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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

18.11.08: Athens and Macedonia in UN ourt over name dispute - 0 views

  • Athens on Tuesday (18 November) strongly criticised Skopje's decision to file a complaint against Greece with the International Court of Justice (IJC), and accused it of hindering the process of finding a solution to the "name issue" that has been poisoning relations for 17 years.
  • On Monday, EU membership candidate Macedonia started legal proceedings against Greece at the ICJ, accusing the country of not complying with its international obligations at a NATO summit held in Bucharest earlier this year, when it blocked an invitation to Skopje to join the organisation because of the unresolved name dispute between them.
  • Greece has been refusing to recognise its neighbour's constitutional name - the Republic of Macedonia - since it declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 as a northern region in Greece is also called Macedonia and Athens fears allowing Skopje to use the name will open the way to territorial claims. It also believes the name is part of its own historical heritage. But under Article 11 of the UN Interim Agreement signed between them in 1995, Athens has committed not to object to Skopje's application to join any "international, multilateral and regional organisations and institutions" of which Greece is part, provided that it applies under the provisional name foreseen in the deal – Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
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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