Loading...
You are here:  Home  >  UNMIK Media Reports - Afternoon edition  >  Current Article

UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, October 6, 2021

By   /  06/10/2021  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, October 6, 2021

UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, October 6, 2021

Albanian Language Media:

• Joint EU-Western Balkans statement expected to be adopted in Slovenia (RFE)
• Kurti at Slovenia summit seeks visa liberalization and EU integration (RTK)
• Varhelyi: talks about visa liberalization for Kosovo (Telegrafi)
• Kurti and Vucic to meet in Slovenia, Merkel and Macron to participate in the meeting (media)
• Kosovo without state symbols at the Slovenia summit (RTK)
• RWLSEE demands mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia (RTK)
• Former Serbian minister calling Recak massacre a fabrication, escapes from Kosovo (media)
• CDHRF reacts after Stanisic’s sentence: partial justice for victims (media)
• COVID-19: One death, 41 new cases (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Borrell: The road to the EU requires of Serbia and Kosovo to set differences aside (Beta, Danas)
• Kurti confirmed that he would meet with Vucic in Slovenia (euronews.rs)
• Vucic: No excessive expectations, but I expect positive message from EU (Tanjug)
• EU-Western Balkans summit will not discuss enlargement (N1)
• Vucic: Slovenia wants Western Balkans in EU by 2030 (N1)
• EU Council head: European perspective & lots of money for W. Balkans (N1)
• Kosovo HLC: Verdict to Stanisic without reasoning (Radio KIM)
• Vlajic: Todosijevic did not receive summons to serve his sentence (KoSSev)
• Drecun: Pristina will try to use license plates issue to impose recognition (Politika)
• Selakovic thanked Syria for principled stance on Kosovo (Kosovo-online)

International:

• (LIVE) EU-Western Balkans Summit 2021 (EWB)
• Civil society sets 10 principles for dealing with disputed past (Prishtina Insight)
• Progress stalls on EU entry for Western Balkans nations (AP)
• Slovenia summit: Balkan leaders look to EU to open up club (BBC)
• Western Balkans Awaits EU Summit as Membership Hopes Falter (Balkan Insight)
• You are family, EU chief tells Balkans, leaders not so sure (Reuters)

Humanitarian/Development:

• “Open Balkans” companies at World Exhibition in Dubai (Kosovo-online)

    Print       Email

Albanian Language Media:

  • Joint EU-Western Balkans statement expected to be adopted in Slovenia (RFE)
  • Kurti at Slovenia summit seeks visa liberalization and EU integration (RTK)
  • Varhelyi:  talks about visa liberalization for Kosovo (Telegrafi)
  • Kurti and Vucic to meet in Slovenia, Merkel and Macron to participate in the meeting (media)
  • Kosovo without state symbols at the Slovenia summit (RTK)
  • RWLSEE demands mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia (RTK)
  • Former Serbian minister calling Recak massacre a fabrication, escapes from Kosovo (media)
  • CDHRF reacts after Stanisic’s sentence: partial justice for victims (media)
  • COVID-19: One death, 41 new cases (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Borrell: The road to the EU requires of Serbia and Kosovo to set differences aside (Beta, Danas)
  • Kurti confirmed that he would meet with Vucic in Slovenia (euronews.rs)
  • Vucic: No excessive expectations, but I expect positive message from EU (Tanjug)
  • EU-Western Balkans summit will not discuss enlargement (N1)
  • Vucic: Slovenia wants Western Balkans in EU by 2030 (N1)
  • EU Council head: European perspective & lots of money for W. Balkans (N1)
  • Kosovo HLC: Verdict to Stanisic without reasoning (Radio KIM)
  • Vlajic: Todosijevic did not receive summons to serve his sentence (KoSSev)
  • Drecun: Pristina will try to use license plates issue to impose recognition (Politika)
  • Selakovic thanked Syria for principled stance on Kosovo (Kosovo-online)

International:

