Police chiefs from Germany, Austria and Hungary have agreed to help Serbia crack down on waves of illegal migrants transiting its territory heading for the European Union. Meanwhile, Budapest said it will forge ahead with plans to erect a fence at its border with Serbia.
Germany is a main target country for Albanian asylum seekers. Now, the German embassy in Tirana is warning potential refugees in Albanian newspapers of traffickers and profiteers. Der Tagesspiegel reports.
HADE, Kosovo – In 1999, Serbian commandos wearing hoods over their heads and greasepaint on their faces entered this mountain village and executed five Muslim men ages 25 to 80. The soldiers forced the surviving inhabitants onto buses headed for Albania and Macedonia. Then they set nearly every home in Hade ablaze.
Meeting in Tirana, the leaders of six Western Balkan countries told the European Union yesterday (28 May) that they were becoming impatient with their long wait to join the bloc, and needed EU funds to keep up reforms.
Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn's visit to Serbia on 7 May was marked by the question as to why the accession negotiations process is stalled, with no chapters having opened more than a year after their official launch. As it emerged, Belgrade and Brussels have opposing views on the situation.
Macedonia said on Sunday (10 May) that its police had wiped out a group of ethnic Albanian "terrorists" in a day-long gun battle that left at least 22 people dead at a moment of deep political crisis in the former Yugoslav republic.
On Tuesday (28 April), German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier reassured Serbia that there would be no new conditions for the candidate country’s progress toward EU membership. EurActiv Serbia reports .
Serbia warned yesterday (16 April) it would arrest the foreign minister of its former province of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi for alleged terrorism if he turns up in Belgrade next week to attend a conference, which ironically is dedicated to the reconciliation following the Yugoslav wars.
Rumours circulated that Germany was issuing work permits, and this created confusion, Kosovo Foreign Minister Hashim Thaçi told EurActiv Germany, referring to the recent exodus of 30,000 Kosovars to EU countries.
Migration from the Western Balkans towards the EU is not new. But the size of the exodus from Kosovo surprised many in early February, when the media began reporting that a large number of Kosovar Albanians were trying to enter Hungary via Serbia. EurActiv Serbia reports.
Berlin said on Thursday (12 February) that it was sending 20 police officers to the border between Hungary and Serbia to help control a surge in the number of asylum seekers heading into the European Union, and ultimately to Germany.
After a ten month pause, Serbia and Kosovo resumed their dialogue on the normalisation of relations, in Brussels on 9 February, yielding the first result: the two sides initialised an agreement on the judiciary. This should solve the issue of the judiciary’s functioning in Serb-populated areas. EurActiv Serbia reports .
Internal Affairs Minister Thomas de Maizière moved to declare Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania safe countries of origin and accelerate deportations of refugees from those countries, sparking outrage among opposition parties and refugee organisations. EurActiv Germany reports .
EU integration means deep reform. This is why Serbia needs the understanding of its citizens, as well as of its partners in the Union, Jadranka Joksimović told EurActiv Serbia in an exclusive interview.
After Angela Merkel delivered a trenchant foreign policy speech in Sydney on 17 November, the German chancellor took part in a follow-up discussion. Her comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin were not only highly critical of his actions over recent months. Merkel also said she was not convinced that he would stop at Ukraine, writes Judy Dempsey.