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Velina Lilyanova

This tag is associated with 10 posts

Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) [EU Legislation in Progress]

On 14 June 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) III as part of a set of external action instruments under the new 2021 to 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). Continue reading

The EU and the Western Balkans: Where Next?

On 18 June, EPRS hosted a roundtable discussion on ‘The EU and the Western Balkans: Where Next?’ in the Library of the European Parliament. It took place the day after the prime ministers of Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev respectively, signed a deal on the name issue that could potentially resolve the bilateral dispute that has run for over a quarter of a century. This only highlighted the timeliness of the question, ‘Where next?’, as Etienne Bassot, Director of EPRS’ Members’ Research Service, outlined in his introductory remarks. Continue reading

Western Balkans: Enlargement strategy 2018

With a resolute tone and a sense of urgency, the European Commission’s new enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans sets a clear direction for the region’s six countries: it offers them a credible enlargement perspective and pledges enhanced EU engagement. It indicates 2025 as a possible enlargement date. Continue reading

Western Balkans in the spotlight in 2018

With positive messages and increased attention coming from the EU, 2017 seems to have ended on a high note for the Western Balkans. 2018 starts with the region being high on the agenda of Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency, and promises a favourable context for advancing its EU bids. For this to happen, however, the six WB countries need to show results on the core EU-related reforms. Continue reading

Youth challenges and opportunities in the Western Balkans

Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are all candidates for EU membership, while Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo are potential candidates. To improve their chances of EU accession and secure their citizens a more prosperous future, one of the key priorities these countries need to address are the problems facing their youth, who hold the key to such a future. Continue reading

2016 Enlargement package: Prospects for the Western Balkans

Written by Velina Lilyanova, In November 2016, the European Commission presented its annual enlargement package, consisting of a communication that takes stock of the implementation of the 2015 multiannual strategy and a set of reports on the Western Balkan countries and on Turkey in their capacity of candidates or potential candidates for EU membership. Since 2015, … Continue reading

Serbia’s role in dealing with the migration crisis

Written by Velina Lilyanova, In 2015, the Western Balkans experienced an unprecedented movement of migrants and refugees headed towards the EU. This created a wider European challenge affecting both EU Member States and candidate countries located along their route, particularly Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Serbia’s role has mainly been that of … Continue reading

The Western Balkans and the EU: Enlargement and challenges

The challenges ahead of the EU and the current candidate, and potential candidate, countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia – are multiple and, to some extent, different compared to the past. First, the EU itself is in a different situation. In 2014, the European Commission’s newly elected president announced a five-year halt to enlargement. In June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU, an event unprecedented in Union history. Continue reading

The Western Balkans’ Berlin process: A new impulse for regional cooperation

Written by Velina Lilyanova, The six Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia – are united by the common goal of joining the EU. However, they still face divisions, both infrastructural and political, and are confronted, among other things, by a dire economic situation … Continue reading

Corruption — still a major problem in several Western Balkan countries

Written by Velina Lilyanova The United Nations’ 2003 Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) starts by noting that corruption ‘undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish’. To a varying extent, all … Continue reading

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