The Balkans

Politics 15-01-2021

Serbian coalition not set on abandoning Kosovo

The “betrayal” of Kosovo “is the furthest thing from the mind” of the ruling coalition in Serbia, parliament speaker Ivica Dačić said on Thursday, adding that the option of recognising the territory’s independence in a dialogue with Priština was not...
Politics 15-01-2021

Nuclear energy ‘indispensable’ for Slovenia’s self-sufficiency

“In Slovenia, nuclear technology is indispensable for a modern, strategically-oriented energy self-sufficiency of the country and for strengthening its economic and social development,” said Danijel Levičar, chief operating officer of the GEN Energija consortium, which operates the Slovenian half of...
Politics 15-01-2021

France ‘understands’ Croatia’s wish to join Schengen

Paris understands Croatia’s wish to be admitted to the Schengen area, France’s Foreign and Europe Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said during his visit to Zagreb. Zagreb is thankful for France’s permanent support of Croatia’s efforts to join the Organisation for...
Politics 15-01-2021

Bulgaria’s parliamentary elections to be held in April

Parliamentary elections in Bulgaria will take place on 4 April, announced President Rumen Radev, adding that every Bulgarian’s health and right to vote must be guaranteed and that citizens should be convinced that their votes will be counted correctly.  Radev...
Politics 14-01-2021

Bihać mayor opposed to migrants being placed in centre financed by EU

The German and Austrian ambassadors to BiH, Margret Uebber and Ulrike Hartmann, together with EU Delegation head in BiH, Johann Sattler, paid a visit to the Lipa migrant camp, near northwest city Bihać. “First important goal achieved – 750 migrants/refugees...
Politics 14-01-2021

HRW: Limited progress in human rights protection in Serbia

Serbia made limited progress in 2020 when it comes to protecting human rights, according to Human Rights Watch’s annual report about the state of human rights in the world published on Wednesday. On Serbia, the international NGO declared that, during...
Politics 14-01-2021

‘Slim chance’ for no-confidence

The planned no-confidence motion against the government has a slim chance but still might succeed, and would then result in early elections, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša said on Wednesday. Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL) is planning to propose voting on...
Politics 14-01-2021

Vaccination with Moderna vaccine begins in earthquake-destroyed Petrinja

Epidemiologists used the Moderna vaccine to start jabbing residents of Petrinja, the town that received the first shipment of 3,600 Modern doses because the devastating earthquake that hit the country on 29 December increased the risk of the virus spreading....
Politics 14-01-2021

Romanian government mulls pension increase during pandemic

While Romania still has no budget for 2021, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that the Parliament needs to clarify a law requiring a 40% increase of pensions. The government wants a much lower increase, in the current economic...
Politics 14-01-2021

Bulgaria will not allow mail-in voting despite pandemic

The ruling coalition in Bulgaria does not intend to allow mail-in voting in the coming parliamentary elections – something they referred to as “an exotic idea”. This became clear when President Rumen Radev met the ruling GERB party as a...
Politics 13-01-2021

Migrants have no place in Republika Srpska, says Dodik

BiH Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik has dismissed the possibility of providing accommodation for migrants in the territory of the Bosnian Serb entity (Republika Srpska) to facilitate efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis related to illegal migrants in the country. “I...
Politics 13-01-2021

Serbian president discusses Western Balkans transportation network with EU

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Matej Zakonjšek, the director of the Permanent Secretariat of the Transport Community, met in Belgrade on Tuesday to discuss the development of a regional transportation network and transport networking of the Western Balkans with the...
Politics 13-01-2021

Slovenia’s interior ministry makes public the salaries of striking policemen

The interior ministry has released a document featuring the payslips for nearly 9,000 members of the police force and ministry employees, in a full disclosure which – despite being public information according to the law governing freedom of information –...
Politics 13-01-2021

Opposition leaders joined forces with the media to undermine HDZ, says Commissioner Šuica

“Nothing that occurred at the meeting [ed. the leadership meeting of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)] should concern you and it won’t endanger democracy,” Speaker Gordan Jandroković said when asked whether it was worrying that European Commission Vice President...
Politics 13-01-2021

Romania delays joining the eurozone once again

Romania’s government will again delay the calendar for eurozone entry, citing the need to re-balance its macroeconomic indicators because of the COVID-19 pandemic context. Romania does not currently meet the criteria for joining the eurozone and the measures taken to...
Politics 13-01-2021

Bulgaria prepares a national plan for adopting the euro

Bulgaria’s national plan for adopting the euro will contain details about the actions to be taken by the Bulgarian authorities and business for the successful adoption of the European currency. “We expect that our country will join the eurozone in...
Politics 12-01-2021

Strasbourg cour urges Albania to not deport Selami Simsek to Turkey

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg sent an official request to Albania not to deport the Turkish citizen Selami Simsek to Turkey as long as his trial was not finalised, the Tirana Times reported. Selami Simsek and Harun...
Politics 12-01-2021

Most migrants accommodated in tents, Dodik muted

EU High Representative Josep Borrell held a call with Milorad Dodik, chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 11 January to discuss the dire humanitarian conditions of hundreds of migrants in the country, according to a statement published...
Politics 12-01-2021

Serbian citizens can apply for COVID-19 vaccinations online

Serbian citizens were able to apply for COVID-19 vaccinations by filling in a form as of Monday via the e-government portal. For Serbian citizens, it is possible to choose between COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices...
Politics 12-01-2021

Slovenian parliament adopts ‘options’ for when Italy and Croatia proclaim EEZ

Slovenia’s options in the event that Italy and Croatia to proclaim an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Adriatic Sea were presented by Foreign Minister Anže Logar to the parliament’s foreign policy committee and unanimously endorsed behind closed doors. “I...
Politics 12-01-2021

Vaccination campaign in Romania enters phase two

Romania will start the second phase of its vaccination campaign on Friday with the aim to immunise people above 65, those suffering from chronic diseases, and essential workers. Among those doing essential work are people working in the military, public...
Politics 12-01-2021

Bulgaria is trying to change tactics with Skopje

Sofia has proposed an action plan for cooperation with North Macedonia in the implementation of the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighbourliness and Cooperation, Bulgaria’s foreign ministry announced after Deputy Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva met in Sofia with North Macedonia’s special...
Politics 11-01-2021

German MP congratulates illegal Republika Srpska day

Conservative German MP Stefan Kaufmann (CDU) congratulated the controversial Day of Republika Srpska (RS), which Bosnian Serbs celebrate on 9 January as the day the Bosnian Serb republic was declared in 1992, though BiH’s Constitutional Court has since declared it...
Politics 11-01-2021

Snap elections in Kosovo set for 14 February

Kosovo will hold snap parliamentary elections on 14 February after the Constitutional Court ruled last month that the parliamentary confirmation of its government in June 2019 was illegal, announced acting Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani. The government, led by the Democratic...
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