About: Western Balkans

China 23-05-2018

China says 16+1 summits are good for EU

Annual summits between China and central and eastern European countries are beneficial to the European Union as a whole, the Chinese government told Bulgaria's foreign minister, brushing off concerns that Beijing is seeking to divide the continent.
Global Europe 22-05-2018

Erdogan holds controversial election rally in Bosnia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday (20 May) addressed thousands of expatriate Turks in Sarajevo at his only election rally outside Turkey after other European countries banned such events.
Enlargement 18-05-2018

Kosovo is not Catalonia, Kosovo’s Thaci tells absent Spanish PM Rajoy

Pristina ‘understands’ the decision of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy not to attend the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia, but “Kosovo is not Catalonia”, Kosovo's President Hashim Thaçi told EURACTIV.com.
Enlargement 17-05-2018

EU pledges funds to Western Balkans, but no firm promises in Sofia

The European Union pledged fresh funds for the Western Balkans on Thursday (17 May) to help its transport and digital infrastructure, renewable energy and education efforts. It also agreed to work closely on "security challenges". But talk of further EU enlargement remained elusive.
Enlargement 17-05-2018

Western Balkans remain in standby mode

EU members want to take their time with a new round of enlargement - something that the Western Balkans summit this Thursday (17 May) in Sofia is unlikely to change. EURACTIV Germany’s partner Der Tagesspiegel reports.
Energy 17-05-2018

China, the Western Balkans and the EU: Can three tango?

With China pouring loans into the Western Balkans, the EU must step in to ensure this money benefits the region, writes Wawa Wang.
Economy & Jobs 16-05-2018

World Economic Forum: Western Balkans’ assets can help it control its destiny

The Western Balkans' very strategic location and entrepreneurial labour force are some of the assets that could help the region take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and take its destiny in its own hands, Martina Larkin of the World Economic Forum told EURACTIV.com in an interview.
Global Europe 16-05-2018

EESC chief: Western Balkans’ EU path driven by civil society empowerment

The success of the accession process of the Western Balkan countries needs “meaningful involvement” of civil society organisations in the integration process, Luca Jahier, president of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), told EURACTIV.
Enlargement 14-05-2018

Why we need to stabilise the Western Balkans

As Europe is confronted by different visions about its future, the question remains how these different visions will affect the developments in the Western Balkans. The Balkans remain fragile, and the external pressures and internal divisions could deliver fresh instability in the region.
Enlargement 14-05-2018

EU to meet Balkan leaders under shadow of Trump

EU leaders will seek to boost ties with the Balkans at a summit on Thursday (17 May), but it looks set to be overshadowed by the rift with US President Donald Trump over the Iran nuclear deal.
Enlargement 03-05-2018

Defeating extremism in the Balkans

As a region deeply connected to the EU, the Western Balkans should no longer be forgotten. With Austria’s upcoming presidency of the EU, it is high time to reboot the region’s economic development and its integration into the Union, as well as recognise its progress in countering terrorism, writes Peter R. Neumann.
Enlargement 02-05-2018

Commission budget proposal hardly makes EU enlargement possible

The Commission proposal for the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, unveiled on Wednesday (2 May), shows that the funds allocated for EU enlargement are 1.2 times superior to the previous budget period. But no country joined the EU in 2014-2020.
Enlargement 27-04-2018

We are aware of ‘Europeisation fatigue’, warns Albanian minister

Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati briefed a small group of Brussels journalists on Thursday (26 April) about his country’s EU ambitions, following the Commission’s proposal to start accession negotiations with Tirana and a visit of Prime Minister Edi Rama to Berlin last Wednesday.
Enlargement 25-04-2018

Don’t turn your back on us, Albania PM tells EU

Denying Albania the prospect of one day becoming a European Union member could fuel Muslim radicalisation in the Balkan country, endangering regional stability, its prime minister Edi Rama said.
Delyan Peevski, photo by Dnevnik
Future EU 25-04-2018

Bulgaria is last on media freedom in EU and in the Balkans

Bulgaria, which currently holds the rotating EU Presidency, ranks last among all EU countries in terms of media freedom. It is also the worst in the Western Balkans, a region Sofia hopes to bring closer to the EU.
Enlargement 20-04-2018

Hahn: Carrot for Albania and Macedonia, customs union for Turkey

With the Western Balkans accession talks underway, the EU’s enlargement policy is advancing. In the case of Turkey, however, there is a deadlock. In an interview with EURACTIV Germany, Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn comments on the recent developments.
Enlargement 20-04-2018

Beyond coal, nationalism and EU accession: Squaring the circle for Kosovo

Joining the EU means meeting all of its rules and criteria, including energy legislation. But bloc-hopeful Kosovo, just like its other Balkan neighbours, is struggling to make any headway there, writes Philippe Charlez.
Enlargement 18-04-2018

A year of opportunity for the Balkans

The fact that the Western Balkans is being increasingly prioritised on the European agenda is no longer sufficient To achieve real progress in EU integration, the Western Balkan countries need a clearly defined plan that includes a concrete timeframe for all six countries, writes Ilhan Kyuchyuk.
Enlargement 17-04-2018

Commission proposes starting EU talks with Albania, Macedonia

The European Commission proposed on Tuesday (17 April) to open EU membership talks with Albania and Macedonia, in line with its new focus on the integration of the Western Balkans.
Enlargement 16-04-2018

Veteran politician Djukanovic sweeps back into power in Montenegro

Political heavyweight Milo Djukanović, bidding to take Montenegro into the European Union, swept back into power in Sunday's (15 April) presidential election after a two-year absence.
Enlargement 13-04-2018

The case for a joint ‘Western Balkans six’ accession to the EU

There could be no stronger incentive to overcome regional disputes and normalise relations than if the region would receive a clear message that all six countries will join the EU at the same time, writes Bekim Çollaku.
Enlargement 12-04-2018

Time for a Juncker re-set: The importance of a membership perspective for the Western Balkans

To ensure the security and stability of the Western Balkans, the perspective of membership may no longer be enough. The EU should push back against Russian propaganda and engage in smarter outreach. It needs a new, more confident approach, writes Sir Graham Watson.
Enlargement 11-04-2018

Serbian president calls on Balkan peers to create common market

Serbia's president called on western Balkan countries to settle their differences and create a common market to attract badly needed foreign investment.
Enlargement 06-04-2018

The Trans-Europe Express, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Europe’s frozen conflict

Russia is the undisputed master of engineering ‘frozen conflicts’ that prevent countries in its neighbourhood from building closer EU relations.