WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • France and the Netherlands remain the two biggest hurdles for Albania and N. Macedonia to begin accession talks. 
  • But Prime Minister of N. Macedonia Zoran Zaev expects a positive vote for accession talks to begin later this week. He noted that he didn’t think France was against opening accession talks, but rather wanted to find a new methodology for enlargement.
  • Zaev will have the support of the Czech, Polish, Slovak, and Hungarian foreign ministers for opening EU accession talks. 
  • Also in his corner is Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec who wrote a letter to the European Council president and EU heads of states and government: “There is no other process of such transformative and stabilising power. The region’s geostrategic location in Europe, on the North-South and East-West axes, is critically important and represents an immense potential in terms of human, economic and cultural capital.”
  • Speaking of the EU, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic Radman addressed Bosnia and Herzegovina creating a government in the EU Foreign Affairs Council, but the meeting was primarily focused on Syria.
  • Kosovo’s president Hashim Thaci met with the Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), Chief State Prosecutor, and the head of the Kosovar Intelligence Agency after over 20 CEC officials were hospitalized after ballot boxes arrived from Serbia.
  • Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic opened the 141st Inter-Parliamentary Union in Belgrade. There are over 2,000 participants from over 150 countries in the world. 
  • Bosnian Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak says that his state is most likely going to vote against Kosovo’s membership in Interpol. 
  • Prime Minister of N. Macedonia Zoran Zaev announced a possible investigation into fellow party member, and  MP and Vice President of the Parliament Frosina Tashevska – Remenski.
  • Serbian Foreign Minister Ivicia Dacic noted, “The Regional Housing Program and Serbia have cooperated to secure funds to solve the housing needs for more than 7,000 refugee families. To date, we can proudly say that we are nearing 4,000 housing solutions.”
  • Turkish pro-government news outlet, Daily Sabah, published a photo from Mount Vlasic claiming the mountaineers were supporting the Turkish offensive in northern Syria.
  • “Commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent statement that ISIS militants may start moving to the Balkans after their defeat in Syria, the Interior Minister of Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) part, Aljosa Campara, said on Monday that although the chance for this happening is small, caution is still advised.” (N1)
  • Aleksandar Obradovic, the whistleblower who revealed information about about Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic’s father arms dealing has been released from prison and put on house arrest.
  • “Poland, Belarus, Serbia and Slovenia have the highest number of hidden champions in Central and Eastern Europe, according to the International Association for Management Development in Dynamic Societies (CEEMAN) and the IEDC-Bled School of Management Postgraduate Studies. The term hidden champions was coined in 1990 by German business leader Hermann Simon and refers to highly innovative and specialised small and medium-sized companies that are leading internationally in their niches.” (Emerging Europe)
  • ENERGY: The Krusko Nuclear Power Plant accounted for 42% of Slovenia’s energy output. 
  • The Croatian Mountain Rescue Service accepted the Tetris Challenge from the Army. See what their photo looked like here.

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • HUMAN INTEREST: “For a century, it’s been a second home for those from the homeland” by David L. Dye in The The Herald: “The smell of cooking lamb and chicken, intermixed with the sound of accordions, wafted down Baldwin Avenue Saturday evening as members and visitors gathered at the Slovenian Home in Sharon.As people entered for the home’s 100th anniversary celebration, almost everyone was greeted by someone calling a familiar name, which member Joe Godina, 75, said reflected the home’s motto.’You’re only a stranger here once,’ Godina said.”
  • EURO 2020 RESULTS: Kosovo beats Montenegro 2-0. Serbia tops Lithuania 2-1. Albania beats Moldova 3-0.
  • EURO 2020 TODAY: At 2:45 PM EST: Greece vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina.