WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • Serbian Minister of Interior Nebojsa Stefanovic is on a three day visit to the United States. He met with Acting  Acting Administrator of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Uttam Dhillon, noting that Serbia seized more than four tons of narcotics in 2018.
  • Slovenia Times – “The US army has decided to curtail ongoing military activities in Slovenia due to restrictions imposed at the Poček grounds near Postojna, the US Embassy in Ljubljana has said.”
  • But Slovenian Defense Minister Karl Erjavec met with Gautam Rana, the Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Ljubljana, and insisted that the exercises would go on as planned.
  • Bosnian Croat Member of Presidency Zeljko Komsic filed criminal charges against Bosnian Serb Member of Presidency Milorad Dodik over his comments about the Armed forces of  Bosnia and Herzegovina. The prosecution has filed a case.
  • Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov spoke with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic about the four-dimensional (Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Serbia) format on energy and infrastructure projects.
  • Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic met with the President of the German Bundestag  Wolfgang Schäuble that Western Balkan stability is a prerequisite for European stability.
  • Dane Taleski was appointed as the new National Coordinator for NATO in North Macedonia. He will replace Stevo Pendarovski who was elected president on May 9.
  • Speaking of Pendarovski, he sweeped the intelligence services of N. Macedonia by dismissing multiple officials.
  • Total Croatia News: “Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Wednesday Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević and War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved would attend Saturday’s 74th commemoration for the Bleiburg victims in Austria on the government’s behalf, while President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović‘s office said her envoy would be her chief-of-staff Anamarija Kirinić.”
  • Slovenian Foreign Minister Miro Cerar pledged to aid African countries, noting Africa, and in particular Ghana, as “one with the fastest growing economy and great potential for the future.”
  • In another move centered around the 2019 Africa Day International Conference event in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase economic cooperation.

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Alon Ben Meir in Value Walk: “To Prevent Brain Drain, Kosovo Must Eradicate Corruption“:
    “On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the end of Kosovo war, the country is facing a dramatic large-scale brain drain. Every day, young professionals wait in long lines in front of EU embassies to apply for visas to legally leave Kosovo in the search for job opportunities and more promising futures. While it may be argued that massive brain drain is a problem that some European and Western Balkans states are facing, Kosovo’s migration is becoming increasingly acute, especially because of the endemic corruption among the political elite, much of the business sector, and many private and government institutions.”
  • ESPN: “Glory’s Djulbic recalls war-torn youth“: When Perth Glory defender Dino Djulbic steps out for Sunday’s A-League grand final against Sydney, his late father Esad will be at the forefront of his mind. Djulbic was just nine years old when he and his family fled war-torn Bosnia. His father stayed behind to fight in the war. A few months later, Djulbic was given the devastating news that his father had died. For three long months Djulbic and his family grieved until a phone call changed their lives forever.”
  • Slovenian cyclist Kristijan Koren was one among four others to be banned for doping.
  • Serbia makes the final ten in the Eurovision song contest advancing to the finals.