WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • Conference!: Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has called for a conference to come a a comprehensive agreement with Serbia facilitated by the EU and the US. 
  • Roma Remembering the Holocaust: RFE/RL writes, “Roma activists in Kosovo have marched to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Dozens joined the January 27 event in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina. The territory of Kosovo was controlled by Italy and Germany during World War II. About half of its few-hundred-strong Jewish community were killed or deported, and Roma were persecuted, as well. Separately, Kosovar public figures also remembered Holocaust victims.” 
  • Bratstvo: Slovenian President Borut Pahor was in Serbia yesterday. He met his counterpart Aleksandar Vucic who said, “We look at Slovenia as an honest friend, we are building good relations of mutual respect, and I believe those links could improve further.”


  • US Ambassador Kohorst and Kolinda on the Same Page: On the sale of the US-made F-16s, US Ambassador Kohorst and President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic were clear that the everything was known prior to the deal being made.
  • You Got EU Status?: The Members of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina are hoping to join the club of accession and eventual integration
  • Slovenia Sued: EU sues Ljubljana for seizure of European Central bank data.
  • Serbia to Visit BiH?: Bosnian Serb Member of Presidency Milorad Dodik has invited Serbian President for a visit to Republika Srpska.
  • Ni hao! Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic aims for direct flights to China this year. Zagreb long hauls to Beijing and Shanghai planned on Hainan Airlines.

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Bosnian Education: RFE/RL writes: “No Classes, No Exams, No Problem For Students At Bosnia’s Degree Mills“: When Azra Omerovic embarked on an assignment to get a degree at a medical technical school, she knew about Bosnia-Herzegovina’s open secret on buying fake degrees. What she didn’t expect was how quick and easy it would actually be to get her own diploma. Seventeen days and 2,500 marks ($1,450) later, she was a graduate of the Medical Technical School from Sanski Most’s two-year requalification program, certified to practice as a medical technician locally and in the European Union. No classes. No tests. No problem. Well, actually that’s not true. Fake educational achievements are becoming a problem for one of Europe’s youngest and poorest countries. And for the region. Across the Balkans, scandals involving fake degrees, politicians with dubious diplomas, and questions about plagiarized doctoral theses have put the spotlight on a lack of reforms in the education system and institutional corruption as countries struggle to rebuild following years of conflict that accompanied the breakup of Yugoslavia.

  • From Zagreb to Philadelphia, with caffeine. Croatian coffee shop to open in Philadelphia this year.