Eastern & Central Europe
Latest news about eastern and central Europe and EU enlargement. Since it was founded in 1958, the EU has regularly accepted new member countries. Each applicant country must meet certain requirements before membership is permitted. Regular enlargements have seen the EU grow from its original 6 founding members to 28 in 2013. Any country that satisfies the conditions for enlargement can apply to be a candidate. The European Commission, at the request of the European Council, assesses the applicant?s ability to meet the conditions of membership. If the opinion is positive and the Council agrees a negotiating mandate, discussions are formally opened between the applicant and the EU.
At the start of 2013, five countries had been accepted as EU candidate countries: Iceland, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo (under UN Security Resolution 1244) have the status of potential candidates.
EU strengthens sanctions against North Korea
14 Sep 2017 at 9:05am
EU ministers strengthened restrictive measures against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Thursday, and prolonged sanctions over actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity.
Gas-sharing move to secure EU gas supply
13 Sep 2017 at 9:00am
Any EU member state facing an urgent gas shortage will be able to trigger cross-border assistance from its neighbours under new cooperation rules approved by the European Parliament Tuesday.
EU launches legal action against Poland over new law
1 Aug 2017 at 3:08am
The European Union launched legal action against Poland Saturday following the publication in the Polish Official Journal of a new law it has warned threatens the independence of the judiciary..
EU tightens pressure on Poland over rule of law
26 Jul 2017 at 9:42am
The European Commission substantiated its grave concerns on a planned reform of the judiciary in Poland Wednesday in a Rule of Law Recommendation addressed to the Polish authorities.
EU warns Poland over independence of judiciary
20 Jul 2017 at 2:44pm
The European Commission expressed grave concern Wednesday about the clear risks for the independence of the judiciary in Poland and urges the Polish Government to put its new laws on hold
Tusk cements EU-Ukraine partnership, urges unity
13 Jul 2017 at 12:56pm
The EU cemented its partnership with Ukraine at a summit Thursday, as Council president Donald Tusk urged the country to keep 'your unity at any cost, and avoid like the plague internal conflicts.'
Western Balkans: Regional Economic Area
13 Jul 2017 at 5:09am
The 2017 Western Balkans Summit in Trieste, Italy on 12 July 2017 discussed concrete avenues to strengthen regional cooperation and thus further advance the EU integration process of the Western Balkans. The Western Balkan partners agreed on an action plan to develop a Regional Economic Area aimed at boosting the attractiveness of the region to encourage investment and generate jobs, especially through smart growth, start-ups and scale-ups.
Tiny Estonia takes over EU presidency
3 Jul 2017 at 2:59pm
Estonia's first EU presidency began on 1 July with a focus on an innovative European economy, safety and security, digital Europe and free movement of data, and an inclusive and sustainable Europe.
Priorities of the Estonian presidency of the European Council
3 Jul 2017 at 8:01am
The motto of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union is 'Unity through balance'. "We believe that Europe has plenty of common ground to come together to successfully tackle all the challenges and make the most of all the possibilities that face us today. We must facilitate openness in both our economy and society, while also ensuring safety and security. Our role is to find a balance between the different views, traditions and interests in Europe today to achieve the best possible outcome for European citizens." The four priorities of the Estonian Presidency are:
EU extends sanctions on Russia for another six months
28 Jun 2017 at 1:53pm
The EU Council agreed a formal extension of economic sanctions on Russia Wednesday, targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy Wednesday, until 31 January 2018.
Brussels seeks mandate to negotiate with Russia on Nord Stream 2
11 Jun 2017 at 3:32pm
The European Commission asked EU Member States Friday for a mandate to negotiate with the Russia the key principles for the operation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
Report on the Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy Review
18 May 2017 at 5:16am
The European Neighbourhood Policy was reviewed in 2015 to respond to the new challenges of an evolving neighbourhood. The May 2017 report shows results following a new approach based on differentiation, joint ownership and flexibility.
MEPs demand EU sanctions against Hungary
17 May 2017 at 2:40pm
The human rights situation in Hungary justifies the triggering of an 'Article 7' procedure which may result in sanctions for Hungary, the European Parliament said in a resolution adopted on Wednesday.
EU Court upholds sanctions against Russia's Rosneft
29 Mar 2017 at 9:27am
The European Court of Justice on Tuesday declared valid EU sanctions against Russian companies in response to the crisis in Ukraine, including Rosneft, the state-owned Russian oil giant.
EU states back visa-free travel for Georgians
28 Feb 2017 at 9:41am
Georgian citizens with a biometric passport who travel to the EU for up to 90 days for business, tourist or family purposes will no longer need a visa after EU states agreed a regulation on visa liberalisation.