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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

21.06.11: Montenegro 'could start EU membership talks soon' - 9 views

  • The Hungarian Presidency of the European Union is committed to giving a new impetus to the EU enlargement process and ihopes that a decision will be reached as early as this year on starting EU accession negotiations with Montenegro, Hungary's minister of state for foreign affairs Zsolt Németh said on June 21 2011.Németh was speaking at a news conference after the second meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council(SAA) held between the EU and Montenegro in Luxembourg.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

18.12.10: Montenegro becomes candidate for EU membership - 1 views

  • The European Commission's decision on Friday to extend European Union candidate status to Montenegro was greeted with enthusiasm by officials in Podgorica, reported Radio Television Montenegro (RTCG). Earlier in the day, Herman Van Rompuy, president of the EU, announced in Brussels that Montenegro had been nominated as the sixth candidate country in the current EU enlargement package. Montenegro's status was granted on the basis of annual European Commission progress reports.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.11.10: Hungarian Presidency eyes Schengen and EU enlargement - 0 views

  • Bulgaria and Romania's accession to the Schengen area and Croatia membership of the European Union are among the top priorities of the incoming Hungarian EU Presidency, government officials told EurActiv in Budapest ahead of the executive's official visit to the European Commission on Wednesday (17 November).
  • Hungary will assume the EU presidency for their first time in January 2011. Budapest is keen to do well, especially on EU enlargement, which could impact upon the sizeable Hungarian minorities who live beyond national borders.
  • The enlargement of the Schengen area to include Romania and Bulgaria is on top of the presidency's agenda. However, the admission date of March 2011 "is likely to be delayed," admitted a Hungarian government official. Nevertheless, the presidency will work to help facilitate the accession of both Southern Balkan countries to the area of free movement of citizens within the EU.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.11.10: A first look at the European Commission progress reports on enlargement due t... - 0 views

  • "The EU's enlargement process has gained new momentum since the [European] Commission adopted its last progress reports, notwithstanding the many other challenges the Union faces." These are the opening words of the European Commission's Enlargement Strategy, which will be officially presented next Wednesday (10 November) together with the progress reports for the Western Balkan counties, Turkey and Iceland. WAZ.EUobserver has seen the report in advance.
  • "All need to focus on good governance, improving the rule of law, speeding up economic reform and improving their capacity to adopt and implement the acquis. Several complex problems remain, including the governance of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the name question concerning the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Open bilateral issues remain and differences over Kosovo's status have held up regional co-operation," the strategy underlines.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.10.10: EU's President Van Rompuy in a first official visit to Montenegro. Montenegro... - 0 views

  • October 19th 2010: European Council President Herman Van Rompuy officially visited Montenegro for the first time where he met with Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, President Filip Vujanovic and Parliament President Ranko Krivokapic. He discussed with Montenegrin officials about cooperation, reforms in Montenegro, the forthcoming European Commission opinion on Montenegro, EU membership and other regional matters.
  • Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur on Montenegro Charles Tannock also visited Podgorica a few days ago, on October 15, for talks on Montenegro - EU relations and potential membership. Montenegrin PM told Mr Tannock that he expects a positive opinion from the European Commission in early November. He explained that by ‘positive opinion’ he means a recommendation for Montenegro to become an EU candidate country and a recommendation, conditional or not, for the opening of EU accession talks in the near future. Mr Tannock said that the EU should make no demands for an unreasonable delay before opening negotiations with Montenegro, adding that Macedonia’s situation should not be a general model for the enlargement process. He pointed out the importance of judging every aspiring EU member on their own merits, rather than all grouped together. He also said “And in the regatta, which I think will now ensue, Montenegro remains a good news story. Even if that generates a little bit of envy from one or two of your neighbors.” Montenegrin  PM pointed out that he considers wrong the concept of simultaneous accession of Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro to the European Union, and he prefers the ‘regatta model’ in EU enlargement. He told newspaper “Pobjeda” that he believes idea of simultaneous accession is not the right concept. “If you try to force the package, this is like a train, which in the Balkan case adjusts the speed to the slowest car”, said Djukanovic.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

