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EU countries send aid for Bosnia, Serbia floods

20.05.14 @ 09:26

A dozen EU countries have sent equipment to Bosnia and Serbia to help them deal with “the incredible force of nature” of springtime floods. EU aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva told press on Monday (19 May) the ...

Serbia starts EU membership talks

21.01.14 @ 13:22

It was on the UN sanctions list and bombed by Nato in the 1990s Balkan wars, but Serbia on Tuesday (21 January) officially started EU membership talks at a ceremony in Brussels. It will take several years of talks ...

Who won the EU game on Kosovo and Serbia?

10.01.14 @ 09:28

EU ministers at the last General Affairs Council of 2013 agreed that Serbia should start accession talks and that Kosovo should be thanked for being constructive and loyal to EU. Serbia was perhaps the only Western ...

EUobservedEU defuses Balkan time bomb

06.01.14 @ 09:33

Local elections in Balkan towns rarely make international headlines. But when masked men used baseball bats to smash ballot boxes in Kosovo's north Mitrovica one Sunday in November, the world took note. It was, perhaps, ...

Serbia to start EU membership talks in January

18.12.13 @ 10:12

EU foreign ministers have agreed to start membership talks with Serbia in January - a long-awaited move rewarding progress on relations with Kosovo. "This is an important step forward for Serbia," EU enlargement ...

Commission backs Albania-EU membership talks

16.10.13 @ 17:41

The European Commission has said Albania should be given the green light to open EU membership talks. Presenting the EU executive's annual enlargement reports on Wednesday (16 October), commissioner Stefan Fuele said ...

Kosovo on Serbia row: 'Much ado about nothing'

08.10.13 @ 09:29

Kosovo says its recent election row with Serbia was "much ado about nothing," while noting that more EU states are preparing to recognise its sovereignty. Kosovo leader Hashim Thaci and Serbian PM Ivica Dacic held snap ...

InvestigationMillions stashed offshore, as Serbian firms lurched toward ruin

03.10.13 @ 09:05

With accession candidate country Serbia facing EU questions on controversial state sell-offs, newly revealed documents paint a former Macedonian minister as a backstage player in the demise of several big Serbian ...

EU summit marks big moment for Western Balkans

28.06.13 @ 16:49

Leaders on Friday (28 June) endorsed the launch of Serbia accession talks and welcomed Croatia's impending EU entry. They said the first round of Serbia talks will take place no later than January 2014. "This is indeed ...

EU countries push back date for Serbia talks

26.06.13 @ 09:28

EU countries have agreed to open accession talks with Serbia, but the first meeting is to be later than initially proposed and might be subject to further review. The decision, by foreign and EU affairs ministers in ...

First deadline expires on Kosovo-Serbia plan

31.05.13 @ 16:09

Deadlines for taking the first steps on a Kosovo-Serbia pact expire at midnight on Friday (31 May), with Balkan officials racing against the clock. Kosovar and Serb leaders agreed a 15-point treaty on how to normalise ...

OpinionKosovo-Serbia deal shows value of EU diplomatic service

23.04.13 @ 09:26

When the Prime Ministers of Serbia and Kosovo on 19 April reached their first agreement on the principles governing the normalisation of relations, they not only settled to overcome long-standing ethnic enmities in the ...

Ashton clinches Kosovo-Serbia deal

19.04.13 @ 20:33

Serbia is to get a date for EU accession talks, Kosovo is to get some control over its north and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton got kudos after a breakthrough in Kosovo-Serbia talks. The deal in Brussels on ...

Kosovo-Serbia talks fail to reach a deal, again

18.04.13 @ 09:29

Talks on resolving future Kosovo-Serbia relations and their EU accession prospects are set to go the wire after an extraordinary meeting in Brussels broke up without agreement on Wednesday (17 April). The dialogue ...

Germany sides with Kosovo against Serbia

17.04.13 @ 08:47

German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle has bluntly told Serbia it cannot open EU accession talks unless it cedes control of north Kosovo. "An agreement on starting negotiations on Serbia joining the EU, which it ...

Serbia says US partly to blame for failure of Kosovo talks

09.04.13 @ 09:29

Serb Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has blamed the US for blocking a potential land-swap deal with Kosovo which, he says, could have ended the frozen conflict over ethnic Serb enclaves. Speaking in Belgrade with German ...

Germany warns Serbia on EU accession prospects

03.04.13 @ 17:50

Germany has warned Serbia that its EU accession prospects hang on a result in the ongoing negotiations on Kosovo. A German government spokesman told EUobserver in Berlin on Wednesday (3 April): "We regret that the talks ...

