WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • Balkan Insider Exclusive Interview with VMRO-DPMNE presidential candidate of N. Macedonia, Dr.Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova. She touches on the role of women, the Macedonian diaspora, limiting youth unemployment, relations with the US, and relations with Israel. 
  • She notes: “USA has been supporter of Macedonia throughout these 25 years. We have many American friends and supporters. We will commemorate 25 years since the United States recognized Macedonia with a high level event where our friends and high level diplomats will participate. I would like to deepen the partnership with the United States in the next 25 years.
  • On the role of women: “Macedonia needs to build a society where women play an active role in politics, civil society, and academia. We need public policies that will promote this. In politics the number of women in leading positions is too low. Well qualified women will be part of my cabinet.
  • On what Dr. Siljanovska-Davkova would want to be a part of her legacy: “Macedonia as a country by the end of my first term will be governed by the Law and Justice and Morality, and not the will of corrupt elite. Macedonia becomes a member of NATO and is negotiating EU membership. Macedonia is a country of dignified citizens living in peace, security, harmony and well-being.”
  • Read the full interview with Dr. Siljanovska-Davkova here.
  • N. MACEDONIA ELECTIONS: SDSM candidate Stevo Pendarovski notes that the only way forward for North Macedonia is through the EU and NATO: “I’ll aspire to promote reconciliation, rather than to inflame conflicts. As president, I’ll work tirelessly to complete our bit to become a NATO member and to be the beacon of our membership in the EU.”
  • N.MACEDONIA ELECTIONS: Meanwhile VMRO-DPMNE candidate Dr. Silijanovska-Davkova notes that the current power is far from Europe.
  • US Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ,4) is in Slovenia where he met with President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Marjan Sarec, and honored the eight man crew of a US bomber that was downed over Slovenia during World War II. Congressman Gosar will meet with Foreign Minister Miro Cerar and the speakers of both houses of parliament today on the final day of his trip. Gosar is of Slovenian heritage.
  • From Maine to Montenegro: Nearly 70 National Guardsmen ship out.
  • NATO jets intercepted a civilian airplane flying over Montenegro. 
  • Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic denies he asked to have Kosovo Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli kicked out of the Berlin Process meetings.
  • China’s 16+1: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had a very busy weekend in Dubrovnik. He held private meetings deepening ties with Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic and Slovenia Prime Minister Marjan Sarec. A full copy of his remarks can be found here. Chinese state-owned newspaper CGTN profiled his meetings with prime ministers on the sidelines of the 16+1 forum in Dubrovnik.
  • Hundreds of Jews in Croatia joined Serbs and Roma groups on Friday at a commemoration at Jasenovac of an April 1945 escape attempt. For the fourth year, they boycotted official ceremonies arguing that Zagreb has not done enough to remember the Holocaust and combat neo-Nazi sentiments. 
  • Plenkovic noted, “It would be healthy for Croatian society to have joint Jasenovac commemoration,” the day before the official ceremony.
  • Bosnian Serb Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik calls the Srebrenica genocide “a fabricated myth.
  • Former Mayor of Drenas Nexhat Demaku and former member of Kosovo Parliament Fadil Demaku have been arrested and ordered to serve out their erm for beating civilians at a detention camp during the Kosovo War.
  • Antigovernment protests continue in Belgrade, Serbia and Tirana, Albania. Police clashed with protestors as they attempted to breach the government building. 
  • Human Rights Watch pens an open letter to the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina after a boy with autism was denied education. 
  • The Economist profiles Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic labeling him “Europe’s most durable leader”.

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Macedonian Nick Carovski started a new YouTube cooking series, The Better Balkan. Learn how to make Balkan salads and coffee in his first two episodes.
  • US luxury hotel brand Nikki Beach is planning on opening resort properties in Budva, Montenegro.
  • Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia are planning a joint bid for the Euro 2028 or FIFA World Cup 2030