Archive for September, 2012
Brussels expected to say that Serbia’s progress toward EU membership has been limited – and that it is postponing opening of accession talks at least until the end of next year.The October progress report is likely to say that with this year’s general elections and delays to the formation of a new government, Serbia has […]
Two Kosovo Serbs, who are suspected of having raped Kosovo Albanian women during the 1998-1999 war, have been placed under house arrest for a month.The EU rule of law mission to Kosovo, EULEX, police arrested the first suspect, Dj.B, on Thursday morning, at Babin Most, a village some 15 kilometres north of Pristina, and searched […]
An amendment to the law on intercepting telecommunications will expand government agencies’ powers to monitor communications to include Internet activity.The bill presented to Wednesday’s cabinet by Prime Minister Sali Berisha gives intelligence and law enforcement agencies broad powers to work with private companies to share information on Internet users.
Bosnia Presidency member Bakir Izetbegovic tells UN General Assembly that international inaction over Syria has increased the danger of Srebrenica-style carnage.Izetbegovic, Bosniak [Muslim] member of the country’s tripartite presidency, told the UN General Assembly that the international community “failed” to handle the crisis in eastern Bosnia in July 1995 – and was in danger of […]
Six years since the adoption of a Public Information Access Law, Macedonians still have trouble obtaining official information, the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia says.Macedonia’s information law is good in theory, but poor implementation means it is of little practical use, Open Society Macedonia said in its latest analysis. Its study shows that roughly 40 […]
About 3.5 million people – roughly half the population of Serbia – are now on the social networking site Facebook, a recent survey shows.Half of Serbia’s roughly 7 million people now have an account on the social networking site Facebook, recent data show. Facebook users in the country also represent 85 per cent of the […]
The IMF has approved a two-year stand-by arrangement of 405.3 million euro for the country – but it won’t get all the money at once.The IMF loan, approved on September 26, is designed to support Bosnia’s economic programme for the next two years, ease the effects of the “external environment and address domestic structural weaknesses”. […]
MPs who also own TV and radio stations have until the end of the month to choose between keeping their political careers or their media outlets.Boris Stojmenov, MP and head of the small VMRO-Macedonian party, which is part of Nikola Gruevski’s government, has until September 30 to decide whether to step down as a parliamentarian, […]
The Serbian war veteran association has canceled its “Shame Parade“, saying they do not want to be manipluated by the politicans.When Serbia’s LGBT community announced that it would hold its annual ‘Pride Parade’ on October 6, the Serbian war veterans said that they wanted to take advantage of the media attention and organize their own, […]
More than 700 EU backed cross-regional projects aimed at helping reconciliation and improving the economy have been conducted in Serbia and neighbouring countries.Serbia is currently cooperating with seven neighbouring countries – Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Croatia- on various issues including ecology, education and agriculture.
Montenegro can continue to count on NATO’s backing, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Foreign Minister Nebojsa Kaludjerovic in New York.Meeting on the sidelines of the 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York, Montenegrin Foreign Minister Kaludjerovic informed Rasmussen of Montenegro’s progress as part of the Membership Action Plan, MAP.
The government appears to have backed away from its earlier pledge to scrap a mass of costly government agencies, with only seven out of 130 earmarked for abolition.Serbia’s new government has backtracked on pledges to scrap costly state agencies that are widely seen as bodies for employing the friends and relatives of top officials. Only […]
In a blow to Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the Constitutional Court has ruled that parliament has no right to decide who should represent Romania at EU meetings.Romania’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled that parliament has no right to decide on whether the President of Prime Minister should represent Romania at European Council meetings. In June, […]
USAID and the Kosovo government have agreed a development deal for the agricultural sector, which has been struggling with high-interest loans.The United States and Kosovo on Thursday signed a groundbreaking agricultural development credit scheme worth over €20 million euro.
Police clashed with protesters hurling petrol bombs and bottles in central Athens Wednesday after an anti-government rally called as part of a general strike in Greece turned violent. Riot police used tear gas and pepper spray against several hundred demonstrators after the violence broke out near the country’s parliament. Protesters also set fire to trees […]
Minister says that medical tourism in Romania needs promoting as part of a drive to attract more visitors in general.As Romania seek to boost numbers of foreign visitors, the country’s medical services are being increasingly touted as an area deserving expansion on the grounds of quality and low prices. “Health tourism has great potential and […]
Kosovo and Serbia honoured an EU-brokered deal on Tuesday by taking part in a meeting together in Brussels on the environment.Serbia and Kosovo officials finally sat down at the same table on Tuesday in Brussels, as both sides honoured an agreement on Kosovo’s representation at regional summits. The two parties also signed the joint conclusions […]
Serbian President tells General Assembly he seeks top-level talks ‘in good faith’ with Kosovo, while reiterating Belgrade’s staunch opposition to Kosovo’s independence.President Tomislav Nikolic told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that while Serbia would never recognize the independence of Kosovo, Belgrade was “committed to achieving a lasting peace between Serbs and Albanians”.
