About: Western Balkans

Electricity 18-03-2019

The burden of coal at the doorstep of the Energy Union

At a time when the EU strives to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, coal still represents more than half of electricity across much of the Western Balkans and other EU neighbouring countries, writes Janez Kopač. Making things worse, coal plants are intensively supported by Chinese and US capital, without active opposition of the EU, he says.
Enlargement 07-03-2019

Political alternative in Montenegro: few pros, many cons

Montenegro is facing Sophie's Choice - sacrificing its statehood or abandoning corrupt authorities, writes Vlado Vurušić, a journalist with EURACTIV.hr, in an analytical report from the country's capital Podgorica.
Enlargement 26-02-2019

The Brief – Mapping out the Balkans?

Ever since the UN Security Council placed Kosovo under international administration, paving the way for its independence in 2008, some seasoned Western reporters roaming the Balkans were heard commenting: “This is not the end. It will have to end up with a land swap (between Kosovo and Serbia)”.
Azerbaijan 26-02-2019

Commission eager to see the capacity of Southern gas corridor doubled

A recent meeting of government officials and big energy companies in Azerbaijan signalled ambitions about doubling the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), and of more European countries becoming clients.
Enlargement 07-02-2019

Diplomat: Risking Russian meddling, Bosnia needs to stabilise before EU elections

The new EU executive may for the first time have Commissioners appointed by nationalists, who will be influenced by Russia. EURACTIV Croatia reports.
Enlargement 04-02-2019

Ditching unanimity is key to make enlargement work

The EU must change its procedure and allow qualified majority voting in all intermediary stages of the EU accession process, writes Srdjan Cvijic.
Global Europe 18-01-2019

Putin calls for ‘stable Balkans’ during Serbia visit

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday (17 January) called for stability in the Balkans during a pageantry-filled visit to Serbia, a key Moscow ally.

2019 LOOKAHEAD: Europe’s security and defence coming of age

For the European defence efforts, getting rid of the UK's torturous approach toward a common defence policy presented an opportunity the governments and European institutions eagerly seized this year. But there is little time to rejoice.
Enlargement 10-12-2018

EU’s Balkan enlargement policy must now be guided by geopolitics

While the EU has played for time, delaying the EU enlargement process largely because of its own problems, the geopolitical context has changed, writes Vladimir Krulj.
Enlargement 14-11-2018

South-East Europe needs zero-priced capital to boost growth

The region of former Yugoslavia and Albania has long ago been swallowed up by the EU. Yet, it is doomed to permanent marginalisation unless the EU does not open its structural and cohesion funds, or provide other source of zero-priced capital, writes Dušan Reljić.  
China 19-10-2018

China in the Balkans: Motivations behind growing influence

Beijing’s influence in the Balkans continues to grow, but we should not compare it with Russia. Chinese influence differs in both motives and tools used for its spreading, writes Matej Šimalčík.
Enlargement 05-10-2018

Juncker raises spectre of new Balkans war

European Union Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned on Friday (5 October) of a possible new war in the Balkans if Bosnia, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo do not feel the EU is serious about offering them future membership.
Global Europe 28-09-2018

Closer links to EU will help fight extremism in the Western Balkans – experts

Closer ties to the West are the most effective tool to counter jihadism and Islamic radicalisation in the Western Balkans, experts told a conference in Brussels this week. Meanwhile, concerns about returning foreign terrorist fighters remain.
Central Europe 27-09-2018

From Budapest to the Balkans, via Brussels

Macedonia is still going through a painful reconstruction as a society. But if we really believe that the Western Balkans region belongs in Europe, it is time to insist on respecting European values, writes Ivana Jordanovska.
Enlargement 03-09-2018

Western Balkans: Dateless accession perspective

The inclusion of the Western Balkans in the European Union remains in focus. The timing of the bloc's expansion, however, is more than uncertain. EURACTIV Germany reports from Vienna.
Enlargement 27-08-2018

EU Commission encourages border ‘corrections’ to settle Kosovo-Serbia relations

Brussels should accept an agreement between Serbs and ethnic Albanians to settle their long-standing dispute over Kosovo, a top EU official said on Sunday (26 August), seeking to dispel fears that any redrawing of Balkan borders might reignite feuds in the volatile region.
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.

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