  • (LIVE) EU-Western Balkans Summit 2021 (EWB)
  • Civil society sets 10 principles for dealing with disputed past (Prishtina Insight)
  • Progress stalls on EU entry for Western Balkans nations (AP)
  • Slovenia summit: Balkan leaders look to EU to open up club (BBC)
  • Western Balkans Awaits EU Summit as Membership Hopes Falter (Balkan Insight)
  • You are family, EU chief tells Balkans, leaders not so sure (Reuters)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • “Open Balkans” companies at World Exhibition in Dubai (Kosovo-online)

 

 

Albanian Language Media  

 

Joint EU-Western Balkans statement expected to be adopted in Slovenia (RFE Albanian)

In the statement, which is expected to be adopted today at the EU Summit with the Western Balkans, the European Union supports the European perspective of the Western Balkan states and “reaffirms its commitment to the enlargement process” of the European bloc.

According to the statement, which was seen by RFE, the enlargement process will be based on reforms “credible by the partners, fair and rigorous conditioning and based on the principles of individual merit”.

“We fully support the efforts of the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and other Western Balkan regional issues and expect concrete progress by the two parties on the full normalisation of relations between them, which is critical for the stability and development of the whole region and to ensure that they can continue on their respective European paths,” is written in the document.

Read the statement here: https://bit.ly/3uJl1TA

Kurti at Slovenian summit seeks visa liberalization and EU integration (RTK)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti is participating in the European Union summit with the countries of the Western Balkans that is being held in Slovenia.

Kurti said that he hopes that this summit will make the European Union stay at its core, which is its enlargement.

“It has been more than three years since the European Commission recommended visa liberalization for the second time. It has been a great injustice, a lack of justice towards our citizens who have suffered a lot.

We hope that this summit will make the EU stay true to its core, this is its enlargement, as the most important political and historical project of peace and prosperity since the Second World War. The EU must continue to enlarge to be Europe. The six countries of the Western Balkans are the ones that lack the European Union to become Europe. We are in Europe, but the European Union must become Europe,” said Kurti.

He said that there are five EU countries that have not yet recognized the Independence of Kosovo, and he hopes that soon they will do so.

“I hope that soon those five countries will join the countries that have recognised us. I advocate for the lack of fear of the EU and of the bitterness on the part of the Western Balkan countries,” Kurti said.

“We have not received any vaccine from Russia and China, because the European Union is our goal and Europe is our continent,” Kurti said.

He mentioned the recognition as the only right solution of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.

Varhelyi talks about visa liberalization for Kosovo (Telegrafi)

The European Union Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said at the summit in Slovenia that they are committed to the full integration and membership of the Western Balkans in the European Union.

Varhelyi also spoke about the visa liberalization process for Kosovo, saying that such a process will start.

“We must take the responsibilities and the decision that sends us to this, which means the launch of the first intergovernmental conference with Northern Macedonia and Albania, the opening of negotiations with Serbia, the acceleration of our work with Bosnia and Herzegovina to be a candidate country, and launching the visa liberalization process for Kosovo,” Varhelyi said.

He further said that the next key point of today’s summit will be the economic recovery after the COVID-19 crisis.

“Today we will reaffirm the continuation of our assistance to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as our assistance in the distribution of vaccines and additional assistance to all Western Balkan countries,” he said.

Kurti and Vucic to meet in Slovenia, Merkel and Macron to participate in the meeting (media)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti confirmed that he will meet with the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic in the framework of the summit of European Union leaders with the political leaders of the Western Balkan countries, which is being held today in Brdo.

Kurti told reporters that he would meet with Vucic during the break of the two summit sessions, and that the meeting would be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emanuel Macron.

“Serbia does not recognize Kosovo, Kosovo does not recognize Serbia, and we need an agreement,” Prime Minister Kurti told reporters.

Kurti mentioned the fact that it has been more than three years since the European Commission has recommended for the second time visa liberalization for the citizens of Kosovo, and this according to him has been a great injustice as it has not happened so far.

He further added that the European Union must “become Europe”, and this happens by joining the countries of the Western Balkans, including Kosovo.

Kurti was also asked about the five countries participating in this summit that do not recognize Kosovo, which he said he hopes will join those who have already recognized Kosovo.

“Here are five countries that do not recognize us as a state, and I hope they will join other states that recognize us, but still in relations with the EU, we are critical but without being afraid or sad,” Kurti said.

Kosovo without state symbols at the Slovenia summit (RTK)

The Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez is participating in the European Union Summit in Slovenia for the Western Balkans, in which Kosovo is also participating.

As reported by the Spanish media “El Nacional” – they are guaranteed that since Spain does not recognize Kosovo as a state, there will be no symbols that identify it as such.

The EU Summit, Western Balkans, is a recurring meeting held last year by videoconference due to the pandemic.

In 2018, the then President of Spain Mariano Rajoy did not attend due to Kosovo’s participation.

At that summit, the symbols of the state of Kosovo were avoided and this is what will happen again in Ljubljana after Spain’s requests for this, writes the newspaper based in Catalonia.

RWLSEE demands mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia (RTK)

The Regional Women’s Lobby (RWLSEE) led by the former Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo and former Chief Negotiator Edita Tahiri together with the participants of the peace project “No more wounds”, addressed a letter to the authorities of the EU-Western Balkans summit that is being held in Slovenia.

RWLSEE demands the membership of the six Balkan countries in the EU, mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia, the opening of negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia and the cessation of the hegemonic tendencies of the “Serbian world”.

“We want the peace-building and democratic state-building of all countries to be completed in a way that will enable a better future, providing hope for young people and preventing them from leaving the countries en masse in search of hope in third countries. We want our countries and the whole region to be governed by good governance and the rule of law, without autocracy and corruption, as the only path to prosperity for all. We want a Balkans of equals, where all countries, Montenegro, Kosovo, Croatia, Albania, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Northern Macedonia, live side by side in peace and mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it is emphasized in this letter.

It is further said that the days of regional hegemons are over. “We want our countries to be full members of the European Union as soon as possible without delay, because EU integration ensures a lasting peace in our post-conflict region and removes new security threats. We want the EU to take a clear strategic decision on enlargement in accordance with the principle of ‘Europe whole and free with the Western Balkans within it’, because otherwise our region will continue to be threatened by the geopolitical ambitions of non-Western actors.” is highlighted in the letter.

The Regional Women’s Lobby (RWLSEE) is a regional peacebuilding organization dedicated to empowering women in politics, decision-making and peaceful post-conflict mediation in the Western Balkans and as such is unique in the region and beyond.

Former Serbian minister calling Recak massacre a fabrication, escapes from Kosovo (media)

Ivan Todosijevic, Member of Parliament and former Minister of Local Government has fled Kosovo. The deadline for his appearance to start the execution of the sentence of 2 years imprisonment was today, October 6, at 12:00.

“Regarding the case, based on the 24-hour report of the Operations Center, which operates within the KCS, we inform you that the person in question so far has not appeared to serve his sentence in correctional institutions,” said Florent Gashi, spokesman of Kosovo Correctional Service.

Todosijevic was convicted of calling the Recak massacre a fabrication. In addition to the Basic, this August the Court of Appeals confirmed this 2 years sentence.

CDHRF reacts after Stanisic’s sentence: partial justice for victims (media)

The Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) through a press release said that the sentence of Goran Stanisic for the murder of 13 Albanian civilians is insufficient if other cases and those responsible for planning, preventing and carrying out these massacres, are not addressed.

According to the CDHRF, the massacre in the village of Sllovi, on 15 and 16 April 1999, in which 45 Albanian civilians were killed, 11 others were injured and all the villagers were forced out, setting 92 houses on fire, burying and exhuming as well as the disappearance of corpses, were among the most criminal acts committed by the Serbian armed forces in Kosovo.