Without debate, Bulgaria’s parliament has chosen the 11 members of the new Supreme Judicial Council.Five of the 11 members of the council come from the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, two are from the main opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, two are from an opposition ethnic Turkish party, the Movement for […]
An association of former Croatian prisoners of war has asked the Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic to allow them to visit the site of their former prison in Stajicevo, a village in the Vojvodina region.The Croatian ambassador to Belgrade passed on a letter from the NGO “Association of Jurists Vukovar 1991” to President Nikolic on Tuesday. […]
In an attempt to rectify the EU’s expected negative assessment of its progress, Serbia is hurrying to address outstanding issues concerning the judiciary, education and Kosovo.Serbia’s new government is busy adopting last-minute reforms, in an attempt to impress EU officials compiling a progress report before its final version is released. The progress report, due in […]
The EU’s assessment of Serbia’s judicial reforms will not be positive, said the Serbian Minister of Justice after his meeting with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement.After his meeting in Brussels on Monday, the Serbian Justice Minister, Nikola Selakovic, said that the EU supports Serbia’s judicial reform programme, but is unlikely to assess the reforms that […]
The Greek and Macedonian Foreign Ministers, Dimitris Avramopoulos and Nikola Poposki, met in New York on Monday – but no substantive talks on the “name” dispute took place at the introductory meeting.The two ministers met for an unofficial conversation at Macedonia’s request at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to reiterate their country’s stands.After […]
Kosovo’s leader says he wants the European Union to formalize its relationship with the country by opening negotiations on a Stabilization and Association Agreement – the first step towards eventual membership. Prime Minister Hashim Thaci made the call at a meeting with the EU’s High Representative, Catherine Ashton, in New York on Monday, when he […]
Ruling party leader’s announcement that a mainly Albanian area of the capital may become a municipality meets sceptical response, coming in the run-up to the October general election.Ethnic Albanian leaders in Montenegro responded cautiously to a pledge by the ruling party’s leader to re-establish a mainly Albanian municipality in the country. Milo Djukanovic, chairman of […]
Belgrade has told Brussels that it is ready to implement an agreed deal with Kosovo on joint control of the border.Dejan Pavicevic, head of Belgrade’s negotiating team in the EU-led dialogue with Kosovo, on Monday said Serbia had told the European Commission that it accepted the agreement on Integrated Border Management, IBM.
Deputy Prime Minister Suzana Grubjesic said the partition of Kosovo was no longer worth considering as an option, as the international community clearly opposed the idea.Suzana Grubjesic, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU integration, said that the partition of Kosovo might well be the most rational solution to the issue of the territory, […]
The UN secretary general has told Kosovo leaders to preserve the country’s stability and solve all problems through dialogue.At a meeting held in New York, Ban Ki-moon has told Kosovo’s President Atifete Jahjaga and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci that the European Union’s role in the Balkans region is essential, and its guidance should be followed.
Kosovo’s high school pupils are taught incorrect facts about what really happened during the 1999 war, says the Humanitarian Law Centre study.The study by the Humanitarian Law Centre – Kosovo, was conducted at a number of secondary schools across Kosovo and is based on one-to-one and group interviews with children aged between 15-17 years-old about […]
The President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, has signed an agreement with the Russian company Gazprom to build a part of the South Stream pipeline network and two gas power plants in the entity.Dodik and other representatives of Republika Srpska, the Serb lead entity in Bosnia, signed the memorandum of cooperation with the Russian gas […]
Husein Kavazovic has been chosen as the new Reis-ul-ulema of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina .The Mufti of the northeast Bosnian town of Tuzla, Husein Effendi Kavazovic, has been chosen as the new Chief Mufti of the country’s Islamic Community amongst two other candidates at a session of the main body of the […]
Two PDK parliamentarians, Azem Syla and Fatmir Xhelili, have been summoned to testify in “Bllaca 2″, the second trial of the self-styled intelligence service assassin, Nazim Bllaca.A Kosovo court has summoned Azem Syla, a former supreme commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, and Faitmir Xhelili, former head of the crime directorate of the defunct […]
Media watchdogs welcome government’s decision to set up international commission to investigate unsolved murders of reporters in Serbia.Serbia’s new goverment has decided to set up an “International Commission” to investigate the unsolved murders of journalists in the country. The Commission will primarily investigate the killings of three prominent journalists, Dada Vujasinovic, Slavko Curuvija and Milan […]
Socialists accuse government of Sali Berisha of funneling millions of euro in advertising money to friendly media, close to the ruling centre-right Democratic Party.Albanian Socialist MP Eduard Shalsi has revealed data showing that in the past five years several government ministries have paid for expensive TV advertising campaigns, with the lion’s share of the contracts […]
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble ruled out more financial help for Greece, saying the last bailout stretched international creditors to their limits. Schaeuble, 70, speaking to reporters in Berlin today, said that he’s “convinced that we went to the limit of what’s economically justifiable with the second Greek program.” It was “very difficult” to put […]