About: Western Balkans

Enlargement 10-05-2019

Dialogue on Kosovo dominates Western Balkan summit in Tirana

Leaders of the six Western Balkans countries, plus Croatia, Slovenia and the EU, discussed regional cooperation at a summit in Tirana on Thursday (9 May), as well as ways to bring the region closer to the EU.
Enlargement 08-05-2019

In North Macedonia, Pope urges Balkans to embrace diversity

Pope Francis urged the Balkans to embrace its patchwork of faiths and ethnicities during his visit to North Macedonia on Tuesday (7 May), where he delivered prayers and speeches that kept returning to the legacy of an illustrious Skopje native: Mother Teresa.
Enlargement 30-04-2019

Kosovo and Serbia agree to resume talks after Macron, Merkel push

Kosovo and Serbia have agreed at a summit in Berlin to resume talks, after the leaders of France and Germany warned the bitter foes that resolving their dispute was crucial to future ties with the European Union.
Enlargement 10-04-2019

Dubrovnik 16+1 summit rolls the red carpet for China

From coal plants to airports and bridges, China is forking out for investments across the Western Balkans, laying groundwork for a new battle for influence on the European Union's fringe.
Enlargement 05-04-2019

Serbia in the EU in 2025 – mission (im)possible

Serbia's accession to the EU in 2025 seems unrealistic, given its slow pace of progress, though not entirely impossible, civil society representatives have said but warned that neither Belgrade nor Brussels were trying very hard. EURACTIV Serbia reports.
Enlargement 05-04-2019

Western Balkans to abolish roaming charges by 2021

Western Balkans countries agreed on Thursday (4 April) to lower and eventually abolish roaming charges, in a rare act of neighbourly goodwill in region riven with political feuds.
China 04-04-2019

Chinese Balkans investments disrupt EU objectives, Commission warns

Some Chinese investments entail “macro-economic imbalances and debt-dependency” risk in the Western Balkans and impact EU objectives in the region, an EU spokesperson has said in light of a controversial energy project in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Energy 27-03-2019

Western Balkans pump subsidies worth €1.2 billion into coal

Western Balkan countries, which have set their sights on EU membership, are still propping up coal power with large public subsidies worth more than €1.2 billion, a new report revealed on Monday (25 March). The subsidies are not in line with EU regulations or decarbonisation efforts.
Electricity 18-03-2019

The burden of coal at the doorstep of the Energy Union

At a time when the EU strives to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, coal still represents more than half of electricity across much of the Western Balkans and other EU neighbouring countries, writes Janez Kopač. Making things worse, coal plants are intensively supported by Chinese and US capital, without active opposition of the EU, he says.
Enlargement 07-03-2019

Political alternative in Montenegro: few pros, many cons

Montenegro is facing Sophie's Choice - sacrificing its statehood or abandoning corrupt authorities, writes Vlado Vurušić, a journalist with EURACTIV.hr, in an analytical report from the country's capital Podgorica.
Enlargement 26-02-2019

The Brief – Mapping out the Balkans?

Ever since the UN Security Council placed Kosovo under international administration, paving the way for its independence in 2008, some seasoned Western reporters roaming the Balkans were heard commenting: “This is not the end. It will have to end up with a land swap (between Kosovo and Serbia)”.
Azerbaijan 26-02-2019

Commission eager to see the capacity of Southern gas corridor doubled

A recent meeting of government officials and big energy companies in Azerbaijan signalled ambitions about doubling the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), and of more European countries becoming clients.
Enlargement 07-02-2019

Diplomat: Risking Russian meddling, Bosnia needs to stabilise before EU elections

The new EU executive may for the first time have Commissioners appointed by nationalists, who will be influenced by Russia. EURACTIV Croatia reports.
Enlargement 04-02-2019

Ditching unanimity is key to make enlargement work

The EU must change its procedure and allow qualified majority voting in all intermediary stages of the EU accession process, writes Srdjan Cvijic.
Global Europe 18-01-2019

Putin calls for ‘stable Balkans’ during Serbia visit

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday (17 January) called for stability in the Balkans during a pageantry-filled visit to Serbia, a key Moscow ally.

2019 LOOKAHEAD: Europe’s security and defence coming of age

For the European defence efforts, getting rid of the UK's torturous approach toward a common defence policy presented an opportunity the governments and European institutions eagerly seized this year. But there is little time to rejoice.
Enlargement 10-12-2018

EU’s Balkan enlargement policy must now be guided by geopolitics

While the EU has played for time, delaying the EU enlargement process largely because of its own problems, the geopolitical context has changed, writes Vladimir Krulj.
Enlargement 14-11-2018

South-East Europe needs zero-priced capital to boost growth

The region of former Yugoslavia and Albania has long ago been swallowed up by the EU. Yet, it is doomed to permanent marginalisation unless the EU does not open its structural and cohesion funds, or provide other source of zero-priced capital, writes Dušan Reljić.  
China 19-10-2018

China in the Balkans: Motivations behind growing influence

Beijing’s influence in the Balkans continues to grow, but we should not compare it with Russia. Chinese influence differs in both motives and tools used for its spreading, writes Matej Šimalčík.
Enlargement 05-10-2018

Juncker raises spectre of new Balkans war

European Union Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned on Friday (5 October) of a possible new war in the Balkans if Bosnia, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo do not feel the EU is serious about offering them future membership.
Global Europe 28-09-2018

Closer links to EU will help fight extremism in the Western Balkans – experts

Closer ties to the West are the most effective tool to counter jihadism and Islamic radicalisation in the Western Balkans, experts told a conference in Brussels this week. Meanwhile, concerns about returning foreign terrorist fighters remain.
Central Europe 27-09-2018

From Budapest to the Balkans, via Brussels

Macedonia is still going through a painful reconstruction as a society. But if we really believe that the Western Balkans region belongs in Europe, it is time to insist on respecting European values, writes Ivana Jordanovska.
Enlargement 03-09-2018

Western Balkans: Dateless accession perspective

The inclusion of the Western Balkans in the European Union remains in focus. The timing of the bloc's expansion, however, is more than uncertain. EURACTIV Germany reports from Vienna.
Enlargement 27-08-2018

EU Commission encourages border ‘corrections’ to settle Kosovo-Serbia relations

Brussels should accept an agreement between Serbs and ethnic Albanians to settle their long-standing dispute over Kosovo, a top EU official said on Sunday (26 August), seeking to dispel fears that any redrawing of Balkan borders might reignite feuds in the volatile region.

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