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Balkans

Geopolitical and cultural region of Southeast Europe

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Balkans: Geopolitical and cultural region of Southeast Europe
The Balkans, also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographic area in Southeast Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the whole of Bulgaria. The Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea in the northwest, the Ionian Sea in the southwest, the Aegean Sea in the south, the Turkish Straits in the east, and the Black Sea in the northeast. The northern border of the peninsula is variously defined. The highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala, 2,925 metres (9,596 ft), in the Rila mountain range, Bulgaria.

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Albania cracks down on migrant arrivals via new Balkan route to the EU [Video]

Albania cracks down on migrant arrivals via new Balkan route to the EU

Police data show Albania has seen a rise in arrests for illegal entry this year, as numbers of migrants trying to reach Albania have skyrocketed.

Credit: euronews (in English)     Duration: 01:30Published
Kosovo government offices set on fire over license plates row with Serbia [Video]

Kosovo government offices set on fire over license plates row with Serbia

A row over vehicle license plates is escalating tensions between Serbia and its former province of Kosovo in the Balkans

Credit: euronews (in English)     Duration: 01:14Published
New Serbian national holiday triggers unease across the Balkans [Video]

New Serbian national holiday triggers unease across the Balkans

Serbia kicked off Unity Day with a display of military power and calls for all Serbs in the Balkans to unite under one flag.

Credit: euronews (in English)     Duration: 00:08Published
Letting Balkan countries into EU is in bloc's interests, says Merkel [Video]

Letting Balkan countries into EU is in bloc's interests, says Merkel

After Serbia, Merkel travelled to Albania where she meet the leaders of five other Western Balkan states that are striving for EU membership.

Credit: euronews (in English)     Duration: 01:05Published
Croatia counting down to join the Eurozone from 1st January 2023 [Video]

Croatia counting down to join the Eurozone from 1st January 2023

Croatia is planning to begin using the Euro as its currency on the 1st of July 2023. According to a recent study by the Croatian National Bank, 45% of people in the Western Balkan nation say they..

Credit: euronews (in English)     Duration: 01:51Published
Western Balkan power plants caused ‘nearly 19,000 deaths’ in Europe, according to report estimates [Video]

Western Balkan power plants caused ‘nearly 19,000 deaths’ in Europe, according to report estimates

Over the last three years, almost 19,000 people died as a result of pollution from coal-fired power plants in the Western Balkans, according to estimates in a new report

Credit: euronews (in English)     Duration: 02:50Published

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Bulgaria to reopen restaurants, bars and cafes on June 1

Bulgaria will allow restaurants, bars and cafes to reopen at full capacity on Monday as the Balkan country further eased restrictions imposed in mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
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Bosnia sets local polls for October 4, but Mostar excluded again

Bosnia will hold local elections on Oct. 4 but Mostar, an ethnically divided town in the south of the Balkan country where no vote has been held since 2008, will be exempted again, the state election..
Reuters - Published

EU offers more aid, membership to Balkans in riposte to China, Russia

The European Union's 27 leaders on Wednesday gave their "unequivocal support" for the six Balkan countries to eventually become members of the bloc and offered them more financial support as Brussels..
Reuters - Published

Balkans are on path to EU membership: statement

The European Union's 27 leaders on Wednesday gave their "unequivocal support" for the six Balkan countries to eventually become members of the bloc and offered more financial support to help the region..
Reuters - Published

EU aims to counter Chinese, Russian influence at Balkan summit

European Union (EU) leaders host a summit on Wednesday with their six Balkan counterparts whose praise for Chinese and Russian support during the coronavirus crisis has ruffled feathers in the bloc,..
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Factbox: Six Balkan hopefuls aspire to join the EU

European Union leaders host a summit with six Balkan counterparts on Wednesday. Here are some facts about the six Balkan aspirants:
Reuters - Published

Bulgarian Christians celebrate Easter amid coronavirus outbreak

Hundreds of Bulgarian Christians flocked to the Orthodox temples for outdoor services on a surreal Saturday night with the Balkan state one of the few countries where churches remained open over the..
Reuters - Published

EU to limit export control of virus protection gear to just masks

The European Commission plans to narrow controls on the export of coronavirus protective equipment to just a single product - masks - as well as exempt the countries of the western Balkans from the..
Reuters - Published

Serbian state secretary dies from coronavirus

A senior official in Serbia's government died from the coronavirus on Wednesday, a health official said, the second death of a public figure from the disease in the Balkan country.
Reuters - Published

