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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Overcoming a decade of enlargement fatigue, the European Commission launched its long-awaited Western Balkans strategy on Tuesday (6 February), aiming to inject new momentum into EU integration and speed up the homework the six countries need to do before joining the bloc.
The European Commission made it clear on Monday (5 February) that it will not try to influence the UN-led talks to find a solution to the eternal name dispute between Greece and Macedonia, even though Jean-Claude Juncker is due to visit Skopje by the end of the month.
Hundreds of thousands of Greeks rallied outside parliament in Athens on Sunday (4 February) to protest against the use of the term Macedonia in any settlement the government pursues with the ex-Yugoslav Republic to end a decades-old name row.
The leader of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) Joseph Daul hailed the “window of opportunity” to resolve a long-standing name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), saying he hopes for “concrete” results.
The opposition VMRO-DPMNE of former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski in Skopje, possibly encouraged by Russia, is trying to hinder the resolution of a name dispute with Greece that has blocked the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's (FYROM) progress in joining NATO and the European Union.
Greece said yesterday (11 January) it and Macedonia hoped for progress in talks with a UN mediator on 17 January towards settling a long-running dispute over the latter country's name that has held up Skopje's EU membership prospects.
Greek Foreign Minister …
The Bulgarian EU Presidency sees a possible risk of Western Balkan hopefuls “looking elsewhere” while the bloc hesitates to move forward with their accession, the Bulgarian Ambassador to the EU told Brussels journalists on Monday (8 January).