The Balkans

Politics 21-09-2021

Vučić urges EU to confirm whether Brussels Agreement with Pristina still stands

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić called on the EU late on Monday to confirm whether the Brussels Agreement on the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina still stood. He said the seizing of status-neutral “KS” license plates off vehicles in...
Politics 21-09-2021

Romania running out of ICU beds

With the number of coronavirus cases rising over the past weeks, Romanian hospitals are running out of beds in intensive care units (ICUs) for COVID-19 patients. In Romania, 952 COVID-19 patients were in ICU on Monday, the Strategic Communications Group...
Politics 21-09-2021

US increases pressure on Sofia over Skopje’s EU integration

Washington is putting more pressure on Bulgaria, urging it to drop its veto on North Macedonia’s EU integration and quickly approve Skopje’s EU membership negotiating framework. “It is wrong for Bulgaria to use a bilateral dispute to stop North Macedonia’s...
Politics 20-09-2021

US, Kosovo in conflict regarding the gas pipeline

Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli has said the government needs additional time to decide on building the infrastructure for the distribution of US natural gas. The project has been arranged with Millenium Challenge Corporation, “an innovative and independent US foreign assistance agency...
Politics 20-09-2021

High Representative Schmidt: BiH won’t become centralised

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), made up of two autonomous entities,  will not become centralised on its EU journey, said Christian Schmidt, currently serving as the High Representative to BiH. “That concern among citizens is not justified and that will not...
Politics 20-09-2021

Pride parade, anti-globalist rally run parallel in Belgrade

As the Belgrade Pride march was taking place on Saturday, several hundred people assembled at an anti-globalist rally in downtown Belgrade, marching through the streets and chanting insults against Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić in front...
Politics 20-09-2021

Slovenia now member of EU Med

Slovenia officially became a member of the club of Mediterranean EU countries henceforth known as EU Med, which has grown from seven to nine members with the inclusion of Slovenia and Croatia at a summit in Athens. Prime Minister Janez...
Politics 20-09-2021

Croatian Ombudswoman: continuous education solution to violence against women

The key to solving the problem of violence against women lies primarily in the continuous education of those applying laws and regulations, gender equality ombudswoman Višnja Ljubičić has said ahead of the National Day of Combating Violence Against Women on...
Politics 20-09-2021

Journalists beaten during illegal logging investigation in Romania

Two journalists and an environmental activist were attacked last week while filming a documentary about illegal deforestation in Romania, Greenpeace has said. They were severely beaten by around 20 attackers, some of whom were later arrested. The equipment and the...
Politics 20-09-2021

Bulgaria launches lottery to stimulate COVID-19 vaccination rates

Bulgaria plans to organise a lottery with prizes for those who have been vaccinated, caretaker Tourism Minister Selta Baltova announced in an interview with Nova TV, when asked if her ministry would consider implementing tourist vouchers for vaccinations as the...
Politics 17-09-2021

Đukanović: Russia tells us EU-NATO is not a good geopolitical choice

The geopolitical vacuum in the Balkans is being exploited by countries like Russia, Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović said during a visit to Zagreb. His Croatian counterpart, Zoran Milanović, said Montenegro is the victim of a lack of interest on the...
Politics 17-09-2021

Slovenian PM urges member states to back Lithuania in spat with China

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša called on fellow EU leaders to back Lithuania in its dispute with China when they meet in Slovenia in early October, saying the country faced “unprecedented and regrettable challenges vis-à-vis China.” China has condemned the...
Politics 17-09-2021

Croatia to enjoy USA Visa Waiver program by end of year

Croatian citizens will be able to travel to the US without a visa as early as the end of this year. Serena Hoy, assistant secretary for international affairs at the US Department of Homeland Security, told Hina news agency that Secretary...
Politics 17-09-2021

President Iohannis wants Romgaz to extract Black Sea gas

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has backed the partnership between OMV Petrom and Romania’s state-owned natural gas producer Romgaz in the offshore project Neptun Deep. The Black Sea deepwater perimeter, which is currently equally owned by OMV Petrom and US giant...
Politics 17-09-2021

Don’t be Europe’s idiots, warns Bulgaria’s chief health inspector

“If we continue to behave like the idiots of Europe, we will deal a terrible blow to our economy and tourism,” said Chief Health Inspector Angel Kunchev, who proposes restrictive measures against COVID-19 in the country. The decision to impose...
Politics 16-09-2021

Bosnian foreign ministry advises citizens against travelling to Serbia

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement advising its citizens not to travel to Serbia citing the alleged risk of arrest on charges of war crimes. “We recommend that all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who...
Politics 16-09-2021

Former Serbian President: Merkel knows Vučić undermines democracy

The former president of Serbia, Boris Tadić, said on Wednesday that all Serbian citizens not under the influence of the state propaganda and private media controlled by the Serbian Progressive Party, knew that President Aleksandar Vučić and his regime are...
Politics 16-09-2021

Croatian president agrees with Hungarian and Polish stand that EU can’t be supra-state

The European Union consists of national states and the EU cannot be a federation or a supra-state, Croatian President Zoran Milanović told the press in Rome. “There is no European federation or supra-state. It is a fantasy nurtured by some....
Politics 16-09-2021

Romania discusses energy price caps

The Romanian government will discuss a way to cap natural gas prices after a significant increase this year, Prime Minister Florin Citu said on Wednesday. In August, Citu said that introducing a cap on energy prices was off the table....
Politics 16-09-2021

Commission demands from Bulgaria ‘exact date’ to end coal

The European Commission wants a clear plan from Bulgaria to close its coal-fired power plants and ensure that European funding for the regions does not go only to the capital, Sofia. These are the two conditions set by Brussels for...
Politics 15-09-2021

Slovenia introduces COVID pass mandate

Virtually all services establishments and workplaces in Slovenia will require a COVID pass as of Wednesday, in a sweeping tightening of restrictions designed to stem a rapidly deteriorating fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. All workers and...
Politics 15-09-2021

Vučić calls on all Serbs in all Serbian countries, including Croatia, to hang a flag

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has called on Serbs to hang out the Serbian flag on Wednesday, because that date was defined as a Day of Serbian Unity, Freedom and National Flag. The call was made primarily to Serbs in Serbia...
Politics 15-09-2021

COVID figures rise

The number of coronavirus infections rose Wednesday by the highest daily figure in more than five months, government data showed. Almost 4,000 new infections were reported and the hospitals are again getting a high number of COVID patients, including in...
Politics 15-09-2021

Political conflict over COVID jabs in Bulgaria takes an ugly turn

The chairman of the parliamentary group of the leading “There is such a people” (ITN) party, Toshko Yordanov, called MEP Radan Kanev (Democratic Bulgaria, EPP) “garbage”. The latter had asked for the EU’s help with efforts to increase the number of vaccinated...