About: Western Balkans

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.
Enlargement 13-09-2019

Visegrad countries back opening of accession talks with North Macedonia, Albania

Four eastern European Union members on Thursday (12 September) backed the accession of Western Balkan countries to the bloc, saying North Macedonia and Albania should start talks this year.
Enlargement 04-09-2019

New US Balkan envoy says restarting Serbia-Kosovo dialogue a priority

The new US Special Envoy to the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, said on Tuesday (4 September) a priority in his new role is restarting a dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo.
Enlargement 14-08-2019

West urges Kosovo, Serbia to restart talks ‘with urgency’

Western powers on Tuesday (13 August) urged foes Serbia and Kosovo to reboot their stalled dialogue "with urgency", warning that the lack of progress is hindering their dreams of joining the European Union.
Enlargement 06-08-2019

Rival Bosnia leaders agree to form government 10 months after vote

Bosnia's rival Serb, Croat and Bosniak leaders agreed on Monday (5 August) to form a central government 10 months after a general election, reaching a compromise about Bosnia's integration into NATO which had been a key stumbling block.
Enlargement 01-07-2019

EU must revamp enlargement as a concept, report says

Since the Thessaloniki summit in 2003, where the EU expressed support for all the Western Balkan countries, only Croatia has become a full member of the bloc. A recent report suggests Brussels should revamp the handling of the whole process, with a directorate that would only deal with EU hopefuls.
Enlargement 24-06-2019

Turkey, Russia and China covet Western Balkans as EU puts enlargement on hold

Unless the EU accession process of the Western Balkans picks up the pace, the six countries of the region may examine alternatives for their countries’ external orientation, including boosting relations with China, Russia, Turkey and the Gulf States, a report...
Enlargement 18-06-2019

Transforming words into deeds – the Visegrad Group and Western Balkans’ EU integration

All Visegrad Group countries vocally support the enlargement of the EU and NATO, with a focus on integrating the Western Balkan (WB) countries. But how can those words be transformed into deeds?
Enlargement 17-06-2019

Will Brussels turn its back – again – on the Balkans?

Will the EU honour its word to Tirana and Skopje or will Brussels – not for the first time – leave the Western Balkans stewing in its own juice? All eyes are on the reaction of EU foreign ministers to last week's inflammatory rhetoric by two Balkan leaders, writes Denis MacShane.
Enlargement 07-06-2019

Europe’s ambitious but uncertain future on show at Bratislava forum

As Globsec’s 2019 forum in Bratislava kicked off earlier this week, EURACTIV went along to listen to world leaders from politics, civil society and business on the Future of Europe. Here we present a summary of the main talking points in the field, across the first two days.
Enlargement 06-06-2019

Enlargement debate: Western Balkans, torn between hope and outrage

With enlargement being a “hot potato” for EU institutions, EURACTIV addressed the issue in a debate on Tuesday (5 June). Diplomats and journalists talked freely about the perceived reluctance of some member states, but also about existing real internal obstacles.
Enlargement 29-05-2019

Commission recommends opening accession talks with Albania, North Macedonia

The European Commission recommended on Wednesday (29 May) opening accession talks with two Western Balkan countries, Albania and North Macedonia, saying they had “embraced the opportunity and delivered on reforms”. But this will need to be approved by the member states....

Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Subscribe now to our new 9am newsletter.