About: Western Balkans

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.
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.