WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • Kosovo’s four Serb-dominated municipalities went to the polls to vote for mayors in an extraordinary election. Srpska Lista claimed victory in all four municipalities.
  • Meanwhile, in Pristina,  Member of Parliament Vlora Brovina shocked Kosovo with a photo from a war rape. It turns out the photo was from an adult film.
  • But Hungary extradited a Serbian suspected of war crimes to Kosovo.
  • Meanwhile, the Kosovo Parliament proposed a resolution that labels Serbian crimes in Kosovo as “genocide” despite the term never being used by the International Criminal Court. 
  • In a weekend rally in Zagreb before the EU elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported Croatia joining the Euro and Schengen. 
  • She also met with Bosnian Croat politician Dragan Covic and discussed Bosnia and Herzegovina’s European path.
  • The European path isn’t an easy one – France has once again said it would block Kosovo for full visa liberalization. France says Kosovo hasn’t done enough in rule of law to fight corruption.
  • The commemoration of the Bleiburg massacre took place in Austria over the weekend. There were protesters at the event.
  • The Turkish Minister of Agriculture Bekir Pakdemirli visited Sarajevo having meetings with Chairman of the Presidency Milorad Dodik and Bosniak Member Sefik Dzaferovic. He predicted that the existing bilateral trade volume of $700M would increase to $1B. He also explored opportunities for meat exports and rural development.
  • Meanwhile, the EU launched a $2.5 million project to tackle corruption and organized crime in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic hosted Chinese Public Security Minister Zhao Kezhi. The two focused on increasing Chinese tourists as well as building upon last year’s trial of Chinese police patrolling Dubrovnik.
  • Novi Sad, Serbia, hosted its inaugural pride parade. 

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Slovenia celebrates the second World Bee Day, an initiative spearheaded by Slovenia in the 
    UN.
  • Sarajevo’s Romeo and Juliet were remembered on Saturday. It has been 26 years since their deaths. 
  • A Game of Thrones museum opened in Croatia.