InterviewKosovo: EU meeting is 'de facto recognition' by Serbia

06.02.13 @ 15:43

Kosovo's foreign minister has said that a meeting between the Presidents of Kosovo and Serbia is "de facto recognition" by Serbia of Kosovo's independence. Serbian chief Tomislav Nikolic, an outspoken nationalist, ...

InterviewSerbia defends plan for north Kosovo autonomy

21.01.13 @ 09:27

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic is still promoting the idea of autonomy for ethnic Serbs in Kosovo, but only if Pristina agrees. Speaking to EUobserver in Brussels on Friday (18 January) following the last round of ...

InterviewThaci to Serbia: get your 'forces' out of north Kosovo

17.01.13 @ 20:16

Kosovo leader Hashim Thaci has said Serbia should stop talking about autonomy for north Kosovo and pull out its security forces instead. Speaking to EUobserver in Brussels on Thursday (17 January) ahead of a dinner with ...

Kosovo: Serbia plan is attempt to 'change borders'

10.01.13 @ 09:29

Kosovo's envoy to the EU has said Serbia's proposal to give autonomy to Serbs in north Kosovo is an attempt to divide his country. Ilir Dugolli told EUobserver on Thursday (10 January): "One clearly has the impression ...

No EU accession talks for Serbia or Macedonia

12.12.12 @ 09:29

EU ministers have declined to open accession talks with Serbia or Macedonia, while criticising Turkey for jailing journalists. The ministers said after a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (11 December) that accession talks ...

Serbia unlikely to get EU accession talks date

10.12.12 @ 09:29

Foreign ministers are preparing to put off the start of accession talks with Serbia for at least another six months. A draft decision - seen by EUobserver - to be taken at the General Affairs Council on enlargement in ...

Governments demand action on Balkan asylum claims

26.10.12 @ 09:28

Take control of asylum applications or risk losing the right for citizens to visit the EU without a visa EU justice and home affairs ministers warned Balkan countries on Thursday (25 October). But despite tough talk ...

OpinionPopulism in Brussels? How to solve the Balkan asylum crisis

24.10.12 @ 09:10

Is the EU edging closer to making a fundamental and strategic mistake by restoring the visa requirement for citizens of the Western Balkans? At this moment the interior ministers of six EU countries - Germany, Belgium, ...

Germany and France demand reintroduction of Balkan visas

15.10.12 @ 21:58

Germany, France and four other EU countries want to reintroduce visa requirements for people from the Western Balkans, saying that the measure is needed to combat a spike in asylum claims from the region. Ahead of next ...

EU report good for Kosovo, bad for Serbia

10.10.12 @ 17:56

The European Commission has said Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia should take steps forward in their bids to join the EU. Its annual enlargement report out on Wednesday (10 October) recommended that member states should ...

Serb leader bashes EU ahead of key report

10.10.12 @ 09:22

Srebrenica was not genocide and Serbia will not bow to demands for Kosovo recognition, Serbia's leader has said on the eve of a key EU report. The Balkan country's head of state, Tomislav Nikolic, a former confidante of ...

Gay rights not decisive for Serbia-EU talks

04.10.12 @ 18:04

Brussels on Thursday (4 October) gave Belgrade a tongue-lashing on gay rights, but the issue is unlikely to decide when Serbia can start EU entry talks. Peter Stano, the spokesman for enlargement commissioner Stefan ...

Kosovo to Serbia: Time to face reality

10.09.12 @ 09:17

Kosovo's foreign minister has said the end of supervised independence should make Serbia realise it can never divide Kosovo or get it back. Speaking to EUobserver from Pristina on Sunday (9 September), ahead of ...

OpinionThe euro crisis should not stop enlargement

10.09.12 @ 08:38

Wrecked by the euro crisis and a loss of the confidence that helped it expand to the current 27 members, the European Union might be expected to shrink rather than grow in the coming few years. Without an effective ...

EU presses Serbia on reform

05.09.12 @ 09:27

EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy Tuesday (4 September) encouraged Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dačić to step up reforms on its path to EU membership and open up greater dialogue with Kosovo. “A visible and ...

Nikolic: EU does not demand Kosovo recognition

14.06.12 @ 18:40

Serbia's new leader has said his country can one day join the EU without recognising Kosovo. Tomislav Nikolic made the remarks after meeting top EU officials in Brussels on Thursday (14 June) on his first state trip ...

