“A delegation from the European Union will be in Kosovo this week to gather information on the implementation of the plan against organised crime and corruption, which is the last necessary step for Kosovo towards obtaining visa liberalisation with the EU.

‘The evaluation of the EU delegation will be carried out in Kosovo this week. A busy program of meetings with all the institutions is planned, in relation to the specific criterion of the fight against crime and corruption,’ said Albanian Minister for European Integration, Dhurata Hoxha, to Radio Free Europe.

Minister Hoxha also stressed that the fight against organised crime and corruption will be a continuous effort, but according to the minister, Kosovo these efforts are already paying off.” (EU-OCS)

“The 28 member states of the European Union have agreed on the text of the declaration to be adopted at the May 17 2018 EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia, Bulgaria’s Minister for the EU Presidency, Lilyana Pavlova, said in Brussels.

Pavlova was speaking after attending the Enlargement Day conference organised by the European Committee of the Regions.

The Western Balkans summit in May has been a pet project for Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, whose country holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2018, but the run-up has been fraught with controversy. Weeks ago, there was a reported threat of a boycott by five countries who oppose the treatment of Kosovo as an independent state.

Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain, one of the countries that does not recognise Kosovo, will attend an EU leaders’ dinner in Sofia on the evening of May 16, but it is not yet clear whether he will attend the summit the following day, according to a report from Brussels by Bulgarian National Television.” (EU-OCS)

“Kosovo’s president has agreed the country’s border with Montenegro, a development that takes Kosovo one step nearer to joining Europe’s free travel Schengen zone.

Montenegro has already approved the deal. Montenegro, which like Kosovo was part of the former Yugoslavia, recognized Kosovo’s 2008 independence. Serbia has not.” (Daily Mail)

“The Association of Journalists of Kosovo marked World Press Freedom Day with a demonstration in Pristina on May 3 calling for greater protection for reporters.

“Impunity kills the freedom of expression,” was the theme of the protest. The association said journalists continued to face threats, attacks, blackmail, and censorship in Kosovo.

One example of the dangers cited by the journalists was an assault on prominent investigative reporter Vehbi Kajtazi in October 2017 that left him with cuts and bruises on his face.

The association said he had been threatened and attacked prior to the assault, and police never resolved his prior complaints.” (RFE/RL)