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.
Illegal Bialowieza logging could cost Poland EUR 100,000 a day
21 Nov 2017 at 3:01pm
Poland will have to pay a EUR 100,000 penalty per day if it continues banned logging activities in the EU-protected Bialowieza Forest, one of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe, the EU's top court has ruled.
EU Parliament warns Poland on rule of law
16 Nov 2017 at 2:29pm
Poland is at "clear risk of a serious breach" of European values, including the rule of law, enshrined in the EU Treaty, MEPs said on Wednesday, warning of possible suspension of Poland's EU voting rights.
Cooperation and Verification Mechanism Reports on Bulgaria and Romania
17 Nov 2017 at 3:01am
The European Commission issued today its latest reports on steps taken by Bulgaria and Romania to meet their commitments on judicial reform and the fight against corruption, and in the case of Bulgaria organised crime, in the context of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) set up when the countries joined the European Union in 2007.
More progress needed on Romania, Bulgaria reform
15 Nov 2017 at 2:28pm
Romania and Bulgaria have still more progress to make in judicial reform and the fight against corruption, according to the EU's latest Cooperation and Verification Mechanism Reports on the countries.
New EU gas rules could staunch Russian pipeline
9 Nov 2017 at 3:05pm
Changes to the Gas Directive proposed Wednesday to ensure that all major gas pipelines entering EU territory comply with EU rules could prove an obstacle to the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 project.
EU top Court affirms freedom of establishment
25 Oct 2017 at 3:12pm
An EU Member State cannot impose mandatory liquidation on firms that transfer their registered office to another state, the European Court of Justice affirms in a ruling upholding freedom of establishment under EU law.
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: