Greek media said had been prompted by the issue of Macedonia, which expects this week to be formally invited to join the NATO alliance.
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.
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.
The European Union agreed a compromise on Tuesday (26 June) whereby it would open negotiations to join the bloc with Albania and Macedonia in June next year, provided a string of conditions on rule of law, crime and corruption are met.
EXCLUSIVE / EU capitals should keep their word and open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania at the 28-29 June summit, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias told EURACTIV.com in a wide-ranging interview.
The Dutch parliament blocked on Thursday (21 June) the opening of EU accession negotiations with Albania. The EU summit will decide on 28-29 June whether to open negotiations with Macedonia and Albania.
Greece and Macedonia on Sunday (17 June) signed a historic preliminary agreement to rename the small Balkan nation the Republic of North Macedonia, ending a row that has poisoned relations between the two neighbours since 1991.
Macedonia's deputy prime minister expects growing "external resistance" as negotiations on the name dispute with Greece get closer to a final deal which would unblock the country's NATO and EU membership bid.
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.
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.
Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati briefed a small group of Brussels journalists on Thursday (26 April) about his country’s EU ambitions, following the Commission’s proposal to start accession negotiations with Tirana and a visit of Prime Minister Edi Rama to Berlin last Wednesday.
With the Western Balkans accession talks underway, the EU’s enlargement policy is advancing. In the case of Turkey, however, there is a deadlock. In an interview with EURACTIV Germany, Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn comments on the recent developments.
Ten days ago Macedonian PM Zoran Zaev went to Mutti Merkel to seek her support in trying to untangle the eternal name dispute with Greece, a mess that has for many years prevented his country from joining NATO and starting EU accession negotiations.
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told Western Balkan countries on Sunday (25 February) to bear in mind 2025 as the date when any of them could join the European Union provided they worked to meet the criteria for membership.