About: Western Balkans

Global Europe 20-02-2020

Trump names his star ambassador Grenell acting director of national intelligence

President Donald Trump on Wednesday (19 February) named US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, a strong supporter of his policies, to be acting director of national intelligence.
Europe's East 19-02-2020

Risk still there for Ukraine to become frozen conflict – OSCE chief

Despite recent rapprochement between Ukraine and Russia, the full implementation of the Minsk agreements is still "miles away" and there is still a risk that the separatist regions could turn into another "frozen conflict", OSCE Secretary-General, Thomas Greminger, said in an interview with EURACTIV.
Enlargement 17-02-2020

EU in ‘frank’ talks with Western Balkan nations seeking membership

European Council president Charles Michel on Sunday (16 February) met with leaders of the six Western Balkan nations seeking to join the EU, for 'frank' talks ahead of a key summit in Zagreb in May.
Enlargement 14-02-2020

Mini-Schengen is not a ‘plan B’ for the Western Balkans

The idea of an inclusive regional Schengen and cooperation among the six Western Balkan countries, based on the four freedoms of the European Union, is not a replacement but the best way to prepare for EU accession, writes Edi Rama.

North Macedonia ratifies NATO accession protocol, but still waiting for Spain

North Macedonia's parliament unanimously ratified NATO's accession protocol on Tuesday (11 February),  taking Skopje a step closer to becoming the military alliance's 30th member in the coming weeks.
Enlargement 12-02-2020

US envoy warns Russia seeks to divide Balkans

The US envoy for the Western Balkans warned on Tuesday (11 February) that Russia is seeking to divide the region and hinder its integration with the West.
Enlargement 11-02-2020

(Yet) another ‘credible EU perspective’?

The European Commission’s new proposal for enhanced accession process of the Western Balkans is 'a small masterpiece of European compromise' that could foster momentum and reforms. But it still lacks details on funding and convergence and realistic target years, write Milena Lazarević, Sena Marić and Strahinja Subotić.
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 21-01-2020

Czech FM: Visegrad countries will continue to promote EU enlargement

The Visegrad countries will need some time to close the ditches they have dug in recent years, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told EURACTIV.cz in an interview. He also voiced doubts about the need for a reform of EU membership negotiations, demanded by France, saying the process is already reversible at any stage.
Global Europe 03-01-2020

‘Geopolitical’ Europe could struggle to take shape in troublesome 2020

Among the many foreign policy challenges facing the EU in 2020, the main theme will be how to assert itself on the world stage against China, the US and Russia, while upholding multilateralism and at least a semblance of global order.
Politics 20-12-2019

The Year in Review: Challenges and Choices of 2019

It’s been a very busy European election year and most of us are heading for a well-deserved Christmas break. Meanwhile, if you do fire up your browser, here you can catch up on our 30 most read stories that made waves in 2019.
Enlargement 11-12-2019

Give us hope, give us membership talks, North Macedonia tells EU

The EU must deliver soon on its promise to open membership talks with North Macedonia, the country's foreign minister has told AFP, warning that messages of hope were ringing hollow after three rejections.
Energy 11-12-2019

Coal pollution in the Western Balkans is a European problem

16 coal plants in the Western Balkans pollute as much as the entire EU fleet of 250 units, causing sickness and deaths across the continent. It’s high time to take action, write Viola von Cramon and Petros Kokkalis.
Enlargement 27-11-2019

Harnessing the potential of French proposals for the benefit of Western Balkans

In recent days, the discourse on the Western Balkans’ EU accession has been dominated by discussion of the (in)famous French non-paper, finally explaining the thinking behind the changes in the enlargement methodology announced earlier by President Macron. Milena Lazarevic explains how the French proposal might work.
Enlargement 20-11-2019

EU faces rift over enlargement policy after French ‘non’

European Union members wrangled over the rules for joining their club on Tuesday (19 November), after France triggered anger by seeking to postpone bids from Albania and North Macedonia. At the 17-18 October summit, EU heads of state and government...
Enlargement 12-11-2019

Von der Leyen locks horns with Macron over EU enlargement

The new European Commission has yet to be approved, but its president-elect has already locked horns with French President Emmanuel Macron over the future of EU enlargement.
Enlargement 08-11-2019

A new momentum for progress in the Western Balkans

The EU decided last month not to open membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia just yet and a  broader discussion on the future of the EU is ongoing. But there is positive economic momentum in the Western Balkans, with more foreign investment coming in, and it needs to be maintained, write Borge Brende and Martina Larkin.
Economy & Jobs 21-10-2019

There is no crisis, we expect growth in 2020, says Germany’s Altmaier

In an interview with EURACTIV Croatia, German Federal Economy Minister Peter Altmaier spoke about the forthcoming EU presidencies of Croatia and Germany, the controversial zero growth ('Schwarze Null'), and the cooperation with the Western Balkan states.
Enlargement 18-10-2019

All eyes on France after inconclusive enlargement summit debate

After a long night of inconclusive discussions, EU heads of state are set to return to the EU enlargement issue today (18 October). All eyes are on France, as Emmanuel Macron's position has so far been the major stumbling block for opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania.
Enlargement 15-10-2019

Leaders must take action, giving signals is not enough

The EU should allow North Macedonia and Albania to sit at the EU accession negotiations table this week - anything else would be a grave political mistake, argues Sergei Stanishev.
Enlargement 14-10-2019

Failing to deliver on Albania and North Macedonia will haunt the EU

When the European Council gets together on 17-18 October to decide on the opening of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, they will also be making a decision for the future of the European Union, writes Akri Çipa.
Enlargement 11-10-2019

Three countries agree mini Schengen in the Balkans

Three Western Balkan EU hopefuls, Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia, have decided to advance regional cooperation by forming the so-called "mini-Schengen" in order to improve life and the economy in the region until the EU opens its doors to them.
Enlargement 08-10-2019

Kosovo dissident Albin Kurti reaches halls of power

Political prisoner turned parliamentary troublemaker Albin Kurti is within reach of becoming Kosovo's next prime minister after an electoral triumph that could reshape the political scene in Europe's youngest democracy.
Enlargement 07-10-2019

What does it take for the EU to punch above its weight?

Since the start of the financial and economic crises in 2008/2009, the EU project has lost a considerable part of its standing. A recent forum has raised ideas for reversing the decline of the EU’s ranking in the global arena. Dušan Reljić explains how.

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