AgendaSpain and Greece top EU agenda next WEEK

08.06.12 @ 17:35

A Spanish bank bail-out - potentially - and Greek elections are the big events on the EU calendar next week. Reuters and the Financial Times on Friday (8 June) reported that eurozone finance ministers are to hold a ...

OpinionSerbia faces historic turning point

29.05.12 @ 10:27

Having visited Belgrade after its recent presidential elections, I returned home with a strong impression that once again Serbia finds itself at a crossroads. The meetings with newly-elected President Tomislav Nikolic, ...

Serbian leader would give up EU to keep Kosovo

29.05.12 @ 09:28

Serbia's new President, Tomislav Nikolic, has told Russia he would give up EU membership for Kosovo, but wants to have both. Nikolic went to Moscow on Friday (26 May) in his first post-election but pre-inauguration ...

OpinionSerbia: deja vu no more

25.05.12 @ 09:03

History repeats itself in the Balkans. Right? The cliche has just been proved wrong again. Last Sunday (19 May) we witnessed a contest pitting the incumbent Boris Tadic, seen as the EU's best bet, against Tomislav ...

OpinionEU must open its eyes to Balkan realities

23.05.12 @ 22:49

On his death in 1898, Otto Von Bismarck is quoted to have said that "If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans." He was right. A decade or so after his death a ...

Serb nationalist wins elections, pledges EU allegiance

21.05.12 @ 10:22

Serb nationalist Tomislav Nikolic has said he backs Serbia's EU bid after his surpise victory in presidential elections on Sunday (20 May). He beat the incumbent and Western-favoured candidate Boris Tadic with 50.21 of ...

Pro-EU Serb leader fails to get clear victory

07.05.12 @ 09:28

Preliminary results in Serbia's presidential election indicate the two leading contenders will face a run-off on 20 May as neither managed to secure a clear majority over the weekend. With around 25 percent of votes ...

OpinionMass unemployment in the Balkans – a need to act

12.04.12 @ 10:49

Leskovac, once known as the Serbian Manchester, is home to a textile industry that began in the 19th century, flourished under Communism, and has survived - albeit barely - until today. The town, which lies in the south ...

Serbia gets EU candidate status, Romania gets nothing

02.03.12 @ 09:29

EU leaders on Thursday (1 March) with 13 little words took a step hard to imagine in 1999, when Nato planes were bombing Belgrade, or even this time last year, when Serbia was still sheltering war crimes fugitives from ...

Romania flexes muscle at EU meeting on Serbia

28.02.12 @ 20:49

Romania caused confusion and annoyance with last-minute demands at an EU meeting on Serbia in Brussels on Tuesday (28 February). Member states in the end endorsed giving Serbia EU candidate status, but not before ...

EU diplomats: Serbia to get candidate status

28.02.12 @ 09:29

EU diplomatic sources say objections raised by Lithuania, Poland and Romania are not serious enough to stop ministers recommending that Serbia gets official candidate status. French foreign minister Alain Juppe jumped ...

AgendaThis WEEK in the European Union

24.02.12 @ 17:48

The European Council summit scheduled for the end of the week tops this week’s agenda. The two-day summit starts on Thursday (1 March) with EU leaders set to discuss the European Commission’s annual growth survey, ...

Serbia gets political support for EU bid

24.02.12 @ 09:28

Leaders from Germany, France, Italy and Austria have voiced their support for Serbia to become a future member of the EU, with member states due to discuss the issue at next week's summit. Austria, France and Italy on ...

Leaked report challenges EU line on Serbian judiciary

22.12.11 @ 19:33

Serbia's reform of the judiciary system is riddled with inconsistencies, intransparent and subject to political pressure, a leaked report shows, in an assessment that sharply contradicts the official and happier EU ...

Serbia and Montenegro face setbacks on EU path

09.12.11 @ 01:46

Leaders are to grant Serbia EU candidate status in March 2012 provided it steps up talks with Kosovo, while Montenegro's membership talks will start in June pending a crackdown on corruption and crime. "With a view to ...

Ambivalent acronym highlights EU problems on north Kosovo

05.12.11 @ 08:57

Fudged language in a new agreement on north Kosovo shows how far the EU still has to go in its bid to normalise the most explosive place in the Balkans. An EU press release over the weekend - entitled "EU facilitated ...

Serbia's EU bid uncertain as roadblocks stay in place

03.12.11 @ 15:50

Nothing has changed on the ground in north Kosovo after Serbia agreed a new border pact designed to help it get EU candidate status. A spokesman for the Eulex police mission in Kosovo told EUobserver on Saturday (3 ...