“CDHRF hopes and is committed to ensuring justice for all victims, regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, race, political beliefs and social status, as well as criminal liability for all those who planned, ordered, did not prevent crime even though they were in the situation to do so, without making any distinction as in the case of justice for victims. The relatives of the victims and the public have expressed dissatisfaction with the sentencing, but the CDHRF made it clear that there is currently no legal basis for a higher sentence,” reads the CDHRF press release.

COVID-19: One death, 41 new cases (media)

One death from COVID-19 and 41 new cases with the virus have been confirmed in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 198 persons recovered from the virus during this time.

There are 1,737 active cases with COVID-19 in Kosovo.

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Borrell: The road to the EU requires of Serbia and Kosovo to set differences aside (Beta, Danas)

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said today at Brdo near Kranj that Serbia and Kosovo must continue the dialogue and “put aside differences”, reported Beta agency.

“The enlargement process requires that differences be set aside,” Borrell said after arriving at the EU-Western Balkans summit.

Borrell stated that the candidate countries for membership must implement reforms, and that the members and institutions of the EU must fulfill their obligations.

“The EU must maintain a credible continuation of the enlargement process,” Borrell said.

He added that countries wishing to become members must align with EU foreign policy in order to tackle common challenges, cited Danas daily.

Kurti confirmed that he would meet with Vucic in Slovenia (euronews.rs)

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti has confirmed that he will meet with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic as part of the summit of European Union leaders with the political leaders of the Western Balkan countries, being held today at Brdo near Kranj, reported Euronews Serbia.

Kurti told reporters that he would meet with Vucic during the break of the two sessions of the summit, and that the meeting would be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Serbia does not recognize Kosovo, Kosovo does not recognize Serbia, and we need an agreement,” said Kurti, emphasizing that “European funds do not go without European values”.

“Great injustice that there is no visa liberalization”

Ahead of the Summit, Kurti told reporters that three years have passed since the European Commission recommended visa liberalization with Kosovo.

“It is a great injustice and lack of fair treatment of citizens that this has not happened yet,” he said.

Kurti also said that the EU should continue its expansion in order to become Europe in a true sense.

Vucic: No excessive expectations, but I expect positive message from EU (Tanjug)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said late on Tuesday he had no excessive expectations from Wednesday’s EU-Western Balkans summit at Brdo near Kranju, Slovenia, but that he expected a positive message of support to the Western Balkans.

“We will see what the Europeans will decide,” Vucic told Serbian reporters in Kranj.

He announced he would raise with all European leaders the issue of support in the energy sector amid the energy crisis on the continent.

“That will be one of my requests tomorrow, and a plea to (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel and (French President Emmanuel) Macron – that they listen and try to help us, just like they will be helping EU states,” he said.

Vucic also said he would have a series of important bilateral meetings on the margins of the summit, including with Merkel and Macron.

“I believe both Macron and Merkel will have a message for both me and Albin Kurti,” he said.

See at: https://bit.ly/2YluXqr

EU-Western Balkans summit will not discuss enlargement (N1)

European Union and Western Balkan officials will discuss issues of mutual interest and regional cooperation but not enlargement according to the preparatory documents for the summit.

A background brief said that the agenda of the EU-Western Balkans summit does not include the enlargement process.

It said that leaders from EU member states and Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Kosovo* will have an opportunity to “reaffirm the European perspective of the Western Balkans, which is of mutual strategic interest and remains a shared strategic choice”.

The background brief said that the summit will focus on developing cooperation to foster the region’s socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Leaders will discuss the implementation of the Economic and Investment Plan and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, demonstrating the EU’s unparalleled support to the region to generate more sustainable, green, digital and people-focused growth. The summit will also aim to further deepen cooperation on political and security matters of mutual concerns and to discuss how to strengthen regional cooperation,” it said.

