Albanian Language Media:
- Osmani: Slovenia is a longstanding supporter of Kosovo people (media)
- Osmani and Konjufca congratulate U.S. on 4 July (media)
- Finnish Minister: We might see visa liberalization results in autumn (media)
- Ireland too supports visa liberalisation for Kosovo (Ekonomia Online)
- Trendafilova responds sharply to Konjufca’s criticism of the Specialist Chambers (Nacionale)
- Lushtaku hands himself over to police following warrant issuance (media)
- MCC Board approves $202 million grant to improve Kosovo’s energy sector (media)
Serbian Language Media:
- Vucic congratulated the USA on Independence Day (RTS)
- Dacic: Serbia’s position on war in Ukraine clear from day one (FoNet, N1)
- RFE: Belgrade forbids vacations for Kosovo Serbs (N1)
- Petkovic: Serbian licence plates in Kosovo and Metohija are not illegal but the non-compliance with the agreement (RTS, Twitter)
- LVV publishes a video boasting of how Kurti integrated the north after 20 years (KoSSev)
- Stojanovic: The government in Pristina radical; the government in Belgrade scares the Kosovo Serbs (KoSSev, Radio Gorazdevac)
- Female volleyball players from Bulgaria, North Macedonia and central Serbia banned from entering Kosovo (Radio KIM)
- Kajari with Bishop Teodosije on situation in Kosovo (Radio KIM)
- Vucic thanked Vatican for respecting territorial integrity of Serbia (Kosovo Online)
- Vulin with Greek Ambassador, thanked him for non-recognition of Kosovo (Kosovo Online)
- Hill: It is difficult to compare the Milosevic and Vucic’s regimes (KiM radio, Danas, N1)
- Tadic: West’s double standards for Serbia and Ukraine (Boston Herald, N1)
- “To save NATO, destroy it” (Politico)
- Week in Review: The End of an Era? (BIRN)
Albanian Language Media
Osmani: Slovenia is a longstanding supporter of Kosovo people (media)
President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani began a two-day official visit to Slovenia, on the invitation of President Borut Pahor.
At a joint press conference after the meeting, Osmani said Slovenia has been a longstanding supporter of the people of Kosovo. “Slovenia is an amazing example of what can be achieved through economic progress and Euro-Atlantic integration,” she said.
Osmani called on Slovenia to support Kosovo in joining international organisations. Osmani said she hoped visa liberalisation for Kosovo would happen during the current Czech EU presidency and that it would be “absolutely unacceptable” for the issue to be revisited again.
With regards to Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, she noted that the process is ongoing and that there could be a leaders’ meeting this month. She said there has been progress in the process with the most recent agreement on energy. “There are also positive developments on the agreement on enforced disappearances which is an important path towards peace and reconciliation.”
Pahor on his part said that the doors of the EU are open to countries who embrace the bloc’s values. “That goes for Kosovo too.” He said Slovenia expects EU partners to grant visa liberalisation to Kosovo underlining that it would be unfair to reopen discussions on the issue. On the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Pahor noted that Slovenia would like to see it be open and sincere, and yield results.
Osmani and Konjufca congratulate U.S. on 4 July (media)
The President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani wrote on her Twitter account that Kosovo stands with the U.S.
“Today, the people of Kosovo wholeheartedly join POTUS and all our American friends in celebrating 4th of July. We are proud of our joint achievements and of promoting and defending our shared values. Together, we will continue to go from strength to strength,” Osmani wrote.
Assembly Speaker Glauk Konjufca wrote that U.S. was the beacon of freedom for Kosovo and remains the greatest ally of our people. “The close friendship between the United States of America and Kosovo is built on mutual trust which has guided our strong ties for many years, in defense, security, economic progress and other strategic and interpersonal relations. This cooperation and partnership is growing and strengthening every day,” he wrote on “Facebook”.
Finnish Minister: We might see visa liberalization results in autumn (media)
Finland’s Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen said at a press conference, after meeting Deputy Prime Minister Besnik Bislimi that her country supports visa liberalization for Kosovo.
“We support visa liberalization. I said now is the time. All criteria are needed and once the criteria are met you should be eligible to get visa liberalization. Kosovo is the only country in Western Balkans that does not have visa liberalization and it is time to move forward. We have supported the negotiations that speak in favor of Kosovo in this direction. So, I can say that I am optimistic that we will move forward on this issue, and I believe that in the coming months, maybe this autumn, we will see positive results,” she said.
