The Balkans

Politics 07-05-2021

G7 Western Balkans statement: BiH territory will not be undermined

Following their meeting in London, the G7 leaders have issued a statement on the Western Balkans, stating that “unwarranted speculation about border changes along ethnic lines is no solution to the challenges faced by the region.” “Such changes would constitute...
Politics 07-05-2021

EU approves implementation of new methodology in pre-accession talks with Serbia, Montenegro

EU member states have approved the implementation of the new, revised methodology in the pre-accession negotiations with Serbia and Montenegro,  EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi announced on Thursday. “Very pleased that Member States gave green light to the application of our...
Politics 07-05-2021

Croatian president attacks public broadcaster HRT

Croatian President Zoran Milanović has stated that Croatia’s public broadcaster HRT “tricked” Zlata Đurđević, who is aspiring for the position of Supreme Court President, during a broadcast on Wednesday evening, by inviting an open critic of Đurđević to its show....
Politics 07-05-2021

Slovenia’s coal power plant may shut down earlier than expected

Slovenia aims to phase out coal by 2033 under current plans, but the country’s only remaining coal-fired power plant, in Šoštanj, may be forced by the soaring price of emission coupons to shut down even earlier. “The situation on the...
Politics 07-05-2021

Land baron tells MPs about Borissov’s fat birthdays, gold ingots

A mega-scandal erupted during a meeting of a Bulgaria’s temporary parliamentary audit committee on Wednesday (May 5th). One of the biggest land barons in Bulgaria, Svetoslav Ilchovski, made revelations about the mafia-type pressure exerted on him by people from the...
Politics 06-05-2021

1.5% of Montenegrin population vaccinated in one day

About 10,000 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 on the first day of mass inoculation in Montenegro on Tuesday, which is 1.5% of the population, the country’s health ministry said on Wednesday. On the second day of mass inoculation against coronavirus,...
Politics 06-05-2021

Turkey reassured Slovenia did not author Balkan border non-paper

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Wednesday that he was reassured, following his visit to Ljubljana, that Slovenia had not been the author of the phantom non-paper that suggested a change of borders in the Western Balkans along ethnic...
Politics 06-05-2021

Serbian President Vucic offers €25 to vaccinated citizens

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić announced on Wednesday that people over the age of 16 would receive RSD3,000 (€25) if they got the COVID-19 vaccine. This comes after the president announced the allocation this year of €60 for all adult citizens...
Politics 06-05-2021

Zagreb Court’s same-sex ruling paves way for adoption by LGBTIQ partners

The Zagreb Administrative Court has made a historic decision in the “Kožić and Šegota” case of a same-sex couple. The ruling paves the way for all lifelong partners to adopt, Daniel Martinović, who heads Croatia’s Rainbow Families association said on...
Politics 06-05-2021

Romania’s convergence programme approved at cabinet meeting

Romania’s Prime Minister Florin Cîțu announced that the Convergence Programme for 2021-2024 has been approved by the government at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday (5 May). According to media reports, however, the programme offers little that is new. It is...
Politics 06-05-2021

Bulgaria to hold snap elections on 11 July

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev will schedule early parliamentary elections for 11 July after parties voted into parliament following elections held just a month ago failed to form the required majority to govern. Radev also said he will appoint a caretaker...
Politics 05-05-2021

Várhelyi: Montenegro’s finances none of EU’s business

“It’s not up to the EU to consider Montenegro’s financial situation. We’re monitoring the reforms of prosecutorial laws and have already talked about it with Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić,” announced European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Olivér Várhelyi during a...
Politics 05-05-2021

High Representative: BiH politicians using pandemic for new divisions

Divisions in Bosnia and Herzegovina have become more pronounced during the pandemic because of attempts by local politicians to score political points in the present situation, High Representative for BiH Valentin Inzko told the UN Security Council on Tuesday. Submitting...
Politics 05-05-2021

Romanian PM highlights benefits of vaccination as demand fades

Faced with the prospect of a slowing vaccination campaign, Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu has raised the prospect of a potential easing of restrictions for people that have received their COVID-19 vaccinations. So far, Citu has been wary of proposing...
Politics 05-05-2021

Election of Supreme Court president in Croatia sparks debate

Croatian President Zoran Milanović said on Tuesday that law professor Zlata Đurđević was his candidate for the Supreme Court president and asked members of parliament to think carefully before they reject her because he would not give up. The governing...
Politics 05-05-2021

Hunting fences restrict access to 470,000 decares of land in Bulgaria

More than 470,000 decares of Bulgaria’s land and forests are restricted to the public by hunting fences, many of which are controlled by private companies, announced the Green Laws initiative on Tuesday following a large-scale study under the Access to...
Politics 04-05-2021

NGO: A ‘populism industry’ has been created in Serbia

Several factors have created a “populism industry” system in Serbia, where the media “are the means of promotion, propaganda and retaliation in the service of personal power,” according to Serbian non-profit the Bureau for Social Research (BIRODI). On the occasion...
Politics 04-05-2021

Survey: One in four young Croatians politically illiterate

A quarter of young people in Croatia are politically illiterate, professor Berto Šalaj of Zagreb’s Faculty of Political Sciences said on Monday while presenting the results of a recent survey, Hina news agency reported. The survey was conducted in March...
Politics 04-05-2021

Borissov warns that without the GERB party, Bulgaria will enter crisis mode

If the Bulgarian government is not formed by the GERB party the country will lurch from crisis to crisis, outgoing prime minister and GERB leader Boyko Borissov said on Monday.  Borissov is convinced that his political opponents in parliament cannot...
Politics 04-05-2021

Belarus to feature prominently on Slovenia’s presidency agenda

The democratisation of Belarus will be high on the agenda of the Slovenian EU Council Presidency in the second half of the year, said Foreign Minister Anže Logar after receiving Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on Monday. The minister noted...
Politics 03-05-2021

Albanian president urges recount and investigation of invalid votes

Albanian President Ilir Meta has demanded a recount of invalid votes in the 25 April elections in Albania, exit.al has reported. In a statement on Sunday, Meta noted that the percentage of invalid votes in the last elections was more...
Politics 03-05-2021

BiH signs agreement with Japan for border and migration management

During an official visit to Sarajevo on Saturday, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and his BiH counterpart Bisera Turković signed an agreement activating a previously approved grant of JPY 500 million (€3.8 million) to provide necessary equipment for the BiH...
Politics 03-05-2021

More than 600,000 Belgrade residents vaccinated against COVID-19

Belgrade has vaccinated 600,592 people, or 43% of the population, against COVID-19, Deputy Mayor Goran Vesić said on Friday. “We have the best results in the 65 to 74 population, 72.52% of whom have been vaccinated,” Vesić said, adding that...
Politics 03-05-2021

Bulgarian socialists give up attempt to form government

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) will return the mandate for the formation of a government, the party central announced on Saturday (1 May). This was the party’s third – and last – attempt to form a government following the 4...