See at: https://bit.ly/3uL733s

Vucic: Slovenia wants Western Balkans in EU by 2030 (N1)

N1 reported that President Aleksandar Vucic said last night that the Slovenian authorities want all the countries of the Western Balkans to become European Union member states by the year 2030.

“I think European leaders aren’t prepared to accept that,” Vucic said after a meeting of the European Peoples’ Party (EPP) in Ljubljana prior to the European Union-Western Balkans summit. Vucic said that he has no illusions about quick EU membership but added that it’s important for Serbia to be on the European path with close cooperation with the EU since more than 60 percent of its exports are to the Union and because it belongs to Europe.

The Serbian President said the decision on Serbia’s membership is political, adding that the country is a leader in terms of the integration process. He said that the Serbian public is right to want to maintain ties with countries outside the EU as well.

He said that the Slovenian initiative won the support of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz. According to Vucic, a suggestion was made to put the initiative into the declaration from the summit, but three countries openly opposed it, reported N1.

EU Council head: European perspective & lots of money for W. Balkans (N1)

President of the European Council, Charles Michel said on Wednesday the EU-Western Balkans Summit that started in Slovenia would be a chance to confirm the European perspective for the region, N1 reports.

“That will also be an opportunity to clearly show that we’re ready to invest lots of money in the regional countries and to support economic reforms and anti-corruption fight”, Michel, who presides the Summit, told reporters.

He added the gathering would be a free and open exchange of opinions “to see what the next steps will be”.

Oliver Varhélyi, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, said the bloc’s leaders would confirm their commitment to the full integration of the Western Balkans.

“We have to undertake responsibility and bring decisions in that direction. That means the first intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia and Albania, opening new clusters with Serbia, accelerating work with BiH to become a candidate country and agreeing on visa liberalisation for Kosovo”, Varhélyi said.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/2WK1WnG

Kosovo HLC: Verdict to Stanisic without reasoning (Radio KIM)

Kosovo Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) reacting to the verdict of the Pristina Basic Court sentencing Goran Stanisic to 20 years in prison for the war crimes against civilian population said the trial chamber provided no reasoning at all regarding the announced verdict, Radio KIM reports.

The HLC said by not announcing the reasoning it remains unknown what evidence the trial chamber relied on while passing the verdict to the defendant.

“The lack of reasoning for the decision on the sentence runs contrary to Article 366, paragraph 2 of the Kosovo Criminal Code. This article prescribes that after the public reading of the dispositive of the verdict, the reasoning of the verdict must be published, i.e. the evidence on which the trial chamber relies. In this case, the trial chamber shall give an explanation in terms of aggravating or mitigating circumstances, which influenced the accused to be found guilty and sentenced to the maximum sentence of imprisonment”, HLC said in a statement.

HLC, which monitored the trial of Stanisic, said the trial was just and the rights of the sides in the proceedings were respected, despite difficulties to organize the trial caused by Covid-19 pandemic.

It also said that 15 court hearings were held and 22 witnesses interviewed. Some of the prosecution witnesses identified the presence of the defendant on a spot and the time of deportation and murders of the Albanian civilians.

However, the statements by some eye-witnesses given to UNMIK, and later to the Kosovo Special Prosecution were inconsistent in the terms of participation of accused Stanisic in the murders of the civilians.

HLC said it was reluctant to comment on the verdict and length of the sentence at this point, until it receives the written verdict along with the reasoning of the decision.

Vlajic: Todosijevic did not receive summons to serve his sentence (KoSSev)

Ivan Todosijevic, whose two-year-long prison sentence was confirmed by Pristina Court of Appeals, did not receive the summons to come to the detention center in Mitrovica to start serving his sentence, the lawyer of this Serbian List MP, Nebojsa Vlajic, confirmed for KoSSev on Tuesday.

“He (cf. Todosijevic) did not receive the summons, he learned about it through the media, in the same way they handed him the verdict through the media, ten days before we received it“, Nebojsa Vlajic told KoSSev.

