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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

07.06.11: Reviving EU enlargement - 0 views

  • The arrest of the former Bosnian Serb commander is good news for the relatives of those killed at Srebrenica; for international justice, which may be slow but has a long memory; for Serbia, which has taken a leap towards integration with Europe; and for the European Union, which, despite its economic and political troubles, has shown its potential to transform even intractable Balkan disputes. That the arrest took place on the same day as a visit by Cathy Ashton, the EU's foreign affairs boss, was a coincidence. But few doubt that the EU played a big part through the power of its unique tool, enlargement. The promise of EU membership, on condition that Serbia first cooperate with war crimes prosecutors, strengthened the resolve to find Mladic.
  • Even if Brammertz says Serbia has more to do (Goran Hadzic, former leader of the Croatian Serbs, is still at large), Serbia will probably win EU candidate status this year. Whether it can start talks immediately (i.e., in early 2012) or, more likely, be asked to do more homework first will depend on how far Tadic pushes judicial reform and reconciliation with Kosovo. Montenegro, already a candidate, may also be deemed fit to begin accession talks. Senior Eurocrats cling to the hope that this month's election in Macedonia will produce a government able to end the tedious dispute with Greece over the country's official name, clearing the way for talks to begin. Bosnia might look less dire if Serbia moves closer to Europe. Even Albania, denied candidate status because of its democratic failings, still sees the EU as its destination.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.11.10: Fuele: Serbia to answer EC questionnaire in detail - 0 views

  • Serbia has capacity to precisely and in detail answer the EC questionnaire, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele has assessed. Stefan Fuele (Beta, file) He told Belgrade-based daily Večernje novosti that the questionnaire, which should be sent to Serbia in late November, would cover the entire EU policy. Fuele said that the EC would like to submit its unbiased analysis on Serbia’s readiness to begin accession negotiations in the second half of 2011. “The questionnaire will be very similar to the one which was sent to Montenegrin and Albanian authorities as a part of preparations for EC opinion for these two countries. Some questions will be specific for Serbia and its reality,” the EU enlargement commissioner explained.
  • Hague cooperation – key condition for EU When asked if Serbia’s cooperation with the Hague Tribunal could disrupt the deadlines, bearing in mind that the EC opinion is a technical and not a political issue, Fuele said that the EC Council of Ministers had pointed out at the meeting on October 25 that both Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) and Interim Trade Agreement had demanded Serbia’s full cooperation with the Hague Tribunal.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

07.10.10: Fuehle defends, Brammertz criticizes - 0 views

  • Holland shall decide about application by Serbia for the candidate status on October 13, ‘Blic’ learns. Information one could get in The Hague yesterday is that report by the chief Hague prosecutor Serge Brammertz that ‘conditioning and pressure’ should remain as crucial for arrest of the war crimes suspects, has not left much room to the Dutch to decide.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.05.10: Commission consults war crimes tribunal over EU hopefuls - 0 views

  • Chief UN Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Serge Brammertz held talks on Tuesday (4 May) in Brussels with EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle, Croatian press agency HINA reports.
  • The press in Croatia reports that few details emerged from the meeting. However, it is widely assumed that Brammertz was able to give his assessment of Croatia's cooperation with the ICTY, as he had previously indicated.The high-level Belgian prosecutor, who replaced the Swiss Carla Del Ponte on 1 January 2008, said he expected Croatia to submit to the ICTY prosecution military documents on the so-called 'artillery files' case (see 'Background') and to be engaged in intensive dialogue.Several EU member states blocked Croatia's EU entry talks in chapter 23 - which concerns the judiciary and fundamental rights - over the artillery files, which the ICTY wants and Croatia claims it cannot locate.The impasse was broken in mid-February when the Netherlands withdrew its reservations about opening chapter 23 and Croatia was invited to submit its negotiating position for the chapter as part of its EU accession negotiations.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.11.09: The pace picks up on EU enlargement into the Balkans - 0 views

