• Merkel hosts Western Balkans EU hopefuls

      Merkel hosts Western Balkans EU hopefuls

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts today a summit with six Western Balkan aspiring for EU membership, news wires reported. The summit aims at forging closer cooperation as these countries limp on their way to the EU. Here come some facts about the six Balkan aspirants, compiled by Reuters.

    • Neighbourhood Commissioner holds working meetings in Bulgaria

      Neighbourhood Commissioner holds working meetings in Bulgaria

      European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi visited Bulgaria today and held working meetings with Bulgarian caretaker Foreign Minister Svetlan Stoev and with GERB leader and former PM Boyko Borissov, BTA reported. He was accompanied by Portugal Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva, whose country is currently holding the EU rotating Presidency.

    • Serbia hopes for EU membership by 2026

      Serbia hopes for EU membership by 2026

      Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić paid on Friday a one-day official visit to Brussels, where he talked with the highest EU officials about the European perspective of Serbia, Serbia-EU relations, as well as the continuation of the dialogue on normalisation of relations with Pristina. He expressed hopes that the accession negotiations between Serbia and the EU will be completed by 2024, and that it is realistic for Serbia to become an EU member by 2026.

    • Western Balkans on focus

      Western Balkans on focus

      Europe cannot exist as a whole, stable and prosperous alliance without integrating the Western Balkans. This was the main messages from a conference on the European perspective of the region held last Monday in the Greek port city of Thessaloniki, news wires reported. The foreign ministers of Greece, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Slovenia as well as representatives of the Commission and the Western Balkans states attended the event.

    • Driving accession process forward

      Driving accession process forward

      Just mere days after Brexit, when the EU woke up for the first time with a member less, the Commission set out on Wednesday new rules to make opening negotiations with candidate countries less prone to objections by Member States, news wires reported. The new rules especially aim at making it more difficult to further delay the accession negotiations start when aspiring members have met the conditions for such talks.

    • Naum Kaychev: The connectivity between Bulgaria and North Macedonia is at a tragic level

      Naum Kaychev: The connectivity between Bulgaria and North Macedonia is at a tragic level

      Sofia will back a decision to begin accession talks, which will entail setting a date for their actual opening. However, Bulgaria's support will not be unconditional; it will have some requirements attached, which will be posed over the course of the long negotiation process. Bulgaria will insist that the Agreement on Friendship, Good Neighbourliness and Cooperation signed by the two countries is observed, says Ass. Prof. Naum Kaychev, PhD, deputy co-chair of the Joint Commission on Historical and Educational Matters with North Macedonia.

    • Assession support under conditions

      Assession support under conditions

      Bulgaria's continued support for Skopje's EU accession bid depends on whether North Macedonia stands by its obligations under the already signed treaty on mutual relations between the two countries, Bulgarian leaders agreed last Monday at a consultative meeting in Sofia held by President Rumen Radev. According to Radev, North Macedonia cannot make progress towards the EU at the expense of Bulgarian interests, insisting there are red lines that can not be crossed. Skopje hopes to get a date to start accession talks in the coming weeks.

    • EP votes to suspend Turkey's EU membership bid

      EP votes to suspend Turkey's EU membership bid

      A large majority in the European Parliament recommended on Wednesday in a non-binding resolution that the EU formally freezes Turkey's accession process. Citing severe political and democratic backsliding under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, mainly collapse of the rule of law, a turn towards authoritarianism and the crackdown on dissidents, lawmakers passed the symbolic resolution with 370 votes in favour, 109 against with 143 abstentions.