EBRD expects 30% GDP contraction in Ukraine in 2022, lowers emerging Europe projections

Clare Nuttall in Marrakesh May 10, 2022

The EBRD has cut its 2022 emerging Europe growth forecasts again, reflecting a sharp downgrade for Ukraine and the regional fallout from the war and sanctions.

Public debt starts to decline in the Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews May 8, 2022

Across the region, the average publicly guaranteed debt to GDP ratio fell from 60.8% of GDP in 2020 to 56.5% in 2021, a World Bank report shows.

Western Balkan countries face new economic challenges with growth set to slow to 3.1% this year

bne IntelliNews May 6, 2022

The war in Ukraine sends shockwaves across the region and the World Bank warns of "daunting" downside risks to the current outlook.

Where the 11 Southeast European states stand on the Ukraine war

bne IntelliNews May 5, 2022

Southeast Europe is split over the issues of sanctions on Russia and military aid to Ukraine, with some states firmly in the western camp, some staying neutral and others internally torn.

Albanians campaign on social media to keep bus bridge created in freak accident

bne IntelliNews May 3, 2022

Tirana residents have been arguing on social media to keep a bus that crashed off the road over a river in the Albanian capital, coming to rest as an impromptu bridge.

Emerging Europe growth to fall to an average of 3% this year, says wiiw

bne IntelliNews April 28, 2022

Russian GDP forecast to fall by 9-15% this year, while Ukraine's economy could collapse by 38-45%.

Albania’s former president pushes rival politician off parliament podium

bne IntelliNews April 22, 2022

Sali Berisha has been trying for months to regain control of the Democratic Party, the main opposition force in Albania, which is currently headed by interim leader Enkelejd Alibeaj.

Albania experienced steepest population decline in two decades in 2021

bne IntelliNews April 18, 2022

Deaths outnumbered births in 2021, while emigration revived as international travel restrictions were lifted.

Serbia’s new Chinese anti-aircraft system fuels fears of Balkan arms race

bne IntelliNews April 14, 2022

Weaponry arrived at a time of concern over the stability of the Western Balkans following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

US sanctions high-profile Western Balkan politicians

bne IntelliNews April 11, 2022

North Macedonia's former PM Nikola Gruevski among seven current and former officials blacklisted over activities that "threaten the stability of the region".

Albanian inflation shoots up to 5.7% in March as Ukraine war pushes prices up

bne IntelliNews April 10, 2022

The war caused a sudden acceleration in inflation, especially for prices of energy and fuel, both of which Albania imports.

EBRD slashes 2022 growth forecasts but only nations embroiled in war to enter recession

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 31, 2022

Ukraine's economy forecast to contract by 20% and projections worsen across emerging Europe — except for Eurasian oil and gas producers Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

Bulgarian PM offers hope of a breakthrough for North Macedonia’s stalled EU accession

bne IntelliNews March 28, 2022

Kiril Petkov says North Macedonia “has a place in the European family”, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warns further enlargement delays lay Western Balkans open to influence from third parties.

Albania to hold monthly car-free days as fuel crisis bites

bne IntelliNews March 26, 2022

The move was motivated by both environmental concerns and – more urgently – the need to reduce fuel consumption at a time when prices have risen sharply, sparking a series of protests.

COMMENT: Roma civil society can learn from both mistakes and local successes to make inclusion work

Andrew Ryder, Nidhi Trehan, Marius Taba March 22, 2022

There is deep disappointment over the rate of progress of various Roma inclusion policies of the European Union during the last few decades.

Diplomats say Albania needs a strong opposition as Democratic Party leader steps down

bne IntelliNews March 21, 2022

Albania’s main opposition leader Lulzim Basha has been under pressure to quit over the Democrats’ poor performance in recent elections.

Balkan flashpoints after Russia's invasion of Ukraine

bne IntelliNews March 20, 2022

Since the invasion of Ukraine, there have been warnings of Russian efforts to destabilise the Western Balkans.

BALKAN BLOG: The world has changed, it’s time for EU enlargement to change too

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 16, 2022

Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and most of the Western Balkans states have made a clear choice in favour of Western integration.

Borrell says EU committed to launching accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje March 14, 2022

EU high commissioner says Russian invasion of Ukraine should be a turning point to reinvigorate the EU enlargement process.

Grain-hungry nations look to second-tier emerging Europe producers

bne IntelliNews March 11, 2022

​The war between two of the world’s top grain exporters, Russia and Ukraine, has sent prices to record levels and forced importers to urgently seek out alternative sources.