Merkel says EU should “keep its word” in relations with accession candidates

bne IntelIiNews September 15, 2021

After EU accession progress was blocked by Bulgaria, Albanian PM Edi Rama tells German chancellor Western Balkans are “held hostage” by nationalism in EU countries.

HICP inflation in Kosovo hits 4.7% in August

bne IntelliNews September 13, 2021

High inflation over the past 12 months has reversed the effects of several months of deflation in the first part of 2020.

Construction prices in Kosovo surge by 12.1% y/y in Q2

bne IntelliNews September 9, 2021

Price of materials surged by 8.6% q/q, accounting for nearly 70% of the total construction costs.

Western Balkans coal power plants defy emissions rules, causing thousands of deaths

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow September 7, 2021

Air pollution from coal-fired power plants in the Western Balkans caused the deaths of around 19,000 people in three years, says a new study.

Slovenian president urges EU to make enlargement a priority

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje September 1, 2021

Borut Pahor warns failure to launch accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia will lead to rising nationalism and influence from ‘third countries’ in the region.

Restrictions tightened in Southeast Europe as COVID-19 cases rise sharply

bne IntelliNews August 18, 2021

New wave of the pandemic spreads in region where vaccination rates are low in many countries.

Western Balkans countries quick to accept Afghan refugees as migration debate reopens in Brussels

bne IntelliNews August 16, 2021

Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia will temporarily host Afghan refugees waiting for US visas.

THE VIEW FROM MITTELEUROPA: Reflections on Metternich and the Austrian Balkans

Marcus How in Vienna August 11, 2021

The region that comprised the former Yugoslavia has strongly influenced Austria and continues to do so.

Firefighters from Southeast Europe help North Macedonia to extinguish wildfires

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje August 10, 2021

North Macedonia is fighting raging wildfires caused by the extremely hot weather, which have been disastrous in the eastern part of the country.

BALKAN BLOG: Southeast Europe heatwave a sign of climate change to come

bne IntelliNews August 1, 2021

Southeast Europe is suffering under a heatwave that has sent temperatures soaring to 40°C or higher.

Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia to launch borderless travel zone by 2023

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje July 29, 2021

Three countries founded the ‘mini-Schengen’ initiative to improve economic and regional cooperation in the Western Balkans after EU enlargement to the region stalled.

Kosovo expects GDP growth to exceed projected 7.9% this year

bne IntelliNews July 26, 2021

Economy minister says growth could be as high as 10% this year, but analysts warn this can only be achieved with major investments.

Surge in arrivals from Kosovo pushes Albanian tourist arrivals to pre-pandemic level

bne IntelliNews July 25, 2021

Arrivals from neighbouring countries shot up when Albania eased restrictions.

Looming new coronavirus wave prompts vaccination push in Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews July 24, 2021

With the delta variant starting to spread in Southeast Europe, officials are warning of a new wave of the pandemic that may put pressure on hospitals as early as August or September.

Leaders of Serbia and Kosovo blame each other for failed talks in Brussels

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje July 19, 2021

No progress on normalisation of relations at second meeting between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

Kosovo’s annual inflation speeds up to 2.4% y/y in June

bne IntelliNews July 13, 2021

Kosovo's inflation has been speeding up gradually every month since it turned positive in February.

Western Balkans scrap roaming tariffs

bne IntelliNews July 1, 2021

Politicians say lifting of roaming tariffs is just the first step as cooperation efforts deliver financial benefits for citizens of the EU-aspiring region.

YUGOSLAVIA 30 YEARS ON: Scaling back the state

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow June 30, 2021

The coronacrisis saw the role of the state increase, but post-crisis efforts towards privatisation and a stepping back of the state from the economy are expected.

Under half of emerging Europe economies to achieve full recovery in 2021

bne IntelliNews June 29, 2021

EBRD says recovery from the coronacrisis is progressing faster than expected, but many emerging Europe economies won’t return to 2019 levels of GDP until 2022.

YUGOSLAVIA 30 YEARS ON: ‘Yugo-nostalgia’ fading but not gone

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow June 28, 2021

Since Yugoslavia started to disintegrate, a whole generation has grown up but there are still some in the region who look back nostalgically.