Expert analysis, features and profiles of key topical issues in the European Union.
European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker believes an agreement on a third bailout for Greece is likely this month, hopefully by August 20 when Athens must make a key debt repayment.
At the crack of dawn hundreds of refugees, most of them Syrians, stream into Serbia's southern valley of Presevo after a perilous journey they hope will lead to a new life in the European Union.
In Greece, hospitality is a concept as old as the Acropolis. But the country's hated creditors cannot expect the usual warm welcome when they arrive this week to thrash out a third huge international bailout.
It is just the headache Greece's government does not need right now: how can it loosen the capital controls that are shielding its banks, but strangling the rest of the economy?
Greece introduced a raft of capital controls on June 29 to stop a panicked outflow of cash from the country's banks, in a dramatic escalation of its financial crisis.
Hundreds of cats are loose on the streets, and food is running low for some residents of Athens' zoo. It isn't just humans who are suffering as Greece tries to claw its way out of economic crisis.
Faced with a deep economic crisis at home, at least 11,000 Greek companies have found a safe haven in neighbouring low-wage Bulgaria -- the poorest member of the European Union.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has won a difficult gamble in convincing the Greek parliament to agree to tough reforms demanded by Greece's creditors, but he is paying the price of deep splits within his radical-leftist Syriza party.
The jury is still out on whether Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is the man who capitulated to "blackmail" from Greece's international creditors, or pulled his country back from the abyss.
The third rescue plan for Greece has not even been finalized but already the parties at the center of the deal are raising doubts over its viability.
Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble insists he is deeply pro-European, but for many his unbending stance on Greece has cast him as a villain in the struggle to save Athens from crashing out of the euro.
Use it or lose it: that's the plan for many Greeks, who have been going on a credit card-fuelled spending spree as the economy has tanked out of fears their cash could be confiscated or devalued.
Chancellor Angela Merkel may appear to be the victor in the Greek bailout stand-off but many Germans looked on in dismay at the heavy cost to the country's image.
Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, re-elected on Monday to a second term as Eurogroup chairman, has in two years risen from virtual obscurity to a respected and unflappable dealmaker who helped guide Europe through the worst hours of the Greek debt crisis.
The euro was supposed to be "irreversible", binding the EU ever closer, but the draconian terms demanded of Greece for a new bailout may have destroyed that illusion forever, analysts said Monday.
Politicians on the far left and right accused European powers of negotiating with a "gun to the head" of Greece and terrorising and colonising it through Monday's new debt deal.
It's an ambitious idea to say the least: Greece and its creditors want to raise 50 billion euros via privatisations, but previous attempts to sell off the country's assets have yielded meager results.
Even if Greece and its European partners finally reached a deal on a third aid programme in gruelling weekend talks, it must still be approved by eight different national parliaments.
On the frontline of the Greek debt crisis, the Franco-German partnership is in open conflict with Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande deeply divided over how far to go to keep Greece in the eurozone.
Whatever the outcome of wrangling in Brussels over its debt problems, Greece may be heading for further political turmoil as defections by leftwingers weaken Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' grip on government.