OPINION: Tempered hope for the Balkans’ European ambitions

Henry Stanek in Brussels February 15, 2018

The EU’s new Balkan strategy should be viewed as more of a motivational tool than as a real roadmap, even for frontrunners Montenegro and Serbia.

Albania’s population growth returns to downward trend in 2017

bne IntelliNews February 12, 2018

Albania's population contracted 0.2% in 2017 after briefly rising in 2016, but is forecast to fall dramatically by the end of this century driven to a large extent by mass migration.

Poor infrastructure holds back economic growth in Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews February 8, 2018

Better transportation, energy, and telecommunications networks would help Western Balkan countries raise productivity and attract more investment, IMF says.

EIB to go ahead with controversial €1.5bn loan for TAP pipeline

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest February 7, 2018

Funding decision made despite heavy pressure from environmental groups who argued that the development bank should avoid investing in major fossil fuel projects.

European Commission unveils Western Balkans enlargement strategy

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje, Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 6, 2018

The strategy comes after years of neglecting the region and is expected to counter the growing influence of Russia and China in Southeast Europe.

BALKAN BLOG: A new strategy but no easy ride for Western Balkan enlargement candidates

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest February 5, 2018

The European Commission is poised to release a new enlargement strategy which it hopes will push countries from the region to embrace reform and stop democratic backsliding.

Legitimate crops to replace cannabis on Albania's "marijuana mountain"

bne IntelliNews January 24, 2018

The government wants to help new agribusinesses in Europe's former cannabis capital Lazarat, which has fallen on hard times since a crackdown on drug cultivation in 2014.

M&A in Emerging Europe fell 17% in 2017 to €71.5bn, according to CMS/EMIS report

bne IntelliNews January 24, 2018

China becomes biggest foreign dealmaker in the region, making €7.7bn of acquisitions, up 78%.

Economic recovery continues in aspiring EU members

bne IntelliNews January 22, 2018

Mixed picture in the Western Balkans, with growth in Q3 2017 ranging from 0.2% in Macedonia to a robust 4.7% in Montenegro.