About: Western Balkans

Enlargement 15-07-2021

Political scientists say EU has lost the battle for the Balkans

The EU has lost the battle for the Balkans, where Russia and China are offering bonuses without asking for reforms, geopolitical experts told an online conference organised by EURACTIV.bg this week, proposing increased cooperation and a Balkan common market as the best way forward.
Enlargement 21-06-2021

Integrity compliance in Western Balkans infrastructure projects

Civil society has an important role to play to make sure that corruption in infrastructure projects and wrong prioritisation do not derail a €30 billion EU financial plan for the Western Balkans, a group of authors write.

Energy transition in the Western Balkans

As the European Union adopts tougher climate goals for 2030, aiming for net-zero emissions by mid-century, the bloc's next-door neighbours in the Western Balkans are struggling to keep up and face growing difficulties in the transition to a green economy.
Energy 10-06-2021

Official: Western Balkan countries are ‘milking coal power plants until the bitter end’

Disparities between the EU and Western Balkan countries on energy are only getting bigger, with many of them still addicted to highly-polluting coal power stations that provide cheap electricity as well as revenues to governments and the local population. “They’re milking them until the bitter end,” says Janez Kopac.
Global Europe 09-06-2021

EU not considering joining US in sanctioning Western Balkans

US-type sanctions for the Western Balkans are not on the agenda, the European Commission said after President Joe Biden signed order blocking property banning entry to the country of those "contributing to the destabilising situation in the" region on Tuesday.
Digital & Media 04-06-2021

Balkan media conference: ‘The EU barks rather timidly to enemies of press freedom ‘

Media freedom throughout Europe needs all the support it can get, but the situation in the Balkans is particularly worrying, participants told an online conference "Media Freedom in the Balkans” organised by EURACTIV.
Digital & Media 12-05-2021

Media freedom in the Western Balkans is a geopolitical issue

The decline in media freedom in the Balkans is eroding the European values of democracy and rule of law and creating a climate ripe for disinformation that is cultivating anti-EU and anti-western sentiment across the region, writes Peter Horrocks.
Enlargement 10-05-2021

Opening Pandora’s Box: The EU’s dangerous Bosnia game

EU leaders should reject any new talk of ethnic division and secession in the western Balkans and finally make good on their promises to the region's nations, write Tineke Strik and Viola von Cramon-Taubadel.
Enlargement 10-05-2021

EU faced with ‘deep disappointment’ in Western Balkans

EU foreign minister will discuss the Western Balkans on Monday (10 May) to determine how to improve cooperation with the region, burdened by lingering nationalism, a weak economy and widespread disappointment with its fading EU membership prospects.
Enlargement 05-05-2021

US and EU back Western Balkans borders at UN

The United States and the EU expressed support for the territorial borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have recently been called into question, and for the UN envoy to the country, who has been criticized by Russia.
Enlargement 04-05-2021

Bosnia and Herzegovina must end discrimination to ensure its EU future

Bosnia and Herzegovina is at the crossroads between the success and failure of its European dream. War and secession are certainly not the way forward, but neither is maintaining the status quo, without implementing reforms agreed with the European Union, writes Dragan Čović.
Global Europe 29-04-2021

EU report accuses Russia, China of sowing mistrust in Western vaccines

Russian and Chinese media are systematically seeking to sow mistrust in Western COVID-19 vaccines in their latest disinformation campaigns aimed at dividing the West, a European report said on Wednesday (29 April).
Enlargement 27-04-2021

Washington voices support for Western Balkans’ EU path after non-paper scare

The United States voiced full support and pledged to help the Western Balkan countries' efforts to join the European Union on Monday (27 April), after an unofficial diplomatic note suggesting border changes in the region raised fears of renewed ethnic tensions in the south-eastern corner of Europe.
Enlargement 22-04-2021

EU action awaited as phantom paper further unhinges Western Balkans

A firmer stance from Brussels – noticeably missing last week – against a controversial document proposing border changes in the Western Balkans would help calm the growing anxieties in the region, analysts said. At the same time, regional and international...
Enlargement 20-04-2021

EU to provide vaccines for Western Balkan frontline healthcare workers

The EU will provide 651,000 COVID-19 jabs from its joint procurement for frontline healthcare workers in the six partner countries in the Western Balkans, the European Commission announced on Tuesday (20 April). The announcement comes after China and Russia distributed...
Enlargement 11-03-2021

Bring Western Balkans back on the agenda, urge nine EU member states

Nine EU member states have called on the EU’s chief diplomat, Joseph Borrell, to have a strategic discussion on the Western Balkan countries and their prospects when EU foreign ministers meet in April, according to a letter made available to...
Enlargement 05-02-2021

Majority of French still against Balkans’ EU integration

Some 59% of French citizens do not see the prospect of the Western Balkans countries' EU accession in a positive light, a new study has found. But it also revealed increasing mistrust toward the bloc overall.
20-01-2021

Montenegro FM: ‘Zero problem doctrine’ for the Western Balkans

Montenegro will be pursuing a "zero problem doctrine" with its neighbours, while EU accession remains its main priority, Djordje Radulović, the country's new foreign minister, told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview only weeks after the EU hopeful saw its first democratic change of power in 30 years.
Europe's East 06-01-2021

Thirteen countries call on EU to support Eastern Partnership vaccine efforts

Thirteen member states issued a call to the European Commission to support the Eastern Partnership countries in their efforts to obtain affordable and fair access to the COVID-19 vaccines, according to a joint letter seen by EURACTIV.
Enlargement 23-11-2020

EU enlargement: Beware the veto epidemic

Dangling its veto, Bulgaria only uses its position of EU member to achieve some of its foreign policy interests, in the same way that many other have done before. The problem is that the EU does not have the desire and the way to discourage such unilateral actions, writes Orhan Dragaš.
Eastern Europe 02-11-2020

Importance of US elections for Western Balkans

Most Serbian citizens are not informed about the main topics of the US elections, let alone about the way of electing the president of the United States. They view these elections, just like the previous ones, mainly through the prism of resolving the Kosovo issue, writes Srđan Majstorović.
Energy 30-10-2020

How Bulgaria gave Gazprom the keys to the Balkans

It was a well-kept secret that Gazprom, Russia's oil and gas juggernaut, has laid its hands on key gas connections along the borders of Bulgaria until a journalistic investigation by EURACTIV Bulgaria exposed this.
Enlargement 06-10-2020

Road and rail at centre of EU investment plan for Western Balkans

Alongside the annual country-specific enlargement reports on all EU hopefuls, the European Commission presented on Tuesday (6 October) an investment plan for the Western Balkans, which it hopes will bring investment to the region, spur greening and enhance regional cooperation.
Enlargement 16-07-2020

Serbia and Kosovo to resume rocky road towards an accord

Former war foes Serbia and Kosovo will restart talks in Brussels on Thursday (16 July) to normalise their strained relationship after a long stalemate, though the road to settling their many disputes is paved with stumbling blocks.