Ireland too supports visa liberalisation for Kosovo (Ekonomia Online)
Ireland’s Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, said today in Prishtina that his country will support Kosovo for visa liberalisation and membership in international organisations. “I believe it is good to work on matters that concern us and how to address challenges. The war in Ukraine has a major impact in Europe and the security in the continent. The government has done a good job … Ireland supports visa liberalisation. The Council of Europe is an important organisation for the rights of countries. The government is seeking membership and it is assuring the people that this government is serious in its approach for human rights and we will work to make sure there is an acceptable path,” Byrne told a press conference.
Trendafilova responds sharply to Konjufca’s criticism of the Specialist Chambers (Nacionale)
The President of the Specialist Chambers Ekaterina Trendafilova has responded to the criticism of the Speaker of the Assembly of Kosovo, Glauk Konjufca.
She said that Kosovo cannot create any control mechanism, as it violates the independence of the court.
“I have to express my point of view: no court can be under the supervision of the legislature or the executive. This does not happen anywhere in any country that supports the rule of law. Within our legislative framework, based on the Constitution, we have the supervision from Constitution’s Appeal,” Trendafilova said in an online meeting.
She assessed that Kosovo has established rule of law and as such, supervisions are not appropriate.
Lushtaku hands himself over to police following warrant issuance (media)
Nuredin Lushtaku, former MP from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and former deputy mayor of Skenderaj, has handed himself over to authorities after the Basic Prosecution in Mitrovica issued a warrant for his detention in connection to the assault on two Kosovo Police officers on Sunday.
Two Kosovo Police officers were injured in an incident which the media say began after a traffic violation ticket was issued to Nuredin Lushtaku’s family member. The attack on the police members was strongly condemned by Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla who called it unacceptable and the deputy leader of the PDK, Vlora Citaku, who said the attack on the police was shameful.
Lushtaku meanwhile has denied allegations that he used force against the Kosovo Police officers.
MCC Board approves $202 million grant to improve Kosovo’s energy sector (media)
The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting on Friday and voted unanimously to approve a $202 million compact with the Government of the Republic of Kosovo — a 5-year grant program that promotes sustainable, inclusive economic growth.
“Today’s Board decision represents the next phase in the United States’ partnership with the Government of Kosovo and the continuation of our joint efforts to build a better future for nearly 2 million Kosovars,” said MCC Chief Executive Officer Alice Albright. “The energy compact under development builds on MCC’s ongoing threshold program in Kosovo, maintaining a focus on an ambitious and forward leaning policy and institutional reform agenda, while investing in innovative energy infrastructure, including battery storage to increase efficiency and enhance energy security, facilitate a transition to and the integration of renewable energy into the country’s energy mix, and provide a pathway to employment for the youth and women in the energy sector.”
The Kosovo Compact includes an Energy Storage project and a Just and Equitable Transition Acceleration project. In addition, the compact seeks to promote additional private-sector investments in Kosovo’s energy sector through the American Catalyst Facility for Development project to be conducted in collaboration with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.
Serbian Language Media
Vucic congratulated the USA on Independence Day (RTS)
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, congratulated the Independence Day of the USA to the people and President Joseph Biden.
”Happy Independence Day to the people of the USA and President Biden, with best wishes for a joyful and prosperous holiday. No one, especially now, should forget the founding concept this date in your history still points to – that everyone has the inalienable right to freedom and equality,” wrote Serbian President Vucic on Twitter, reported RTS.
Independence Day is celebrated in memory of July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was published in Philadelphia, RTS recalled.
Dacic: Serbia’s position on war in Ukraine clear from day one (FoNet, N1)
Serbian Parliament Speaker Ivica Dacic said Serbia’s position on the war in Ukraine is clear and pure since day one, Fonet news agency reported.
Dacic said that official Belgrade is not giving up international law principles and on the honouring of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of internationally recognized states – both Ukraine and Serbia.
Speaking at a Euro-Atlantic Council of Serbia meeting, Dacic said Serbia has been fighting against Kosovo international recognition and against the violation of its own sovereignty for 14 years and that it will not change its position in this regard.
“We cannot go against ourselves”, Dacic told a media conference in the Serbian Parliament.