Kosovo lawmakers dismiss government in no-confidence vote

Kosovo lawmakers dismissed the government of Prime Minister Albin Kurti in a no-confidence vote on Wednesday, triggering a political crisis as the Balkan country tries to stop the spread of the..
Reuters - Published

Bulgaria bans entry of trucks en route to Turkey

Bulgaria has imposed a temporary entry ban on trucks from more than 65 countries that plan to pass through the Balkan state en route to Turkey, the health ministry said on Wednesday, after Turkey..
Reuters - Published

Bosnia's health authorities report first coronavirus death

A Bosnian man became the first to die of the coronavirus in the Balkan country, the manager of a hospital in the northwestern town of Bihac said on Saturday.
Reuters - Published

Bulgarian Orthodox Church tells faithful to pray at home to curb coronavirus

Bulgaria's main Orthodox Church urged Christians on Saturday to stay away from churches and pray at home as the Balkan country tightens restrictive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Reuters - Published

Bulgarian investigative journalist assaulted in Sofia

A popular Bulgarian investigative journalist was severely beaten by masked men outside his home in downtown Sofia late on Tuesday in an attack condemned by many journalist organizations and politicians..
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Kosovo fears U.S. may pull troops out over Serbia tariff dispute

Concern is growing in Kosovo that the United States may pull its troops out of the Balkan country in retaliation for tariffs imposed by Pristina on goods from its rival Serbia.
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Hungarian PM Orban: 130,000 migrants already in Balkans must be stopped

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday that 130,000 migrants had already passed the Turkish-Greek border in the Balkans, and that they must be stopped as far south as possible.
Reuters - Published

Austria hints at border closures in echo of Europe's last migration crisis

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz hinted on Saturday that borders could be closed across the Balkans in response to a rush of migrants towards Greece from Turkey, echoing action taken during Europe's..
Reuters - Published

EU's Varhelyi: accession talks with two Balkan states could open in weeks

The European Union could open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia within weeks as both countries have made good progress in their preparations, the European Commission's enlargement chief,..
Reuters - Published

'North Macedonia, Albania will deliver,' EU enlargement chief says

North Macedonia and Albania can deliver on the reforms required to join the European Union, the EU enlargement commissioner said on Tuesday, in the latest sign that the Balkan neighbors are set to..
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International donors pledge 1.1 billion euros for Albania after earthquake

International donors pledged 1.15 billion euros on Monday to help Albania rebuild after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the Balkan country in later November, killing 51 people.
Reuters - Published

Serbia should accept EU expansion reforms, president says

Serbia should accept the European Union's proposed changes to the way it admits new countries, which could smooth the path toward membership for Balkan countries, President Aleksandar Vucic said on..
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French change of tone boosts Balkan states' hopes of joining EU

France has welcomed the European Union's proposed changes to the way it admits new countries, which could smooth the path towards membership for Balkan countries after President Emmanuel Macron blocked..
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EU aims to admit six Balkan states under reformed process: commissioner

The European Union still aims to admit the Balkan nations of Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and North Macedonia into the bloc, new EU enlargement commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said on..
Reuters - Published

Kosovo approves new government, PM vows to be tough negotiator with Serbia

Kosovo's parliament approved a new government on Monday after weeks of coalition talks, and Prime Minister Albin Kurti promised to take a tough stance in negotiations with Balkan rival Serbia.
Reuters - Published

Kosovo parties sign long-awaited deal to form government

Kosovo’s two biggest parties reached a deal on Sunday to create a new government almost four months after the Balkan country held snap elections following the prime minister's resignation.
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Bulgaria expels two Russian diplomats for espionage

Bulgaria expelled two Russian diplomats who prosecutors suspect were involved in espionage and gave them 48 hours to leave the Balkan country, the foreign ministry said on Friday.
Reuters - Published

Kosovo jails eight over plot to kill president and prime minister

A Kosovo court jailed eight men on Wednesday for the attempted murder of a former politician and plotting to kill the Balkan country's president and prime minister in 2017.
Reuters - Published

Bulgaria names new environment minister amid water crisis

Bulgaria's parliament approved Emil Dimitrov as environment minister on Wednesday after prosecutors charged his predecessor with deliberate mismanagement of a water crisis affecting a western region of..
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Four Balkan states flesh out deal for free movement of labor

Western Balkan leaders met on Saturday to advance EU-supported plans for free movement of people and goods in their region to boost trade and investment.
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Defiant Nobel winner Handke dismisses questions on Balkan wars

