WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
Happy Statehood Day to Croatia and Slovenia!
- US Ambassador to Montenegro Judy Rising Reinke made her first trip to the seaside town of Budva where she met with local leaders.
- NATO: “From 4 to 7 June 2019, approximately 150 participants from 24 NATO Member nations, the Republic of North Macedonia and 11 Partner nations gathered to participate in the 43rd NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP) Annual Conference.”
- Faces of Democracy interviewed Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. She noted, “I remember how much I yearned for democracy, when I was a girl growing up in the communist Yugoslavia. How much I wanted to escape the oppression, lack of freedom and lack of individual choice. This is what motivated me to become an exchange student in the US.”
- Slovenian President Borut Pahor on Statehood Day: “The establishment of an independent state 28 years ago is the most glorious milestone of our national history.”
- Chairman of the Bosnian Presideny Milorad Dodik says that Kosovo was invited to a regional conference as an “undefined subject.”
- The Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina stops its plan to create a reserve police force, but will instead create a gendarmerie, causing the US and UK Embassy to question why and wonder what is meant by a gendarmerie.
- N. Macedonia receives strong support to start its EU accession talks from Greek PrimeMinister Alexis Tsipras, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, and the Visegrad Group.
- The number of victims to be buried July 11 for the commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide rises to 33.
- Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin says, “We have friends, That horrible moment in our history when we were all alone will never repeat again,” at the military drills being held in Serbia with the armed forces of Russia and Belarus.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina faces expulsion from the Council of Europe.
- Council of Europe: “Montenegro: positive changes to religious property rights but more clarity needed“
- Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue: Johns Hopkins SAIS Professor Edward Joseph told Voice of America that it’s high time that the US gets more involved in the Kosovo-Serbia negotiations and a new strategy.
- Meanwhile, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic says that it’s not realistic for only the US to get involved.
- And Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj says that Serbia is colonizing the north of Kosovo, referring to the Sunny Valley project funded by the Serbian government for returnees. The project does not have Kosovo construction permits.
- The Appellant Court in Belgrade dismisses charges agains special unit members for the 2001 mutiny.
- Arms dealer Zvonko Zubak is offering Croatia 12 Brazilian Mirage 2000 fighter jets for $76 million.
- Prishtina Insight took a deep dive into the effects of the Kosova e Re power plant, and the impact on Kosovar citizens is bleak.
- Euractiv: “Turkey, Russia and China covet Western Balkans as EU puts enlargement on hold“: “Unless the EU accession process of the Western Balkans picks up the pace, the six countries of the region may examine alternatives for their countries’ external orientation, including boosting relations with China, Russia, Turkey and the Gulf States, a report has warned.”
- The Crown Prince of Serbia received 600 of the best students from Serbia and the Bosnian entity of Republika Srpska.
- The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) in Montenegro provided oil spill training.
BEYOND THE POLITICS
- Jasmin Mujanovic: “EU Policy of ‘Containing’ Balkans is Dangerous Illusion“
- NY Times Book Review: “For an Immigrant Family, Sarajevo Still Casts Its Shadow“
- The Atlantic: “An American Story, Starting in Kosovo“
- The soccer federation in Kosovo wants Serbia to stop hosting lower league games on its territory and may appeal to the governing UEFA body.