29.05.10: EU debt crisis must not hurt Balkan entry hopes: Serbia - 0 views

  • Serbia's president on Saturday warned the financial crisis gripping Europe must not be allowed to derail the Balkans' hopes of joining the European Union, ahead of a crunch summit with the bloc."The policy of the European Union's enlargement must not be interrupted at any price," President Boris Tadic told a conference of regional leaders, held in Sarajevo ahead of a vital EU-Balkans summit on June 2.
  • Tadic was meeting with Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic and their colleagues from the Bosnian tripartite presidency, namely Muslim leader Haris Silajdzic.Officials and media across the Balkans have expressed concern that the ongoing debt crisis could slow down the enlargement process, with new members perceived as a potential threat to the bloc's financial stability.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.12.09: Montenegro moves closer to Nato membership - 0 views

  • Nato ministers on Friday offered Montenegro a formal plan to join the alliance, just days after the EU announced it would lift visas for its citizens. "With a sustained effort at further reform, today's invitation to join the Membership Action Plan (MAP) will be a stepping stone to the ultimate goal: full membership in Nato," the secretary-general of the military alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a press conference in Brussels.
  • Back in Podgorica, the Nato move, also connected with the recent lifting of EU visas for its citizens, is likely to boost the image of the government. But voices in the civil society warn that this will not mean an acceleration of democratic reforms, which so far are seen as being mostly on paper. Momcilo Radulovic from the European Movement, a Podgorica-based NGO, says there is still need for more transparency, good governance, and a stronger fight against organised crime and corruption. He was sceptical that Nato alone could push for these reforms. "They are only interested in reforming the military and security structures. But once we get EU candidate status, maybe at the end of 2010 or early 2011, there will be more pressure on the government," he told this website.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

01.12.09: Three Balkan countries to get visa-free travel by Christmas - 0 views

  • Serbs, Macedonians and Montenegrins will be able to travel visa-free to Europe from 19 December, EU interior ministers decided on Monday. EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn said the move was a "big step in terms of EU integration and Europeanisation of the civil societies in these countries" and added that the other Balkan countries could join the visa-free regime once they met the conditions.
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

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

19.02.09: "Montenegrin EU application blocked" - 0 views

  • PODGORICA -- Montenegro's application for EU candidate status has been blocked in the EU Council of Ministers, Podgorica-based daily Vijesti reports on Thursday. This took place before the European Commission even presented its opinion on the country's readiness to gain candidate status. Referring to information published by the EU press agency, Agence Europe, the daily says that several member states within the Enlargement Working Group, above all Holland, Spain, France and Belgium, object to the issue being shifted to the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER), and then to the Council of Ministers.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.12.08: 2009 shapes up as a weary, dreary year for EU enlargement - 0 views

  • With Croatia, there is less certainty. Quarrels with Slovenia, its former fellow-Yugoslav republic, meant that the EU on Friday concluded only three chapters with Croatia and opened one more. Slovenia blocked further progress.
  • Then there is Serbia. A report by the United Nations war crimes prosecutor this month made it clear that, even if Serbian co-operation with the war crimes tribunal in The Hague had improved, it ought to be even better.
  • Macedonia is stuck, too - over that wearisome dispute with Greece about what its name should be. As for Bosnia-Herzegovina, it will be something of an achievement if it hangs together as a state, never mind about joining the EU. And when Montenegro officially presented its membership application on Monday, there were mutterings on the EU side that this was much too premature.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

15.12.08: Montenegro files EU membership application - 0 views

  • Montenegro on Monday (15 December) presented its official application for EU membership to current EU President Nicolas Sarkozy, hoping to win EU candidate country status some time next year. EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn welcomed the country's move, saying: "Today Montenegro has reached a historical milestone marking the country's important engagement to common European values and fundamentals."
  • The commission says the country is still lagging behind in many fields and EU membership is not expected to occur in the very near future. Among other issues, Podgorica, the capital, needs to reform further the public administration of the country, as well as its judicial system and to make further efforts in the fight against corruption – problematic areas common to all Balkan states.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.11.08: Western Balkans still way off EU entry criteria - 0 views

  • EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn made clear yesterday (5 November) that Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Kosovo, are still a long way away from getting clear persprectives of EU accession.
  • In spite of the EU executive's insistence that its assessments are based on objective criteria, the countries in the region are increasingly aware that enlargement is no longer fashionable in the EU, especially in the context of the current financial crisis and uncertainty following the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by Ireland.  European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering said on Tuesday that "perhaps with the exception of Croatia," no enlargement was possible without the Lisbon Treaty. This statement contradicts strong views, expressed repeatedly by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, that no enlargement whatsoever was possible before the Lisbon Treaty comes into force (EurActiv 20/06/08). In fact, the Nice Treaty provides institutional arrangements for only 27 member states, but some countries believe that it may be possible to find a compromise to accommodate Croatia. 
  • Links European Union European Commission: Enlargement strategy and main challenges 2008-2009 European Commission: Key findings of the progress reports on the candidate countries: Croatia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: European Commission: Key findings of the progress reports on Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo European Commission: 2009 the year of the Western Balkans European Commission: Croatia 2008 Progress report European Commission: The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2008 Progress report European Commission: Albania 2008 Progress report European Commission: Bosnia and Herzegovina 2008 Progress report European Commission: Montenegro 2008 Progress report European Commission: Serbia 2008 Progress report European Commission: Kosovo (under UNSR 1244/99) 2008 Progress report
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Premierminister Djukanivic: Montenegro „teilt außenpolitische Strategie der EU"  - 0 views

  • Bis 2012 wolle sein Land die Kriterien für die Aufnahme in die EU erfüllen, so der montenegrinische Premierminister Milo Djukanovic am Montag gegenüber den Mitgliedern des Außenausschusses im Europaparlament. Nach der Aussprache mit den Abgeordneten befragten wir ihn zur Beitrittsperspektive seines Landes, den Beziehungen mit Serbien und dem Kosovo sowie dem Umstand, dass man in Montenegro in Euro bezahlt.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

AriRusila's BalkanBlog - 0 views

  • Welcome to Arirusila´s BalkanBlog - a personal perspective on events in western Balkans. Topics of interest: Serbia, Kosovo province, EU enlargement, UN peacekeeping operations, crisis management. Other interests - middle East and Caucasus.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

07.04.08: Montenegro's pro-European president re-elected - 0 views

  • Incumbent Filip Vujanovic claimed victory after Sunday's (6 April) first presidential elections in Montenegro since the Balkan country declared its independence from Serbia in May 2006, in a vote seen as supportive of Vujanovic's desire for further EU integration. More on this topic: LinksDossier:   EU-Western Balkans relations News:   EU to 'wait and see' on Serbia, Turkey accession News:   NATO setback upsets Macedonia's EU hopes Other related news: Serbia says it remains committed to European perspective EU wants Serbia to stay on European path Serbian government faces collapse over Kosovo EU reaffirms Western Balkan membership perspective Bosnia-Herzegovina makes progress on EU membership Vujanovic won 51.4% of the vote, according to AP, ahead of his pro-Serb challenger Andrija Mandic, who gained 20.4%. Liberal candidate Nebojsa Medojevic received 15.7%. 
  • Last autumn, Montenegro signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, which is seen as a stepping stone on the way to EU membership (EurActiv 16/10/07). The country is expected to present its bid for full membership soon. 
  • Press articles AP: Incumbent Claims Victory in Montenegro Balkan Insight: Vujanovic Set For Montenegro Poll Victory DTT-Net: Montenegro, the vicius circle of politics, mafia and crime
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

15.10.07: Montenegro and EU sign SAA - 0 views

  • Montenegro takes first step towards EU membership[fr][de]  Published: Tuesday 16 October 2007 The EU and Montenegro have signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), boosting the former Yugoslav state's hopes of becoming a full EU member. Related: LinksDossier:   EU-Western Balkans relations News:   Bulgaria rows with Montenegro over euro notes spelling Brief News: The signing of the SAA and the so-called Interim Agreement took place on Monday (15 October) at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

15.10.07: Montenegro having signed an SAA - 0 views

  • Montenegro is hoping to lodge an official application for EU membership in the first half of 2008, the country's prime minister Zeljko Sturanovic said on Monday (15 October). Mr Sturanovic made the announcement during a press conference after having signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU earlier in the day in Luxembourg.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network - 0 views

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    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.
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