RFE: Belgrade forbids vacations for Kosovo Serbs (N1)
Kosovo Serbs working for Belgrade- run institutions told Radio Free Europe (RFE) they have been ordered not to take vacations, N1 reports.
RFE was told by a health care system employee who insisted on anonymity fearing for his job that he and his co-workers were told they can’t go on vacation for the foreseeable future because of the political situation following the Kosovo government’s decision ordering the re-registration of vehicles bearing the names of cities and towns in Kosovo.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic reacted to that decision with claims that Pristina was planning to launch an assault on the four Serb-majority municipalities in the north.
RFE also said employees in the education sector were also ordered not to take vacations. “The principal told us that there will be no vacations for the immediate future and that we are under obligation to come to work. Allegedly the Education Ministry issued the order… People are afraid and angry”, the man who insisted on anonymity said.
RFE said it asked but did not get a comment from the authorities in the north of Kosovo.
Petkovic: Serbian license plates in Kosovo and Metohija are not illegal but the non-compliance with the agreement (RTS, Twitter)
The Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Petar Petkovic, reacted on Twitter, and thus replied on Kosovo PM Albin Kurti’s call to Serbs to re-register their vehicles, saying that Serbian license plates in ”the province are not illegal, but that it is illegal to disrespect and trample on the agreement”, reported Radio Television of Serbia (RTS).
“Serbian plates in Kosovo and Metohija are not illegal, they exist based on the law of the state of Serbia and the Brussels agreement. The only thing illegal is disrespecting and trampling on the agreement, and not ‘KM’ plates,” wrote Petkovic on his Twitter account.
He said that “the provocation and the attempt to confiscate Serbian vehicles shall not pass”.
Earlier yesterday, Albin Kurti called on Serbs from Kosovo to re-register their vehicles by September 30, so that, as he said, they would switch to license plates “with RKS markings”.
Kurti said that the vehicles being registered “will not have to be subjected to customs duty”.
He added that during the first registration, a technical inspection of the vehicle will not be required, and, as he stated, the municipalities can decide to refuse the ten euros they ask for the tax, cited RTS.
LVV publishes a video boasting of how Kurti integrated the north after 20 years (KoSSev)
“In just a year and a half of Prime Minister Kurti’s government, the Serbian referendum was not held. Serbia’s elections, which have been held for 20 years without a hitch, were not allowed. Electricity that has not been charged for 20 years will be charged from now on. In places where the police only went by helicopter, three new police stations were built. Uncustomed goods were confiscated. Smuggling routes were closed. Cryptocurrency hubs were shut down. Drug manufacturing laboratories were closed. Law and order were established like in no other part of the Republic of Kosovo”– the two-minute promo video published by the Self-Determination party proclaims. The video presented the north and the Serbs and the former Kosovo government – PDK, AAK and LDK – in a negative context, while simultaneously praising Kurti.
Self-Determination published on Saturday night a video clip containing collected documentary material and narration, as well as an accompanying text with the key message that in the year and a half of being in power Self-Determination has done what the previous Kosovo government failed to do for 20 years – integrate the north.
In the two-minute video, they listed what they described as false promises and assessments of the former Kosovo government – the current opposition – related to putting the North under the control of the Kosovo government and, as they claim, law and order.
The north of Kosovo was presented as a hotbed of crime – such as smuggling, drug laboratories, cryptocurrency mining, barricades and walls, murders of Albanians, but also the work of Serb government institutions, the construction of the “Sun Valley” and the holding of Serbia’s elections and referendums. The video also makes note of the use of Serbian symbols in the north – such as the flag of Serbia on top of the Zvecan fortress.
Read more at: https://bit.ly/3yhEXPA
Stojanovic: The government in Pristina radical; the government in Belgrade scares the Kosovo Serbs (KoSSev, Radio Gorazdevac)
Director of the Center for the Development of Local Communities, Aleksandar Stojanovic told Radio Gorazdevac that the political and security situation was complex. Albin Kurti’s government populist, radical, non-reformist and not friendly to Serbs; the government from Belgrade was scaring the Serbs, said Stojanovic, KoSSev portal reported.
Stojanovic assessed in an interview for radio Gorazdevac that the current situation was tense, and according to him, there were several reasons for this.
