About: Western Balkans

Enlargement 08-11-2019

A new momentum for progress in the Western Balkans

The EU decided last month not to open membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia just yet and a  broader discussion on the future of the EU is ongoing. But there is positive economic momentum in the Western Balkans, with more foreign investment coming in, and it needs to be maintained, write Borge Brende and Martina Larkin.
Enlargement 15-10-2019

Leaders must take action, giving signals is not enough

The EU should allow North Macedonia and Albania to sit at the EU accession negotiations table this week - anything else would be a grave political mistake, argues Sergei Stanishev.
Enlargement 14-10-2019

Failing to deliver on Albania and North Macedonia will haunt the EU

When the European Council gets together on 17-18 October to decide on the opening of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, they will also be making a decision for the future of the European Union, writes Akri Çipa.
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 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 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.
Electricity 18-03-2019

The burden of coal at the doorstep of the Energy Union

At a time when the EU strives to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, coal still represents more than half of electricity across much of the Western Balkans and other EU neighbouring countries, writes Janez Kopač. Making things worse, coal plants are intensively supported by Chinese and US capital, without active opposition of the EU, he says.
Enlargement 04-02-2019

Ditching unanimity is key to make enlargement work

The EU must change its procedure and allow qualified majority voting in all intermediary stages of the EU accession process, writes Srdjan Cvijic.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 29-05-2018

Western Balkan enlargement will catalyse a stronger Europe

Addressing the reforms needed to prepare the six Balkan countries for EU accession can be cathartic in effect, and reinvigorate the European Union, writes Andrey Kovatchev.
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.
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 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 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.

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