  • EmailSharePrint Back to Brussels Blog homepage The pace picks up on EU enlargement into the Balkans November 13, 2009 3:59pm Enlargement of the European Union is, almost imperceptibly, moving forward once more.  EU foreign ministers are expected next week to forward Albania’s membership application to the European Commission for an opinion.  This is a necessary technical step on the path to entry - small, but important. The Commission is already preparing opinions on the applications of Iceland and Montenegro.  The opinions will take quite some time to deliver - longer for Albania and Montenegro than for Iceland - but the machinery is now in motion. There are signs of progress elsewhere, too.  For a long time Serbia’s efforts to draw closer to the EU have been held back by the refusal of the Netherlands to permit implementation of Serbia’s EU stabilisation and association agreement.  The Dutch insist that Serge Brammertz, the chief United Nations war crimes prosecutor, must first of all declare that Serbia is fully complying with its efforts to capture war crimes suspects - principally, Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander. Brammertz is due to hand his latest report to the UN Security Council in early December, and the Serbian government appears confident that it will be positive.  That would remove the Dutch veto and allow Serbia to make a formal application for EU membership.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

15.06.09: Croatia's EU talks to resume after long dispute - 0 views

  • Slovenia is expected to unblock Croatia's EU accession talks at a ministerial meeting today (15 June). The two countries have clashed for several months over disputed territories on the Adriatic coast.
  • Background: During the French EU Presidency, Slovenia blocked the opening of nine out of ten negotiating chapters with Zagreb due to an unresolved border dispute (EurActiv 18/12/08).  The Czech Presidency has so far failed to make any progress in the negotiations. Indeed, the EU recently postponed an accession conference after the two countries had failed to show any sign of conciliation (EurActiv 24/04/09).  Diplomats have serious doubts about the viability of Croatia's objective of wrapping up accession talks by the end of the year (so as to be ready to join the bloc in 2010) if the bilateral dispute is not resolved soon (see EurActiv LinksDossier on 'EU-Croatia' relations).  The border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia concerns small pockets of land along the Adriatic coast, which could prove important if accompanied by exclusive access rights to deep-sea zones. 
  • However, this may not be the end of the region's problems, as similar obstacles are expected to emerge in the Western Balkan accession process as a whole, diplomats told EurActiv.  EU diplomats said the lack of a clearly defined border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina could soon create problems "one hundred times worse" than the current dispute between Ljubljana and Zagreb, in which the European Commission has invested a huge mediation effort. 
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  • The Netherlands and Belgium are blocking the ratification of the EU's Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Serbia as long as Mladic is at large. Diplomats say that imposing such conditions makes it difficult for the reformist government in Belgrade to withstand the surge of nationalist and anti-European forces. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.09.08: Serbia could become EU candidate in 2009 - 0 views

  • It would be "possible" for Serbia to win the status of an EU candidate country next year, provided that it fulfills the necessary conditions, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday (3 September). "If everything goes according to plan and if all the conditions are met, it would be possible [for Serbia] to have candidate country status in 2009," Mr Barroso told reporters in Brussels at a briefing together with Serbian President Boris Tadic.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

EU urged to press Croatia on war crimes prosecution - 0 views

  • EU candidate country Croatia has not been doing enough to bring to justice all those who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1991 – 1995 war that pitted the newly independent country against the Yugoslav People's Army, leading human rights NGO Amnesty International has said.
  • "Croatia is a prime example of how the EU can use its leverage within the accession process to push for an end to impunity for war crimes," the organisation's Secretary General Irene Khan stated. Ms Khan was in Brussels on Tuesday to meet top EU officials – including EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn, High Representative Javier Solana, and European Parliament president Hans-Gert Poettering, in order to raise awareness of the problem and call for more action from the bloc.
  • "So we think it's absolutely crucial that the EU and Croatia get it right this time because that's also going to send a very strong signal to the other countries in the region that are seeking to have greater integration with the EU."
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