About: Western Balkans

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 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.

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.
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.
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.
Energy 06-03-2018

Bozhidar Danev: Part of Bulgaria’s fuel sector lies in the grey economy

Unusually low fuel prices in Bulgaria are probably the result of cartels, or contraband, Bozhidar Danev told EURACTIV.com in an exclusive interview, saying the authorities have  so far been unable or unwilling to address the issue.
Enlargement 26-01-2018

Albania PM: We expect green light to open EU talks this year

Albania has done most of its homework on judiciary, crime and corruption and expects a "straightforward recommendation" to open EU accession talks this year, its prime minister told EURACTIV.com on Friday (26 January).
Enlargement 20-11-2017

Bulgaria’s Simeon: Time to leave a mark after so many years of isolation

In an exclusive interview in his Vrana Palace near Sofia on 17 November 2017, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha shared his thoughts on the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. A version of this interview on the website BulgarianPresidency.eu contains the original transcript in Bulgarian.
Central Europe 08-11-2017

Swoboda: ‘Borissov? We have had many strange guys leading governments’

The former long-serving leader of the S&D group in the European Parliament Hannes Swoboda provided insight ahead of the visit to Brussels on Wednesday (8 November) of the Bulgarian government in preparation for the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Global Europe 03-04-2017

Albanian foreign minister: New Balkan alliances oppose tribunals

In a wide-ranging interview, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania Ditmir Bushati explained the political situation in his country, the so-called ‘Tirana platform’ that has raised eyebrows in Macedonia, Balkan geopolitics and the need for the EU to do more for the six candidate countries.
Enlargement 20-01-2017

Croatian PM: EU-hopeful countries need motivation to continue with reform

The European Union must find the right narrative to address the frustrations of the Balkan countries, which are losing hope of joining the bloc as EU appetite for enlargement fades, said Croatia Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in an interview with EURACTIV.com in Davos.
Enlargement 15-01-2016

George Friedman: The EU is increasingly unreliable and unpredictable

The United States has a partnership with Europe, but it can no longer think of NATO as the mechanism by which it is related to Europe, George Friedman told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.

Czech EU Secretary: Refugee quotas are just a PR exercise

Refugee quotas as proposed by the Commission are just a public relations exercise. Refugees should have an opportunity to choose the country where they want to seek asylum, Tomáš Prouza, State Secretary for European affairs told EURACTIV Czech Republic in an exclusive interview.
Development Policy 02-09-2015

Hahn: Migration crisis demands pan-European response

EXCLUSIVE / Johannes Hahn, the EU's Enlargement Commissioner, has urged member states to engage fully in refugee policy. After all the tragedies, there is no longer time for hesitation, insisted the Austrian in an interview with EURACTIV Germany.
Enlargement 22-05-2015

Fleckenstein: Western Balkan countries need more support

Western Balkans countries need to fully implement EU-related reforms, Knut Fleckenstein told EURACTIV. However, the tough economic situation has made it difficult for them to do so.
Enlargement 22-01-2015

Serbian minister: For EU integration, we need the understanding of our citizens

EU integration means deep reform. This is why Serbia needs the understanding of its citizens, as well as of its partners in the Union, Jadranka Joksimovi? told EURACTIV Serbia in an exclusive interview.
Ralf Gjoni, Speaker of the Albanian Parliament
Enlargement 16-06-2014

Albanian official: ‘We are much more pro-European than several EU members’

Greece and Italy play a catalytic role for the European perspective of the Albanian people, who are much more pro-European than in many EU member countries, says Ralf Gjoni.
Yves Bertoncini, photo Notre Europe
Enlargement 09-05-2014

Analyst: perceptions about enlargement differ in ‘older EU’

The perception of enlargement varies widely in the older members. Germany and Spain are globally satisfied, but there are specific difficulties in countries like France or the UK, where people insist more on the negative consequences of the recent enlargement, Yves Bertoncini told EURACTIV Serbia in a recent interview.
Corina Stratulat
Enlargement 09-05-2014

Serbia’s EU path is not a ‘walk in the park’

Serbia has to carry out accession negotiations in parallel with the normalisation of relations with its former province, Kosovo. This is not an easy thing, Corina Stratulat of the European Policy Centre (EPC), told EURACTIV Serbia in an exclusive interview.
Enlargement 11-12-2013

Montenegro is a ‘problem-free’ EU candidate

Unlike other countries such as Macedonia or Serbia which have problems with their neighbours, Montenegro has no “political issues” to solve and should be able safely to consider itself the next EU member, the country’s chief negotiator Andrija Pejovi? told EURACTIV Germany in an exclusive interview.
Energy 05-04-2013

NIS CEO: Gazprom is our main shareholder, but we support Serbia’s EU bid

  Gazprom Neft holds a 56% stake in NIS, the largest energy company in Serbia, but the company vows to do business “outside politics” and support the country’s EU integration, Kirill Kravchenko, CEO of NIS, told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.  
Global Europe 20-12-2011

Parliament rapporteur: All EU countries should recognise Kosovo

Austrian MEP Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/EFA group), the European Parliament's rapporteur on Kosovo, urges the five EU countries that have not recognised Kosovo's independence – Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia and Spain – to do so. She spoke to EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.
Enlargement 04-01-2011

Minister: ‘Bosnia’s constitution is discriminatory’

Bosnia and Herzegovina still has many reforms to undertake, but its people need encouragement on their journey to integration with the West, Sven Alkalaj, the country's foreign minister, told EURACTIV Germany in an exclusive interview.
Enlargement 14-12-2010

Inzko: Bosnia needs Franco-German recipe

The situation in the Western Balkans has never been better and there are signs of progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where competition between the entities could be used positively if it is accompanied by political will, Valentin Inzko, EU High Representative and Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), told EURACTIV.de in an interview.