WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
- Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic is set to the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) which is also the party of President Aleksandar Vucic.
- The Parliament of N. Macedonia will vote on new ministers today.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hopes member states will ratify N. Macedonia’s accession protocol by December, making it a full NATO member. Hungary became the 19th NATO member to ratify N. Macedonia’s accession protocol yesterday.
- In addition, Stoltenberg said that the radar systems acquired by Montenegro “shows we really help each other.”
- Meanwhile, President Stevo Pendarovski says that there is no plan B if N. Macedonia doesn’t receive a date to begin EU accession talks by the end of the year.
- Serbia will open Chapter 9 (finances) in its negotiations with the EU according to Jadranka Joksimovic, Serbia’s Minister for European Integration. It will be the 17th out of 35 chapters opened.
- Montenegro’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic claims that Montenegro is the most stable country in the Western Balkans and that “stability is a prerequisite for for economic prosperity” while at the Azerbaijan-Montenegro Business Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan.
- The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) visited Bosnia and Herzegovina from June 11 to June 21. They visited over 20 locations in BiH including law enforcement establishments, prisons, and psychiatric establishments, and met with government officials from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska.
- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) loaned $20.4 million to Kosovo for a wind farm being developed by Turkish energy company Guris.
- The EBRD also raised its stake in Slovenian lender Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) to 7.125% from 6.25%.
- Norway will provide $40.36 million for mine clearance in 2019 to 20 countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina where Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Soreide was on a visit yesterday.
- As a part of her visit, she met with BiH Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik and Presidency Member Sefik Dzferovic who thanked her for Norway’s support after the 2014 floods and informer her that there are 17,000 people from BiH living in Norway.
- Dodik delivers a blow to BiH’s NATO aspirations: “Let me say it again, (Bakir) Izetbegovic (SDA leader) is not my coalition or my partner. RS made a decision and it won’t join the NATO, you are speaking in vain. I don’t understand why is it in the interest of Bosniaks to join now. It won’t. It can’t because the Serb people don’t want that. Decisions cannot be made in Bosnia and Herzegovina in that way.”
- Slovenia is hosting a European-Chinese space data symposium this week aimed to develop space imaging for topics like agriculture and climate change, among others.
- Meanwhile, Serbia is holding its biannual Defense Fair and Exhibition to show the latest technology from its defense industry.
- Osservatario Balcani e Caucaso interviewed former Croatian Serb candidate for the European elections in May Dejan Jovic who warned against anti-Serbian rhetoric on the news and what he experienced using the Cyrillic alphabet in campaign signs.
BEYOND THE POLITICS
- AFP: “Let’s talk: the Kosovo town using language to bridge divides” by
Nicolas Gaudichet and Ismet Hajdari: “In eastern Kosovo, a small town is trying to encourage dialogue between its Albanian and Serb communities by starting with the basics: language. This year in Kamenica, a municipality where 10 percent of the population is ethnic Serb, the local government launched free language courses in hopes of breaking down the mistrust that still divides the two groups across much of Kosovo.”
- Slovenian native Luka Doncic won the 2018-2019 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
- BBC Travel: “The cheese flavoured by wind“: “Mighty gusts define the Croatian island of Pag and its famous cheese, Paški sir, dusting herb-filled pastures with Adriatic sea salt, which gives the sheep’s milk a unique flavour.”
- Best place to film – how about a mixture of Czechia, Slovenia, and Croatia? Amazon and with Sony will film its original movieThe Wheel of Time in the three states.
- Living on a Prayer: Rock star Bon Jovi was spotted on a luxury yacht near Dubrovnik.