About: Western Balkans

Enlargement 30-07-2018

Hahn on Western Balkans: Exporting stability instead of importing instability

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.
Europe's East 23-07-2018

Georgia’s European way: What next?

The offer by the European Commission to let the College meet on an annual basis with Georgia’s leadership is unique when comparing it to relations between the EU and other third countries, writes Steven Blockmans.
Future EU 13-07-2018

The Bulgarian Presidency: more about style than substance

With no major faux pas or any ground-breaking policy change to speak of, Bulgaria’s first term as EU President is unlikely to go down in the annals of history. Yet Sofia can nevertheless look back on its six months in office with a sense of satisfaction, writes Vladislava Gubalova.
China 09-07-2018

16+1 summit: China ready to fund Centre in Sofia for EU partnership

China remains open for trade with foreign partners and can only benefit from an economically strong Europe, its premier said on Saturday (7 July) as he pressed for expanded ties with the continent's eastern wing while waging a tariff war with Washington.
Europe's East 09-07-2018

Why NATO should double-down on Georgian membership

When NATO leaders meet in Brussels this week they should have Georgia on their minds, write Amanda Paul and Ana Andguladze.
Enlargement 06-07-2018

The Western Balkan challenge

The promise of future integration in the European Union helped many states on their journey to full democracy, writes Ditmir Bushati.
Enlargement 05-07-2018

Progress for Western Balkan nations – a step forward for federalised Europe

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.
Enlargement 03-07-2018

Macedonia PM Zaev: We want to finish with problems once and forever

EXCLUSIVE / Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev recounts one of the most extraordinary political developments in recent times: the agreement with Greece on the long-standing name dispute that has blocked NATO membership and the start of EU accession talks.
Enlargement 03-07-2018

Balkans should build on momentum, focus on reforms – EU ambassador

The attitude that the EU owes something to the candidate countries in the Western Balkans is wrong, as well as the belief that concerns over the growing Russian influence in the region will be enough to bring someone "closer to the EU”, according to the EU Ambassador to Montenegro, Aivo Orav.
Enlargement 28-06-2018

Albania and Macedonia – a ray of hope and a warning for Balkans

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.
Enlargement 27-06-2018

EU puts ‘North Macedonia’ and Albania on hold until the European elections

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.
Enlargement 25-06-2018

Greek FM: Europe must keep its word to North Macedonia and Albania

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.

Enlargement 21-06-2018

Albania justice minister: Next six months will be crucial for our EU bid

The member states are expected to vote next week on whether to open accession talks with Albania, as the Commission has recommended. The Balkan country has made progress in improving the rule of law but its EU prospects remain vague as several EU capitals have called for caution in planning the bloc's next enlargement.
Future EU 21-06-2018

Victor Negrescu: The Romanian Presidency will build consensus around the citizens

In a wide-ranging interview, Victor Negrescu, the Romanian Minister Delegate for European Affairs, presents the priorities of the upcoming Romanian Presidency (1 January-30 June 2019), during which the European elections will be held, as well as the first post-Brexit EU summit.
Climate change 19-06-2018

Why new coal in Turkey and the Balkans will test China’s and EU’s climate leadership

The EU and China have to live up to their responsibilities on climate change and use every opportunity to support the Western Balkans and Turkey to move beyond coal. This means renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, not new coal, argue Elif Gündüzyeli and Igor Kalaba.
Enlargement 31-05-2018

Europe needs Balkans and Balkans need Europe, says Albania PM

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama calls for clearer enlargement prospects for the Western Balkans, saying it would be a "huge mistake" for the EU not to continue its engagement with the countries in the region. EURACTIV.fr reports.
Enlargement 29-05-2018

Western Balkan enlargement will catalyse a stronger Europe

Addressing the reforms needed to prepare the six Balkan countries for EU accession can be cathartic in effect, and reinvigorate the European Union, writes Andrey Kovatchev.
China 23-05-2018

China says 16+1 summits are good for EU

Annual summits between China and central and eastern European countries are beneficial to the European Union as a whole, the Chinese government told Bulgaria's foreign minister, brushing off concerns that Beijing is seeking to divide the continent.
Global Europe 22-05-2018

Erdogan holds controversial election rally in Bosnia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday (20 May) addressed thousands of expatriate Turks in Sarajevo at his only election rally outside Turkey after other European countries banned such events.
Enlargement 18-05-2018

Kosovo is not Catalonia, Kosovo’s Thaci tells absent Spanish PM Rajoy

Pristina ‘understands’ the decision of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy not to attend the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia, but “Kosovo is not Catalonia”, Kosovo's President Hashim Thaçi told EURACTIV.com.
Enlargement 17-05-2018

EU pledges funds to Western Balkans, but no firm promises in Sofia

The European Union pledged fresh funds for the Western Balkans on Thursday (17 May) to help its transport and digital infrastructure, renewable energy and education efforts. It also agreed to work closely on "security challenges". But talk of further EU enlargement remained elusive.
Enlargement 17-05-2018

Western Balkans remain in standby mode

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.
Energy 17-05-2018

China, the Western Balkans and the EU: Can three tango?

With China pouring loans into the Western Balkans, the EU must step in to ensure this money benefits the region, writes Wawa Wang.
Economy & Jobs 16-05-2018

World Economic Forum: Western Balkans’ assets can help it control its destiny

The Western Balkans' very strategic location and entrepreneurial labour force are some of the assets that could help the region take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and take its destiny in its own hands, Martina Larkin of the World Economic Forum told EURACTIV.com in an interview.