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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.06.08: Western Balkans on EU agenda - 0 views

  • After a re-run of the general election in Macedonia and the entry into force of Kosovo's new constitution on Sunday, EU foreign ministers will convene today (16 June) to review the situation in the neighbouring Western Balkans.
  • Ministers will likely welcome the peaceful re-run of parliamentary elections in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Sunday, just two weeks after ethnic violence marred the first elections on 1 June. 
  • While Kosovo is not on the foreign ministers' agenda, it is unlikely that they will be able to avoid the topic, after the fledgling state's constitution entered into force on Sunday.  The EU is also poised to take over policing and justice tasks from the United Nations after the UN's Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week put forward proposals to "reconfigure" the activities of the UN Mission UNMIK to allow the EU to deploy its contested EU-Lex police mission there (EurActiv 29/05/08).  "It is my intention to reconfigure the structure and profile of the international civil presence [...] enabling the European Union to assume an enhanced operational role," said the secretary general in letters to Kosovo and Serbian leaders.  But the handover, which is foreseen in Kosovo's constitution, remains strongly opposed by both Serbia and Russia, who insist that the EU mission is illegal because it has not been approved by the UN Security Council. 
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