“From the fact that we often receive very dark forecasts from the official authorities in Serbia regarding the Serbs and our future in Kosovo and Metohija, to the fact that we see every day how the authorities in Pristina, headed by Albin Kurti, carry out various radical police actions with excessive use forces, even to the point of banning sporting events that have nothing to do with politics. Yesterday they just banned a nice event for volleyball players from Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Serbia to come to Kosovo and participate in a sports tournament. Let us put it simply, it is the final straw. Something that is clean and beautiful, develops sportsmanship and the best qualities in people, the Government of Albin Kurti is politicizing in order to score cheap political points with the Albanian electorate. That is more important to them than presenting that Kosovo is a normal place to live where the rights of minorities and non-Albanian communities are respected,” says Stojanovic.
When it comes to minority rights, Stojanovic reminds that respect for minorities was one of the most important European values.
“Kosovo aspires to be a member of the European Union, and instead of showing itself as a place of tolerance and the development of good neighbourly relations, it forbids the EU member, Bulgaria’s volleyball club to come to Kosovo and play a sports match,” reminds the director of the Center for the Development of Local Communities from North Mitrovica.
When it comes to the work of the Government of Kosovo and Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Stojanovic said that he believed the time would tell if all was just an act or if “this Prime Minister, and the government were of all citizens”.
“Albin Kurti presents himself as the prime minister of the authorities in Pristina and the citizens of Kosovo, and whether he actually is, that is a big question, and we will get the answer to that in the future when a little more time passes, and we see how that government actually works. Time will tell if he is the prime minister of all citizens of Kosovo or is he just pretending to be the prime minister of all citizens. For now, he is only making some moves that look like, as a repression, a show of force on the field,” says Stojanovic in an interview with the Radio Gorazdevac portal, KoSSev cited.
He reminded that many binding decisions and laws, when it comes to the Serbian community, were not respected.
“The decision to return the land to the Visoki Decani monastery does not apply. Arrest and beating of Serbian returnees from Pec. The man’s nose was broken during the arrest. Yesterday, a video was recorded showing how he (Kurri) managed to integrate the north of Kosovo by force, and before him other governments in Pristina could not do that. This actually shows that he does not sincerely care about the Serbian community. That it is important for him to show the Albanian electorate, with the moves he is making, himself as a very strong leader. In fact, this shows that he does not sincerely care about the Serbs,” says Stojanovic.
In the interview, he also referred to economic investments, which, according to him, are very small in Serbian areas.
“I know for sure that the Government of Kosovo and international organizations are investing millions in the Albanian environment, which is good, and I welcome it, but where is the investment in the Serbian environment? That is a real question. Care international has invested over 10 million euros in Orahovac alone in the field of agriculture. Here, now they are investing in Junik, again I say great, but where are the serious programs for Serbs? Where are the serious investments? They do not exist anywhere. We need serious medium-term five-year programs that will increase employment and create real jobs in Serbian communities. We need investments in start-up companies, investments in agriculture and food processing in the areas where Serbs live, for now there are none,” says Aleksandar Stojanovic.
Stojanovic said that the government in Belgrade was scaring Kosovo Serbs with its statements, and he wondered what the purpose of such statements was.
“The government in Belgrade headed by Aleksandar Vucic must be careful of whether the statements serve the survival of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija or if he often scares them with exaggerated statements about some kind of Storm. In this way, fear is instilled in the bones of the Serbs in Kosovo, who will decide to intensively migrate to central Serbia due to such a political climate. Do those statements he makes serve his daily political and party interests, or do they have a statesmanlike character? If they have a statesmanlike character, then they must be serious and measured. Perhaps those statements have the character of covering up some agreements on integration into Kosovo’s institutions, such as the agreement on energy. If the security situation is really as dangerous as he describes it, then the entire Serbian list representing the Serbs should immediately leave the Kosovo institutions and the others in the judiciary and the police. I see that they continue to participate in the government of Kosovo as if nothing is happening,” concluded Aleksandar Stojanovic, director of the Center for the Development of Local Communities, in an interview with Radio Gorazdevac.
Female volleyball players from Bulgaria, North Macedonia and central Serbia banned from entering Kosovo (Radio KIM)
An eighth Vidovdan female volleyball tournament was organised in Donja Gusterica, near Gracanica while the teams from Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Lebane, a town in central Serbia, were banned from entering Kosovo, Radio KIM reports. Those include the teams Slavija from Sofia, Marica from Plovdiv, Jantovalej from Skopje and Radan from Lebane.
