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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 September 2017, 18:05 CET
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 September 2017, 18:00 CET
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 01 August 2017, 12:08 CET
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 July 2017, 18:42 CET
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 July 2017, 23:44 CET
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 July 2017, 21:56 CET
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 July 2017, 14:09 CET
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 03 July 2017, 23:59 CET
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 03 July 2017, 17:01 CET
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 June 2017, 22:53 CET
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 12 June 2017, 00:32 CET
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.

UAV Technology Central & Eastern Europe (Prague, Czech Republic, from 27 September 2017, 09:00 CET to 28 September 2017, 18:00 CET) —
UAV Technology Central & Eastern Europe will take place at the Hotel International, Prague, Czech Republic on 27th-28th September 2017.

Report on the Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy Review 18 May 2017, 14:16 CET
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, 23:40 CET
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 March 2017, 18:27 CET
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 February 2017, 18:41 CET
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.

Russian pork ban illegal, WTO confirms 27 February 2017, 22:25 CET
Russia's 2014 import ban on live pigs, pork and other pig products from the European Union violates international trade rules, the World Trade organization's Appellate Body confirmed on Friday.

Migration and future of the EU on summit agenda 03 February 2017, 11:04 CET
EU leaders meet for an informal summit in Malta Friday, with two items on their agenda: how to stem the flow of migrants, particularly from Libya, and to get down to mapping a future for Europe after Brexit.

Russian import duties on German, Italian vans illegal, rules WTO 30 January 2017, 18:32 CET
Anti-dumping duties on vans imported from Italy and Germany, introduced by Russia in 2013, were declared illegal by a World Trade Organization panel saying the duties hindered exports of the vehicles.

Bulgaria, Romania still have work to do on corruption 26 January 2017, 22:10 CET
The fight against corruption and organised crime in Romania and Bulgaria still has some way to go, the EU Commission said in a report on judicial reform and the fight against corruption in the countries.

The EU's role in the Cyprus Settlement Process 12 January 2017, 20:24 CET
The EU's delegation arrived in Geneva on 12 January for the Cyprus settlement Conference. A comprehensive settlement is seen as being beneficial for Cyprus and for the EU, as well as for the wider security and stability of the region.

Malta's unique role in pivotal year for the EU 12 January 2017, 20:09 CET
European Union leaders visited Malta Wednesday to mark the launch of the first Maltese EU presidency, as it takes on a pivotal role in Europe's political development during a historic time for the EU.

Malta takes over EU presidency for the first time 11 January 2017, 00:56 CET
The small island of Malta took over the EU presidency on 1 January, facing the challenges of Brexit and important elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Aarhus and Pafos are 2017 European Capitals of Culture 05 January 2017, 00:16 CET
The Danish and Cypriot cities of Aarhus and Pafos will hold the title of European Capital of Culture - one of the most popular EU projects for the year 2017.

EU reaffirms strong support for Ukraine 20 December 2016, 00:57 CET
The EU reaffirmed its support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity Monday, reiterating its refusal to recognise the "illegal annexation of Crimea and Sebastopol" by the Russian Federation.