About: Western Balkans

Enlargement 16-03-2018

Belgrade and Washington have differing views on Kosovo army

The visit of US Assistant Secretary of State to Belgrade made it clear yet again that the issue of Kosovo remains a thorn in Serbia's side and the biggest obstacle to its hopes of joining the European Union in 2025.
Global Europe 14-03-2018

Bulgaria reacts to disturbing statement by Turkey’s Erdogan

Bulgaria’s foreign ministry told Turkey on Tuesday (13 March) that internationally agreed borders cannot be changed, reacting to a statement by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said on Sunday the Bulgarian city of Kardzhali finds itself “in the spiritual boundaries of Turkey”.

Austria plans to put immigration and borders at heart of EU presidency

Austria plans to use its upcoming presidency of the European Union this year to shift the bloc's focus from resettling refugees within the EU towards keeping further waves of migrants outside the bloc's external borders, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Friday (9 March).
Enlargement 08-03-2018

Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia show new will to solve disputes

A first meeting between Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian leaders in six years may not have yielded solutions to controversial issues but the three started discussing ways to improve relations and cooperation, especially in energy and infrastructure. EURACTIV Serbia reports.
Energy 06-03-2018

Bozhidar Danev: Part of Bulgaria’s fuel sector lies in the grey economy

Unusually low fuel prices in Bulgaria are probably the result of cartels, or contraband, Bozhidar Danev told EURACTIV.com in an exclusive interview, saying the authorities have  so far been unable or unwilling to address the issue.
Enlargement 02-03-2018

The Brief, powered by PLATFORMA – The Merkel of the Balkans

Ten days ago Macedonian PM Zoran Zaev went to Mutti Merkel to seek her support in trying to untangle the eternal name dispute with Greece, a mess that has for many years prevented his country from joining NATO and starting EU accession negotiations.
Enlargement 02-03-2018

Trans-Europe Express -Juncker’s Magical Mystery Tour

Jean-Claude Juncker completed his shuttle diplomacy tour of the Western Balkans this week in the manner of an ageing soccer captain playing the last games of his career.
Enlargement 27-02-2018

EBRD: Western Balkans could take up to 200 years to catch up with EU

Western Balkans countries need to tackle their low productivity and speed up reforms, the EBRD said on Monday, warning it could otherwise take them up to 200 years to catch up with the living standards of the EU states they hope to join.
Enlargement 26-02-2018

Juncker tells Balkan states 2025 entry possible for all

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told Western Balkan countries on Sunday (25 February) to bear in mind 2025 as the date when any of them could join the European Union provided they worked to meet the criteria for membership.
Enlargement 19-02-2018

Lavrov: EU, NATO wrong to force ‘West or Russia’ on the Balkans

The European Union is making a regrettable mistake by following NATO's strategy of pushing eastwards and giving the post-communist countries a choice between "West or Russia", Moscow's diplomacy chief Sergei Lavrov told EURACTIV's media partner Beta on Monday (19 February).
Enlargement 16-02-2018

EU split over expansion into Western Balkans

European Union foreign ministers disagreed on Thursday (15 February) over a proposal by the bloc's executive to push for expansion into the Western Balkans, a region still scarred by ethnic wars fought in the 1990s and dogged by a reputation for lawlessness.
Enlargement 15-02-2018

Serbia, Croatia differ on past but agree to look to the future

This week's talks between Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and her visiting Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vučić, produced few spectacular results. But analysts say that coming face to face was a good start, particularly for the EU hopeful Serbia.