Because of the ban part of the tournament will be organised in Donja Gusterica while the second part of the tournament will be held in Lebane.
Representative of the Vidovdan volleyball team Vladain Trific said the politics once again interfered in the sport.
“We do not deal with politics, we only want to have the balls and play volleyball”, Trific said. He also thanked the president of Lebane municipality for admitting the teams not allowed to enter Kosovo and for organising the second part of the tournament.
Kajari with Bishop Teodosije on situation in Kosovo (Radio KIM)
KFOR has announced that its main commander, General Ferenc Kajari spoke in Gracanica with Raska-Prizren Eparchy Bishop Teodosije about the situation in Kosovo, Radio KIM reports.
KFOR said in a post that the two interlocutors discussed “the general situation in Kosovo and the ways on how respect, mutual tolerance and understanding can contribute to security”.
Vucic thanked Vatican for respecting territorial integrity of Serbia (Kosovo Online)
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic received today for a farewell visit Apostolic Nuncio Luciano Suriani and thanked him for his personal engagement in advancing relations between Serbia and the Holy See.
Vucic added relations between Serbia and the Holy See are based on a genuine mutual respect and expressed gratitude to the Vatican for respecting territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia, and principled stance not to recognize Kosovo.
Vulin with Greek Ambassador, thanked him for non-recognition of Kosovo (Kosovo Online)
Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin spoke today with Greek Ambassador to Serbia, Yorgos Diacofotakis and noted that Serbia is thankful to Greece over support to the territorial integrity of Serbia and non-recognition of Kosovo, Kosovo-online portal reports.
They also discussed current security issues and fostering cooperation.
The interlocutors in particular highlighted good cooperation between police forces of the two states, in particular when it comes to fighting organised and cybercrime as well illegal migrations.
Hill: It is difficult to compare the Milosevic and Vucic’s regimes (KiM radio, Danas, N1)
US Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill told Belgrade based daily Danas that he had regular meetings with the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, where they discuss topics that, he said, concern both of them. “I discussed with President Vucic the situation in Ukraine, that is, the Russian aggression against Ukraine. We also discussed the situation in the region and the US administration’s support for regional cooperation, such as the Open Balkans initiative. We do not agree on all issues, but we will certainly continue to talk. I think it is very important that we have the opportunity to confront views on many issues,” Hill points out, reported KiM radio, citing Danas.
He added that he recently returned from Washington, where he presented to President Biden’s administration what was happening in Serbia and the region and what the main topics were.
The ambassador spoke for Danas, among other things, about democracy in Serbia.
“I think that democracy is never just one state but has to do with existing trends. A lot of good things are happening in Serbia, so I do not want to categorize the state of democracy. I believe that it is up to the Serbian people to decide on their own elections, the government… What I can do is to cooperate with the Government of Serbia, the citizens, but also with the independent media,” he said.
He was active in this region during the nineties, so he was asked to compare Milosevic’s regime with Vucic’s, cited KiM radio.
“It is difficult to compare… It is clear that there was a post-communist era in Serbia, and I think that then it was not clear what markets meant, for example, nor a clear position and direction as to whether Serbia should be part of the West or the East. Today, there is a growing consensus that Serbia’s future lies in the West, to connect with the Euro-Atlantic systems, especially the European Union. I think we would all like to see more progress in that direction. I understand that not all citizens of Serbia are ready to accept that, but my position is that at some point Serbia must decide what is the best way to protect itself from foreign aggression, to protect itself in terms of security. Countries protect themselves in different ways, but I think the most successful way is through collective security. I do not think the citizens of Serbia are ready to talk about it now, but I hope they will at least think about this topic,” says Hill.
He said that he had not been in Serbia for 23 years and that it was disappointing that there was no more progress in the relations between Serbia and Kosovo.
“It’s good that the European Union has taken over to lead this process and it’s good that a dialogue is being led. However, it is clear to me that a lot of progress still needs to be made. I would like to see stronger cooperation, a common understanding of what it means to be a neighbour. We need to talk about the logic of things. In my opinion, it is logical for Serbia to be part of common security. I also think that it is logical to reduce the tensions between Serbia and Kosovo and to find a way for both countries to move forward, especially since they are neighbours. Honestly, I am discouraged by how slowly everything is going,” said the US ambassador.
