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Bulg. Stara Planina (stä`rä plä'nēnä`), major mountain range of the Balkan PeninsulaBalkan Peninsula,
southeasternmost peninsula of Europe, c.200,000 sq mi (518,000 sq km), bounded by the Black Sea, Sea of Marmara, Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Ionian Sea, and Adriatic Sea.
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 and Bulgaria, extending c.350 mi (560 km) from E Serbia through central Bulgaria to the Black Sea. It rises to 7,794 ft (2,376 m) at Botev, the highest peak. The Balkans are a continuation of the Carpathian Mts. The forested range is sparsely populated and rich in a variety of minerals.
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References in periodicals archive ?
EU Investigative Journalism Awards in the Western Balkans and Turkey aim to celebrate and promote the outstanding achievements of investigative journalists as well as improve the visibility of quality journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey.
The conference will be attended by heads of government and ministers from all six Western Balkans countries, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as representatives of EU Member States Croatia and Slovenia.
"This step reflects the commitment by the EU to promoting people-to-people contacts between the western Balkans and the Union," added the two commissioners.
The Agreement has allowed BiH to apply for relevant EU grants available under the Western Balkans Investment Framework.
Western Balkan countries plan to step up efforts to prevent unfounded applications for asylum and abuse of visa-free access to the European Union.
At the same time, Mr Rehn underlined that the Western Balkans countries also had to do their part - reaching readmission agreements with the EU (on taking back illegal immigrants), and ensuring sound border controls and visa issuance procedures of their own.
'Western Balkans belongs to the European value-chain, and must remain firmly on the path of democracy, freedom, individual rights and sustainable development.
All Western Balkan states should integrate in EU, according to Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said on January 27 that the EU should continue to both deepen and widen, adding: "We need to encourage the people of the Western Balkans to look forward to their European future, not back to the nationalism of the past.

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