About: Western Balkans

Enlargement 11-10-2019

Three countries agree mini Schengen in the Balkans

Three Western Balkan EU hopefuls, Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia, have decided to advance regional cooperation by forming the so-called "mini-Schengen" in order to improve life and the economy in the region until the EU opens its doors to them.
Enlargement 08-10-2019

Kosovo dissident Albin Kurti reaches halls of power

Political prisoner turned parliamentary troublemaker Albin Kurti is within reach of becoming Kosovo's next prime minister after an electoral triumph that could reshape the political scene in Europe's youngest democracy.
Enlargement 07-10-2019

What does it take for the EU to punch above its weight?

Since the start of the financial and economic crises in 2008/2009, the EU project has lost a considerable part of its standing. A recent forum has raised ideas for reversing the decline of the EU’s ranking in the global arena. Dušan Reljić explains how.
Enlargement 13-09-2019

Visegrad countries back opening of accession talks with North Macedonia, Albania

Four eastern European Union members on Thursday (12 September) backed the accession of Western Balkan countries to the bloc, saying North Macedonia and Albania should start talks this year.
Enlargement 04-09-2019

New US Balkan envoy says restarting Serbia-Kosovo dialogue a priority

The new US Special Envoy to the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, said on Tuesday (4 September) a priority in his new role is restarting a dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo.
Enlargement 14-08-2019

West urges Kosovo, Serbia to restart talks ‘with urgency’

Western powers on Tuesday (13 August) urged foes Serbia and Kosovo to reboot their stalled dialogue "with urgency", warning that the lack of progress is hindering their dreams of joining the European Union.
Enlargement 06-08-2019

Rival Bosnia leaders agree to form government 10 months after vote

Bosnia's rival Serb, Croat and Bosniak leaders agreed on Monday (5 August) to form a central government 10 months after a general election, reaching a compromise about Bosnia's integration into NATO which had been a key stumbling block.
Enlargement 01-07-2019

EU must revamp enlargement as a concept, report says

Since the Thessaloniki summit in 2003, where the EU expressed support for all the Western Balkan countries, only Croatia has become a full member of the bloc. A recent report suggests Brussels should revamp the handling of the whole process, with a directorate that would only deal with EU hopefuls.
Enlargement 24-06-2019

Turkey, Russia and China covet Western Balkans as EU puts enlargement on hold

Unless the EU accession process of the Western Balkans picks up the pace, the six countries of the region may examine alternatives for their countries’ external orientation, including boosting relations with China, Russia, Turkey and the Gulf States, a report...
Enlargement 18-06-2019

Transforming words into deeds – the Visegrad Group and Western Balkans’ EU integration

All Visegrad Group countries vocally support the enlargement of the EU and NATO, with a focus on integrating the Western Balkan (WB) countries. But how can those words be transformed into deeds?
Enlargement 17-06-2019

Will Brussels turn its back – again – on the Balkans?

Will the EU honour its word to Tirana and Skopje or will Brussels – not for the first time – leave the Western Balkans stewing in its own juice? All eyes are on the reaction of EU foreign ministers to last week's inflammatory rhetoric by two Balkan leaders, writes Denis MacShane.
Enlargement 07-06-2019

Europe’s ambitious but uncertain future on show at Bratislava forum

As Globsec’s 2019 forum in Bratislava kicked off earlier this week, EURACTIV went along to listen to world leaders from politics, civil society and business on the Future of Europe. Here we present a summary of the main talking points in the field, across the first two days.
Enlargement 06-06-2019

Enlargement debate: Western Balkans, torn between hope and outrage

With enlargement being a “hot potato” for EU institutions, EURACTIV addressed the issue in a debate on Tuesday (5 June). Diplomats and journalists talked freely about the perceived reluctance of some member states, but also about existing real internal obstacles.
Enlargement 29-05-2019

Commission recommends opening accession talks with Albania, North Macedonia

The European Commission recommended on Wednesday (29 May) opening accession talks with two Western Balkan countries, Albania and North Macedonia, saying they had “embraced the opportunity and delivered on reforms”. But this will need to be approved by the member states....
Enlargement 24-05-2019

Macron and the EU enlargement make-believe

French politicians’ fear of losing votes in the elections jeopardizes the dream of uniting Europe, writes Srdjan Cviijic.
EU Elections 2019 22-05-2019

Frontex launches first joint operation outside EU, in Albania

The European Union's border agency Frontex said it had launched Tuesday (22 May) in Albania its first-ever joint operation outside the bloc's territory.
Enlargement 10-05-2019

Dialogue on Kosovo dominates Western Balkan summit in Tirana

Leaders of the six Western Balkans countries, plus Croatia, Slovenia and the EU, discussed regional cooperation at a summit in Tirana on Thursday (9 May), as well as ways to bring the region closer to the EU.
Enlargement 08-05-2019

In North Macedonia, Pope urges Balkans to embrace diversity

Pope Francis urged the Balkans to embrace its patchwork of faiths and ethnicities during his visit to North Macedonia on Tuesday (7 May), where he delivered prayers and speeches that kept returning to the legacy of an illustrious Skopje native: Mother Teresa.
Enlargement 30-04-2019

Kosovo and Serbia agree to resume talks after Macron, Merkel push

Kosovo and Serbia have agreed at a summit in Berlin to resume talks, after the leaders of France and Germany warned the bitter foes that resolving their dispute was crucial to future ties with the European Union.
Enlargement 10-04-2019

Dubrovnik 16+1 summit rolls the red carpet for China

From coal plants to airports and bridges, China is forking out for investments across the Western Balkans, laying groundwork for a new battle for influence on the European Union's fringe.
Enlargement 05-04-2019

Serbia in the EU in 2025 – mission (im)possible

Serbia's accession to the EU in 2025 seems unrealistic, given its slow pace of progress, though not entirely impossible, civil society representatives have said but warned that neither Belgrade nor Brussels were trying very hard. EURACTIV Serbia reports.
Enlargement 05-04-2019

Western Balkans to abolish roaming charges by 2021

Western Balkans countries agreed on Thursday (4 April) to lower and eventually abolish roaming charges, in a rare act of neighbourly goodwill in region riven with political feuds.
China 04-04-2019

Chinese Balkans investments disrupt EU objectives, Commission warns

Some Chinese investments entail “macro-economic imbalances and debt-dependency” risk in the Western Balkans and impact EU objectives in the region, an EU spokesperson has said in light of a controversial energy project in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Energy 27-03-2019

Western Balkans pump subsidies worth €1.2 billion into coal

Western Balkan countries, which have set their sights on EU membership, are still propping up coal power with large public subsidies worth more than €1.2 billion, a new report revealed on Monday (25 March). The subsidies are not in line with EU regulations or decarbonisation efforts.

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