About: Western Balkans

Enlargement 06-10-2021

EU leaders offer words, funds to disillusioned Western Balkans

EU leaders failed to make any further tangible commitment to enlargement on Wednesday (6 October), and instead promised once again "the European perspective" and broader economic support to the increasingly disillusioned Western Balkans, in the hope of keeping the region on its European path.
Enlargement 05-10-2021

EU leaders to restate Western Balkans enlargement commitment but without timeline

EU leaders are set to reconfirm their commitment to further enlargement ahead of a summit with the six Western Balkan hopefuls on Wednesday (6 October), offering much broader cooperation to the region but failing to commit to a timeline, according to a draft document seen by EURACTIV.
Global Europe 30-09-2021

Bosnia envoy urges EU to show the Balkans that Europe cares

Bosnia's international peace envoy has urged European Union leaders to send a message of encouragement to the six Balkan countries seeking membership of the bloc when they meet for a summit next week.
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...
Coronavirus 24-09-2021

Albanian parliament agrees on mandating vaccines for ministers

Albanian Parliament voted yesterday in favour of mandating COVID-19 vaccines for all parliamentarians in hopes of encouraging vaccine uptake.
Enlargement 14-09-2021

Merkel labels Balkans EU accession ‘absolute geostrategic interest’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday (13 September) that EU membership of the Western Balkans region, a theatre of competition between the West, China and Russia, is of absolute geostrategic interest for the bloc.
Enlargement 14-09-2021

US wants to see Western Balkans as part of Europe, ‘full stop’

Washington hopes EU countries "understand" that the Western Balkans should be part of Europe "full stop" and is worried about the weak message coming from European capitals, the newly appointed department of state official responsible for the region said on Monday (13 September).
Energy 07-09-2021

Western Balkans pressed to tackle deadly air pollution from coal

The Europe Union needs to put more pressure on the Western Balkans to decarbonise their coal-fuelled energy system as pollution levels remain well above compliance thresholds, according to a report published on Tuesday (7 September).
Energy 23-08-2021

A carbon neutral Europe? Not without the Balkans!

Increasing their share of renewable energy is crucial to the Western Balkans, but this must be done using the right technology for the region and with support from the European Union, argue Viola von Cramon-Taubadel and Thomas Waitz.
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 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.

Energy transition in the Western Balkans

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As the European Union adopts tougher climate goals for 2030, aiming for net-zero emissions by mid-century, the bloc's next-door neighbours in the Western Balkans are struggling to keep up and face growing difficulties in the transition to a green economy.
Energy 10-06-2021

Official: Western Balkan countries are ‘milking coal power plants until the bitter end’

Disparities between the EU and Western Balkan countries on energy are only getting bigger, with many of them still addicted to highly-polluting coal power stations that provide cheap electricity as well as revenues to governments and the local population. “They’re milking them until the bitter end,” says Janez Kopac.
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.
Digital & Media 04-06-2021

Balkan media conference: ‘The EU barks rather timidly to enemies of press freedom ‘

Media freedom throughout Europe needs all the support it can get, but the situation in the Balkans is particularly worrying, participants told an online conference "Media Freedom in the Balkans” organised by EURACTIV.
Digital & Media 12-05-2021

Media freedom in the Western Balkans is a geopolitical issue

The decline in media freedom in the Balkans is eroding the European values of democracy and rule of law and creating a climate ripe for disinformation that is cultivating anti-EU and anti-western sentiment across the region, writes Peter Horrocks.
Enlargement 10-05-2021

Opening Pandora’s Box: The EU’s dangerous Bosnia game

EU leaders should reject any new talk of ethnic division and secession in the western Balkans and finally make good on their promises to the region's nations, write Tineke Strik and Viola von Cramon-Taubadel.
Enlargement 10-05-2021

EU faced with ‘deep disappointment’ in Western Balkans

EU foreign minister will discuss the Western Balkans on Monday (10 May) to determine how to improve cooperation with the region, burdened by lingering nationalism, a weak economy and widespread disappointment with its fading EU membership prospects.
Enlargement 05-05-2021

US and EU back Western Balkans borders at UN

The United States and the EU expressed support for the territorial borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have recently been called into question, and for the UN envoy to the country, who has been criticized by Russia.
Enlargement 04-05-2021

Bosnia and Herzegovina must end discrimination to ensure its EU future

Bosnia and Herzegovina is at the crossroads between the success and failure of its European dream. War and secession are certainly not the way forward, but neither is maintaining the status quo, without implementing reforms agreed with the European Union, writes Dragan Čović.
Global Europe 29-04-2021

EU report accuses Russia, China of sowing mistrust in Western vaccines

Russian and Chinese media are systematically seeking to sow mistrust in Western COVID-19 vaccines in their latest disinformation campaigns aimed at dividing the West, a European report said on Wednesday (29 April).
Enlargement 27-04-2021

Washington voices support for Western Balkans’ EU path after non-paper scare

The United States voiced full support and pledged to help the Western Balkan countries' efforts to join the European Union on Monday (27 April), after an unofficial diplomatic note suggesting border changes in the region raised fears of renewed ethnic tensions in the south-eastern corner of Europe.
Enlargement 22-04-2021

EU action awaited as phantom paper further unhinges Western Balkans

A firmer stance from Brussels – noticeably missing last week – against a controversial document proposing border changes in the Western Balkans would help calm the growing anxieties in the region, analysts said. At the same time, regional and international...
Enlargement 20-04-2021

EU to provide vaccines for Western Balkan frontline healthcare workers

The EU will provide 651,000 COVID-19 jabs from its joint procurement for frontline healthcare workers in the six partner countries in the Western Balkans, the European Commission announced on Tuesday (20 April). The announcement comes after China and Russia distributed...