Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Sections
You are here: Home regions east-europe
Document Actions

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.

Priorities of the Estonian presidency of the European Council
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

EU formally extends sanctions against Russia
The European Union prolonged economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy by a further six months on Monday, continuing its response to the crisis in Ukraine.

EU pledges support to Ukraine at summit
EU leaders gave Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko full support at a summit Thursday at which they cemented a deal on visa-free travel and praised the country's reform effort.

EU Parliament calls for freeze on Turkey membership talks
The European Parliament called Thursday for a temporary freeze on EU accession talks with Turkey until "disproportionate repressive measures" under the country's state of emergency are lifted.

EU states agree visa-free travel for Ukraine in principle
European Union states agreed Thursday the principle of short-term visa-free travel for Ukrainians to the EU, just days before an EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels.

Turkey 'moving away from the EU': enlargement report
Turkey is moving away from the EU, the Commission warns in its annual assessment of potential EU members' progress in implementing political and economic reforms.

Hungarian ad tax 'breaches EU State aid rules'
The Hungarian advertisement tax is in breach of EU State aid rules, the European Commission has found, because its progressive tax rates grant a selective advantage to certain companies.

MEPs call on Turkey to free journalists
The European Parliament called on Turkish authorities in a resolution adopted on Thursday to free journalists being held "without compelling evidence of criminal activity".

EU to extend digital partnership to eastern neighbours
The EU Commission hosted a ministerial meeting with Eastern Partnership countries Tuesday with a view to extending the Digital Single Market to its east European neighbours.

Deepening EU-Ukrainian Relations: What, Why and How?
This handbook explains in readily comprehensible language what the new Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the European Union and Ukraine means in legal, political and economic terms. This treaty is a milestone in the history of Ukraine's place in Europe, and definitively marks the country's post-Soviet independence. It is also a new model treaty for the EU's relations with its closest neighbours.