Splits apparent in EU over enlargement

bne IntelliNews April 17, 2018

European Commission recommends start of accession negotiations for Albania and Macedonia, but French President Macron says Paris will oppose any enlargement until the EU reconfigures post-Brexit.

Milo Djukanovic wins easy victory in Montenegro’s presidential election

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 16, 2018

First round victory hailed by Djukanovic as an endorsement of Montenegro’s pro-Western orientation, but opposition blames state capture by politician who has been in power for nearly three decades.

BALKAN BLOG: Divided, weak and doomed to fail

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 12, 2018

Balkan opposition parties are increasingly resorting to violence in their hopeless struggle to dislodge entrenched ruling elites.

Milo Djukanovic poised for return to Montenegrin presidency

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 12, 2018

Polls predict a first round win for Djukanovic in high stakes election seen as a symbolic referendum on Montenegro’s political orientation towards the West or Russia.

Macedonia defies illiberal trend in otherwise gloomy Freedom House report

bne IntelliNews April 12, 2018

Macedonia described as the "most promising chance for a democratic breakthrough" in Europe, as prospects for democracy look bleak in majority of post-communist states.

Growth slows in Western Balkans despite job creation

bne IntelliNews April 12, 2018

A harsh winter and a decline in investments slowed growth in the Western Balkans in 2017 even though 190,000 new jobs were created, says a report from the World Bank which has called for structural reforms in the region.

COMMENT: Does Germany hold the key for Albania’s accession to the EU?

bne IntelliNews April 10, 2018

The European Commission's new progress reports for the six Western Balkan countries, including Albania, are expected next week. Crucially, they will evaluate performance against delivery of the required reforms as part of the EU accession process

Montenegro’s unemployment rate falls to 16.1% in 2017

bne IntelliNews April 2, 2018

The number of economically inactive people declined last year, and the government hopes it will fall further as stronger investment activity boosts employment.

Nato joins wave of Russian diplomat expulsions after Skripal poisoning

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 28, 2018

Several European states followed suit but others are still considering whether to take action over the poisoning of an ex-spy on British soil, which has already triggered over 100 expulsions by western countries.