North Macedonia finds 53 migrants crammed into a truck

Police in North Macedonia have found 53 migrants crammed into a truck in a southeastern border region and arrested the driver on suspicion of belonging to a trafficking gang, officials said Thursday.

A police statement said the vehicle was stopped during a routine check late Wednesday near the town of Valandovo, which is close to North Macedonia's borders with Greece and Bulgaria.

EU plans intensive talks on future enlargement procedure

The President of the European Council said on Friday the bloc will be holding intensive discussions in coming weeks on how future enlargement should be managed.

Charles Michel, who was in the Albanian capital, Tirana, to meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama, said all member countries "are unanimous on one point — that the Western Balkans' future should be toward Europe."

Balkan Cities Rock into 2020

Midnight fireworks over Skopje during a New Year's Eve celebrations in North Macedonia's capital on January 1, 2020. Photo: EPA-EFE/Georgi Licovski.

Fireworks shower the skies over the Macedonian capital, Skopje, at midnight during a New Year's Eve celebration on Janurary 1, 2020. Photo: EPA-EFE/Georgi Licovski.

Week in Review: The Infinite Balkan Jigsaw


The last few months have seen the ruling SNS in Serbia buffeted by several corruption scandals and other affairs. Perhaps the most benign of these has been that the Finance Minister, Sinisa Mali, has been found to have plagiarised his doctoral thesis, yet remained in his post. Intellectual theft does not, it seem, make one unfit to guard the country's finances.

Actress Detained in Drug Smuggling Bust in North Macedonia

One of the best-known TV and theatre actresses in North Macedonia, Silvija Stojanovska, was placed under house arrest on Thursday for alleged connections to a cocaine smuggling ring.

In news that shocked the public, Stojanovska was detained on Thursday evening. The Skopje criminal court later said it had placed her under 30 days of house arrest, on suspicion of illegal drug trading.

5000 People a Year Die Prematurely because of the Dirty Air in the Western Balkans

People living in the Western Balkans lose an average of 1.3 years of their lives because of dirty air. The total number of people who died prematurely is up to 5,000 people a year. This was stated by Majlinda Bregu, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), cited by BGNES.

The Balkan needs climate measures for which a Schengen visa is not needed

"These days Sarajevo is at the top of the list of the 10 most polluted capitals in the world. Sarajevo is no exception among the capitals in the Western Balkans on that list, followed by Belgrade and Skopje, which occupy the seventh and eighth position, respectively", Bregu said in the author's text.

Skopje’s Persistent Cyclists Challenge City’s Car Culture

This time, however, the group ride in Skopje took place under the slogan "Bicycle City in A Dumpster" - in protest against a controversial recent decision of the city authorities to replace the big dumpsters that were already hampering bicycle traffic on city boulevards with even bigger ones.