Vlajic underscored that he cannot comment on the matter until the summons arrives.

“He did not receive the summons and we have nothing to talk about. Once he receives the summons, we will decide what we will do next“, Todosijevic’s lawyer added, noting that he does not know where the Kosovo media obtained the information that Todosijevic received his summons.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/2YqwAmo

Drecun: Pristina will try to use license plates issue to impose recognition (Politika)

Serbian Assembly Committee for Kosovo and Metohija Chairman Milovan Drecun said that after withdrawal of ROSU units from northern Kosovo, a final solution for the license plates has yet to be found, adding Pristina would try to use this issue to impose recognition of Kosovo to Belgrade, Politika daily reports. He also said Pristina will try to introduce the issue of so-called reciprocity in the political game.

Drecun pointed out the stickers’ regime would enable unhindered movement of people, but that a temporary solution with stickers was agreed in 2016 already.

“This shows precisely how this action of Pristina was completely unnecessary, how violent it was in fact, how provocative, how much it tried to unilaterally impose something that is only in the interest of Pristina, and not in the interest of the Serbian people living in Kosovo and Metohija”, Drecun said.

Drecun said Prime Minister Albin Kurti faced criticism from several opposition parties in Pristina regarding the latest events in the north.

“Kurti seems to have lost a lot of political points there. In the beginning, he was probably the winner, he showed a firm position, showed he dared to be engaged in such unilateral actions, that what he promised he fulfills, but he has no other card for the local elections. He has not achieved any results in the field of economy, he has not achieved results in the fight against extremely high levels of unemployment, corruption and crime. He did not open the perspective for a better life for people in Kosovo and Metohija”, Drecun said.

He added that the only thing left for Kurti was to “raise the level of intolerance towards the Serbian people and try to unite the Albanian electorate”, adding that he has “experienced a debacle” in this.

Selakovic thanked Syria for principled stance on Kosovo (Kosovo-online)

Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Nikola Selakovic spoke today with Charge de Affairs of Syria to Belgrade, Amar Avad and thanked him for the principled position of Syria not to recognize Kosovo, Kosovo-online portal reports.

He added he deems such a stance as confirmation of Syria’s commitment to the international law principles and principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He also said Serbia and Syria are bound with traditional and honest friendship from the times of the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and cooperation at Non-Aligned Movement, and it was necessary to continue to foster cooperation further and advance bilateral relations.  

 

 

International 

 

(LIVE) EU-Western Balkans Summit 2021 (EWB)

European Western Balkans is following the EU-Western Balkans Summit 2021 in Brdo pri Kranju live. All times are Central European Summer Time (CEST, UTC+2).

12:22 Commission releases doorstep remarks of Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi. “We have to take our responsibilities and our decisions that lead us to this. Meaning opening the first Intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia and Albania, meaning opening negotiating clusters with Serbia and start closing with Montenegro, meaning accelerating the work for Bosnia and Herzegovina to become a candidate country, meaning to deliver visa liberalisation to Kosovo”.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3DjxAIy

Civil society sets 10 principles for dealing with disputed past (Prishtina Insight)

A three-page document of 10 principles advises political actors, the media and public on how best to deal with victims, survivors, the painful past and historical narratives of the war in Kosovo.

“Principles for Dealing with the Past” is a civic initiative that aims to prevent harmful discourse and actions related to the legacy of the conflict in Kosovo, and serve as a reference document for finding ways to deal with the past.

Prejudice against survivors of the war in Kosovo, the honouring of war-crime indictees by some former heads of central institutions, the use of inappropriate discourse about war survivors and their lack of participation in the processes of dealing with the legacy of the war are some of the causes that have prompted the compilation of the principles.

This document has been compiled as a reference point for both central and local government, the media and citizens as advice on how best to deal with the past and the consequences of the war in Kosovo.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/3Ag10VK 

Progress stalls on EU entry for Western Balkans nations (AP)

As European Union leaders gather for a summit on how to keep engaging with their Western Balkans neighbors, the bloc’s once-successful enlargement policy faces an impasse.

