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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

22.09.2006: Pristina welcomes Contact Group's statement - 0 views

    Kosovo's leadership welcomed on Thursday the Contact Group's stated commitment to achieving a negotiated solution to the province's status issue by the end of the year. [...]
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network - 0 views

    Reporting the Balkans on its path to Europe. The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network trains journalists across the region to produce investigations and analysis designed to spark debate on European issues.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

08.11.2006: European Commission: Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports 2006 - 0 views

  • On 8 November 2006 the Commission approved the Strategy Paper and the candidate countries' (Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey) and potential candidate countries' (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244) progress reports on their road towards the EU.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Southeast Europe: People and Culture: Home - 0 views

  • This website has been developed to offer visitors the opportunity to explore the diverse culture of Southeast Europe.The website provides information about culture and sports of the Western Balkans (Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99) and Turkey.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

29.04.09: Albania files EU membership application - 0 views

  • Albania formally applied to join the European Union yesterday (28 April), embarking on a lengthy path toward membership of the bloc, which is still digesting past enlargements and finds itself engulfed by economic crisis at present.
  • Background: Applications for EU membership are usually filed in coordination between the applicant country and the European Commission. Besides Albania, the only countries in the Western Balkans who have yet to file membership applications are Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kosovo, which declared independence in February 2008, is a special case, as it has not been recognised by all EU countries.  Last December, Montenegro surprisingly filed a formal application for EU membership during the final days of the French EU Presidency, despite the fact that the subsequent Czech Presidency is more supportive of the Balkan country's accession bid (EurActiv 16/12/08). Montenegro's move was widely expected to encourage Serbia and Albania to follow suit by formally applying for EU membership too.  Taking advantage of the pro-enlargement Czech EU Presidency, Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha announced last month that his country would present its European Union membership application before the end of June (EurActiv 10/03/09).  In an exclusive interview with EurActiv, Erhard Busek, special enlargement adviser to the Czech EU Presidency, recently confirmed that Tirana was preparing to file its application (EurActiv 17/04/09).  Albania is one of Europe's poorest countries, and faces an uphill struggle to join the EU. Brussels remains unconvinced of the West Balkan country's democratic credentials. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.07.09: EU's visa-freedom dividing Balkans - 0 views

  • The “European perspective” is key concept for integrating western Balkans into EU. The main carrot for ordinary people during this millennium has been visa-free travel after some 17 years of isolation. On 15th July 2009, the European Commission submitted its proposal on visa-free travel for citizens of Western Balkans countries. After a non-binding opinion of the European parliament on the EC proposal the Council comprising EU interior ministers will take the official vote and at best case free travel to Schengen area could be possible January 2010. But not for all! European perspective will be true only for some when visa ban still will be existing for some countries or even to some ethnic groups inside a country. Instead of connecting people of western Balkans with western Europe the EC proposal will divide again people according their nationality or location. From EU’s side the reason for division is seen technical related to common standards; from western Balkan’s perspective the reasons for division can be seen political or even related to religion.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.02.10: Ashton tackles Serb tensions on maiden voyage to Balkans - 0 views

  • EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton took aim at Serbian nationalist tensions in the western Balkans in a speech on her first trip to the region. Addressing the threat of secession by the ethnic Serb enclave in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, which threatens to undo the country's 1995 peace deal, she said: "Bosnia and Herzegovina can only join the European Union as one country ...Politics of division and flirtations with secessionist rhetoric are as harmful as they are pointless. The EU will never accept the break-up of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

23.04.10: EU states to put Serbia's membership bid on temporary hold - 0 views

  • Serbia's bid to become official candidate for accession to the European Union is likely to be delayed until autumn due to the Balkan country's intransigent position on Kosovo's status, WAZ.EUobserver has learned from well-informed diplomatic sources in Brussels. Member states have indicated they may again postpone processing Serbia's membership application, which Belgrade hopes to see happening in June. The reason is Serbia's intention to raise the question of Kosovo's status at the United Nations. Belgrade is waiting for the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the former Serbian province's declaration of independence, and has threatened to take it to the UN General Assembly.
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

14.10.09: EU gives green light for Macedonia accession talks - 0 views

  • EU commissioner Olli Rehn, in charge of enlargement, said the Macedonian government should see the move as "very strong encouragement" to "finally settle the name issue," however. The reference concerns an 18-year old dispute between Macedonia and neighbouring Greece about the use of the name Macedonia. Croatia, hoping to join the EU in 2011, is "nearing the finishing line" after years of negotiations, said Mr Rehn, but needs to further tackle corruption and organised crime "before negotiations can be concluded." The commission report urges Turkey to do more to ensure freedom of expression and freedom of religion as well as bolster the rights of women and trade unions. Ankara has been lagging far behind Zagreb in its EU progress in part due to poor relations with EU member Cyprus, with whom it still has to fully implement a customs agreement. Progress is also slow due to a lack of enthusiasm on the part of several member states for Turkish membership and the pace of Turkish domestic reform.
  • Of the remaining five entities - Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo - that want to join the EU, Mr Rehn had the most to say about Bosnia and Herzegovina. The war-torn country was recently given an ultimatum by the EU and the US to sort out internal problems between Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Serbs by 20 October. Defining the country as of "paramount importance for the region and for the European Union," Mr Rehn said that Bosnia and Herzegovina could only consider an application for EU membership once it "can stand on its own two feet." "No quasi-protectorate can join the EU," he said, spelling out that the Office of High Representative would have to be closed down first. The post was created as part of the peace deal that ended the 1992-1995 war in the country, and can only be closed after a positive international assessment. Meanwhile, the Serbian government, which is being pushed to arrest two war crimes suspects from the 1990s, was praised for being "stable" and "demonstrating" a high degree of consensus on EU integration as a strategic priority." But even as the EU tries to bind all of the countries of the western Balkans and Turkey ever more closely through political and economic ties and the promise of eventual membership, there are continuous doubts about whether it has the political appetite to go through with another large round of expansion. Apart from Croatia, strongly supported by Germany and where EU membership is virtually assured, internal EU question marks remain over the rest.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

26.11.09: Rehn's final advice: 'No discount' on enlargement - 0 views

  • The European Parliament held a heated debate yesterday (25 November) on future EU enlargement but also offered congratulations to Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, who is expected to take a different portfolio in the Barroso II team.
  • The plenary debate in Strasbourg, which lasted three hours, nevertheless primarily focused on outstanding work rather than past achievements. Following the recent publication of the Commission's '2009 Strategy Paper' (EurActiv 15/10/09), the European Parliament prepared a resolution based on a draft by MEP Gabriele Albertini (Italy, EPP).  147 amendments  The five-page resolution has in the meantime been supplemented by a 101-page paper listing 147 amendments . Many of these concern the formulation of the name of Kosovo, which is still not recognised by six EU countries, the 'name dispute' between Macedonia and Greece, the Cyprus problem and the role of Turkey. 
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