Austrian writer Peter Handke, winner of the 2019 Nobel literature prize, said on Friday he preferred anonymous hate mail to questions about his support for Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia's strongman during..
Reuters - Published

Winter poses new threat to migrants in Bosnian forest camp

Hundreds of migrants from the Middle East and Asia living in a freezing camp in the forests of Bosnia are short of food and bedding and at growing risk as the bitter Balkan winter approaches, aid..
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Bosnia faces outflow of military personnel over low wages: Parliamentary commissioner

Bosnia is facing an outflow from its politically sensitive multi-ethnic armed forces (OSBiH) due to the failure of political institutions to approve adequate funding, the Balkan country's military..
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Bulgaria asked Russia to recall diplomat over spying allegation

Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry asked Moscow to recall a diplomat from the Russian Embassy in Sofia, after prosecutors accused a first secretary of having been involved in espionage in the Balkan country..
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Croatia ready to join border-free Schengen area, EU Commission says

The European Commission recommended on Tuesday that Croatia joins the border-free Schengen area, more than four years after the Balkan country applied for membership.
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France under fire for 'historic error' of blocking Balkan EU hopefuls

Senior European Union officials, worried by growing Chinese and Russian influence in the Balkans, accused France on Friday of making a "historic error" by refusing to let North Macedonia and Albania..
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EU talks over enlargement to Balkans should restart in November: Italy's PM

Italy's Prime Minister said Rome would propose that the European Union restarts talks on enlarging the bloc to include Albania and North Macedonia in November, after the EU blocked the beginning of..
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EU's Tusk convinced not opening talks with Balkans would be 'grave mistake': official

A failure to agree to open EU membership negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania would be a "grave mistake," European Council President Donald Tusk believes, a senior EU official said on..
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Macron on course for clash with Merkel over EU talks with Balkan hopefuls

French President Emmanuel Macron was headed for a clash with German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week after Paris was isolated on Tuesday in opposing starting membership talks with North Macedonia.
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France holds firm against EU talks with Balkan hopefuls

France stuck to its hard line against European Union membership talks for North Macedonia and Albania on Tuesday, setting up a showdown between French President Emmanuel Macron and fellow EU leaders..
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France says too early to hold talks with Balkans on EU membership

France considers it is too early to open talks with Balkan countries on accession to the European Union, a French presidency official said on Tuesday.
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France warns of 'endless soap opera' on EU membership talks with Balkans

France stuck to its hardline position against European Union membership talks for North Macedonia and Albania on Tuesday, warning it could not approve negotiations until the bloc reformed the "endless..
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Pompeo warns about Chinese influence in Balkans

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Montenegro and North Macedonia on Friday and warned Balkan leaders of possible risks from Chinese investment in technology and big infrastructure projects.
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Pompeo stops in Montenegro and North Macedonia to discuss NATO, no comment on Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a short trip to two small Balkan countries, Montenegro and North Macedonia, on Friday to discuss their roles in the Western NATO alliance.
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Pompeo stops in Montenegro to discuss NATO, Russian interference

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began short trips to two small Balkan countries, Montenegro and North Macedonia, on Friday to discuss their roles in the Western NATO alliance.
Reuters - Published

EU's Tusk urges bloc to back talks with Balkan neighbors

The European Union's outgoing president, Donald Tusk, on Tuesday urged the bloc's members to back entry talks with North Macedonia and Albania, saying they had lived up to their tasks and Europe would..
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New U.S. Balkan envoy says restarting Serbia-Kosovo dialogue a priority

The new U.S. Special Envoy to the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, said on Tuesday a priority in his new role is restarting a dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo.
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African swine fever hits pig farm in northeast Bulgaria

Bulgaria reported on Saturday an outbreak of African swine fever at a breeding farm for pigs near the Danube city of Ruse in the north east of the Balkan country.
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Bulgaria detains suspect in cyber attack on its tax agency

Bulgarian police have detained a suspect in a hacking attack on the Balkan country's National Revenue Agency that led to the leak of personal and financial data of millions of people, an interior..
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EU Commission nominee hopes Britain would stay, open to Balkans

The nominee for the European Union's next chief executive said on Wednesday she hoped Britain would not quit the bloc and also urged EU governments to keep open a membership path for the Western..
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Short-sighted policies stall Balkans' integration into EU: Erdogan

Short-sighted anti-immigrant populism in some European Union member states has blocked the integration of Western Balkan countries into the EU, weakening the region's stability, Turkish President..
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