He recently stated that he believes that the citizens of Serbia have decided that their future was in the West.
“Citizens of Serbia do not stand in front of two roads with signs – one for the East, the other for the West. The road to the East is closed for a long time and repairs will have to be done. But there is an open way for the West. That is the path that Serbia, despite all the difficulties, should follow. It is up to Serbian citizens to make a choice. I believe in that, and it is up to them to decide. If we look at history, we will see that many successful Serbs were part of Western civilization. I would like everything to go faster, for the chapters in the negotiations with the EU on membership to be opened more quickly. I think that the EU has done a lot for Europe and Serbia, primarily in infrastructure projects, but it seems that it is afraid that the Western Balkans would bring its own problems and burdens to the Union. Some in the EU see that there are bilateral problems between the countries here and do not want their problems to be transferred to the EU. There is also resistance to EU expansion, perhaps not so much in governments but in the public. I think that is why in the Western Balkans we need to work even more on regional integration. That is why I support “Open Balkans”. There has been an important rapprochement between Albania and Serbia, and we can talk not only about the good relations between Prime Minister Rama and President Vucic, but there has been an improvement in relations in all areas. It is an inspiration for everyone. I hope the Europeans see it too. It is easy for me to say that people need to have more patience. I am not asking for more patience, but when Serbia enters the EU, they will see why such a long process was needed and why it should be continued,” Ambassador Christopher Hill concluded.
Tadic: West’s double standards for Serbia and Ukraine (Boston Herald, N1)
Former President of Serbia Boris Tadic has assessed that the conflict over Ukraine is the sign of inconsistency at the heart of Western foreign policy, because when it comes to Ukraine the West’s position is that territorial integrity is “sacrosanct,” while for the other nations such as Serbia this rule does not apply.
In a piece for the American outlet ‘Boston Herald’, Tadic wrote that the dual standards were established officially back in 2010 when the International Court of Justice avoided to provide a non-binding advisory opinion on “whether Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence is in accordance with international law”.
Tadic recalled that he had been warning during his presidential terms that the precedent with Kosovo would ignite hotspots worldwide, and he particularly warned about Ukraine.
“Then, as now, Serbia’s territorial integrity and the views of its citizens — who remain resolutely attached to their nation’s heartland and identity — were, apparently, irrelevant”, Tadic wrote.
According to him, the President of Russia is to blame for invading Ukraine but, Tadic noted, he did not open the Pandora’s box of “relativizing respect for the territorial integrity”.
“Western contradictions have added weight to his claim of double-standards, and unfortunately it is heard with sympathy in many corners of the world even in the midst of the horrors of the Ukrainian war. Indeed, those contradictions puncture the West’s greatest advantage — its moral authority — at a very time when other great and rising powers are starting to match the West’s influence. And that makes another Ukraine somewhere else more likely”, he concluded.
“To save NATO, destroy it” (Politico)
The transatlantic alliance needs more than a rethink. It needs to be reborn.
MADRID — From the sounds of it, the transatlantic alliance has never been stronger.
At the close of what leaders across the West billed as a “historic” summit on Thursday, which included dinners in the Spanish capital’s sumptuous royal palace and the spectacular Prado museum, superlatives were flying fast and furious.
Calling the summit “transformative” and “far-reaching,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg predicted at the close of the three-day affair that the decisions made there would “ensure that our Alliance continues to preserve peace, prevent conflict, and protect our people and our values.”
Look beyond the staged backslapping, bonhomie and self-congratulation in Madrid, however, and one can see that while the alliance’s unity might be a mile wide, it’s also only an inch deep; its collective sense of purpose as varied as its 30 members.
Read more at: https://politi.co/3nClQLa
Week in Review: The End of an Era? (BIRN)
From Brussels to Bulgaria and along the way in between, the pro-European path in the Balkans seems to be under greater strain than ever.
Laid to Rest?
The EU enlargement process in the Western Balkans has been on ‘life support’ for the best part of a decade. Has the spectacular failure of the recent Western Balkans Summit, held on June 23 on the side-lines of the bigger European Council meeting, finally laid it to rest?
In his opinion piece for Balkan Insight, our senior editor Srecko Latal makes precisely this argument. He takes a look at how EU enlargement in the Western Balkans got to this sorry point and what its demise could mean for the region.
Read more at: https://bit.ly/3abFIBV