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The European Political Community (EPC) is a new 'platform for political coordination' (European Council) initially proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron. The Presidents of the European Council, Charles Michel, and European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, have both also supported such a proposal. The inaugural meeting of the EPC was held in Prague on 6 October. The 'EU+ summit' was hosted by the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU and attended by 43 national delegations from the EU- ...

The European Peace Facility (EPF), operational since July 2021, finances activities with military implications, and supports the armies of partner countries and EU Member States with infrastructure, training and equipment. Reacting to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, for the first time in its history the EU has now mobilised funds for the delivery by Member States of military equipment, including lethal weaponry, to assist a partner country.

New EU strategy for enlargement

At a Glance 16-11-2022

Although European integration of the Western Balkans and Türkiye is still at a standstill, the war in Ukraine and the challenging geopolitical environment have lent new impetus to the enlargement process, in an attempt to secure its continuity, consistency, credibility and impact. In June 2022, EU leaders endorsed the 'European perspective' of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. The Western Balkan countries' prospect of a European future had meanwhile already been endorsed at summits in Thessaloniki (in ...

This briefing follows up the commitments made by the commissioner since 2019.

'This is Europe' – an initiative proposed by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola – consists of a series of debates with EU leaders to discuss their visions for the future of the European Union. On 22 June, the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, was the third EU leader to address the Parliament since its Conference of Presidents endorsed the initiative on 28 April. Mr Plenković considered Croatia to be at the centre of EU integration and expressed his support for more ...

The six Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,* Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) are all countries with substantial economic catch-up potential. The EU-led Berlin Process estimated an annual investment need of some €7.7 billion, which would provide the region with an additional 1 % GDP growth and a positive employment effect of up to 200 000 people. However, quality investments are scarce, or often attached to political, environmental and social conditionalities ...

On 23 June 2022, for the first time since the start of Russia's war on Ukraine, the Heads of State or Government of the EU and of the six Western Balkan countries will meet for a leaders' meeting in Brussels. The discussion will focus on enlargement, energy, security and defence, and youth. Discussion of Emmanuel Macron's 'European Political Community' proposal is not on the agenda, but it could come up during the debate.

This in-depth analysis provides an overview of alignment of EU enlargement countries with EU sanctions against Russia due to its aggression against Ukraine. It analyses the legal and political basis for the alignment with the EU’s Common and Foreign Policy, including the restrictive measures (sanctions). Furthermore, it provides a factual account of the main steps taken by the countries covered by the EU enlargement policy in the Western Balkans and Turkey (Türkiye), coupled by a brief assessment ...

The countries in the Western Balkans are traditionally a focus of Russian interests. The Russian Federation has strong historical ties with the Western Balkans and holds a relative soft-power attraction for them, yet its influence and economic impact in the region are declining, as investment and aid by the EU-27 and other players, such as China, have been dwarfing Russian investment. This ‘At a glance’ note has been produced at the request of a member of the European Committee of the Regions, in ...

Decentralisation, and implementation of the principle of subsidiarity, are at the heart of both EU accession negotiations with the Western Balkan countries and their accession-related reforms. As the region's six countries differ in population size, territory and history, their decentralisation models differ from each other as well. The European Commission and the European Parliament are closely monitoring these countries' overall progress in multi-level governance and in the implementation of the ...