The European Commission made repeated promises that the future of six countries in the region lies within the 27-nation bloc. But progress has stalled on admitting Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia amid divisions among member countries and some bilateral issues.

Nationalist populism has risen in Hungary and Poland, undermining unity. The entry of well over 1 million migrants in 2015 has exposed stark differences about how to manage them, sparking a major political crisis that has yet to be resolved.

EU expansion has also been routinely sidelined by crises like the Greek financial meltdown and Britain’s drawn-out exit, leaving the bloc very focused on its own survival rather than taking in new members. The planned departure of longtime German chancellor Angela Merkel and next year’s presidential election in France have deprived the EU of clear leadership, adding to the decision-making burden.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/3uLgmR8

Slovenia summit: Balkan leaders look to EU to open up club (BBC)

The European Union is like playing in the “Champions League”, claimed one official in Brussels recently. Not, they said pointedly, a more minor domestic competition.

The message being that it isn’t easy to win membership.

For years Western Balkans states have tried to climb the accession ladder into the EU.

But as their leaders arrive for a top-level EU summit in Slovenia, hopes may not be high for concrete progress.

Read more at: https://bbc.in/3mvZ5HJ

Western Balkans Awaits EU Summit as Membership Hopes Falter (Balkan Insight)

As Western Balkan and EU leaders meet in Slovenia to discuss the stalled European integration process, experts told BIRN how the frustrations caused by the stalemate could jeopardise essential reforms, exacerbate authoritarian tendencies and endanger regional security.

As EU leaders prepare to meet their Western Balkan counterparts on Wednesday in Slovenia, divisions and differing priorities within the bloc are expected to keep the membership hopes of Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia in limbo for the rest of the decade.

Western Balkan countries’ membership prospects are the official topic for the summit, but several member states have already torpedoed an attempt by Slovenia to set a time limit of “2030 at the latest” for all countries in the region to join the union.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/3DfQ10t

You are family, EU chief tells Balkans, leaders not so sure (Reuters)

The European Union’s chief executive sought on Wednesday to reassure the six Balkan membership hopefuls that they were family who would one day join the bloc after cooler comments from EU states fearing a backlash at home over migration.

After weeks of deliberation, EU leaders will agree a summit declaration restating an 18-year-old promise of future membership to Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania if they fulfil the criteria.

But with the “enlargement process” blocked by various disputes both in Brussels and in the region, many in the Balkans feel the EU declaration is an empty statement. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tried to dispel that.

“The message is that the Western Balkans belong to the European Union. We want them in the European Union. We are one European family,” von der Leyen told reporters as she arrived for the summit with Balkan leaders in Slovenia.

“We share the same history. We share the same values, and I’m deeply convinced we share the same destiny too,” she said, having just returned from a tour of the region last week.

The EU is by far the biggest foreign investor and trade partner of the six countries that emerged from the break-up of Yugoslavia and the ethnic wars of the 1990s.

Read more at: https://reut.rs/3oDE5Sm

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

“Open Balkans” companies at World Exhibition in Dubai (Kosovo-online)

In addition to the companies from Serbia, companies from North Macedonia and Albania, members of the “Open Balkans” initiative, would also be able to use the area of the Serbian business hub and present their products and services at the largest World Exhibition Expo 2020 in Dubai, Serbian Chamber of Commerce announced, Kosovo-online portal reports.

Chamber of Commerce President Marko Cadez called on all companies in North Macedonia and Albania to address the Chamber and use the opportunity to present their business over the upcoming six month in Dubai.

The Chamber also said Expo 2020 Dubai is the largest world exhibition and will last till the end of March 2022. It is expected that more than 1,000 companies from Serbia would present their products and services there. 

    Print       Email

You might also like...

UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, December 7, 2021

Read More →