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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

31.03.11: EU enlargement fatigue is myth, MPs are told - 2 views

  • Fule called on the Serbian authorities to increase their efforts in conducting the reforms necessary to get a positive opinion on Serbia's EU membership application.
  • He named eight priorities in the process: justice reform, fight against organized crime and corruption, changes to electoral legislation, making sure regulatory bodies function efficiently, property rights, human rights, regional cooperation and cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Belgrade steps closer to EU negotiations - 0 views

  • In Brussels this week, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic submitted the answers to more than 2,400 questions regarding reforms being implemented and the country's readiness to become a candidate for EU membership.

    After a meeting with EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Monday (January 31st), Cvetkovic said he is confident Serbia would become a candidate by the end of the year.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

05.01.11: Tadic: There is no better alternative for Serbia than EU - 0 views

  • Serbian President Boris Tadic stated on Wednesday that there is no better alternative for Serbia than joining the EU, adding that the country's EU membership would help overcome many historical misunderstandings in the Western Balkans.

    Addressing the participants of the ambassadors' conference held in Belgrade, Tadic said that the EU integration is Serbia's most important political goal for 2011 and the years to come.

    "Serbia's priority goal is to obtain the EU candidate status, but at this point we cannot say if the date for the beginning of negotiations on the EU accession will be determined this year or next," Tadic stressed.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.12.10 The US assessment of EU-policy towards Kosovo and Serbia - insights from Wiki... - 0 views

  • The EU's "low profile" mission in Kosovo and the "fatigue" shown by Europeans on the independence issue are failing to address the increasing threat of partition in the northern part of Kosovo, a fresh set of US cables released by WikiLeaks shows just as Kosovars head to the polling stations on Sunday (12 December).
  • With five EU member states still not having recognised the independence of Kosovo and a certain "fatigue" emerging on the issue, US diplomats fear that Europe will cave in to Serb pressure for the northern part of the country to be split off - a development which could trigger ethnic violence.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

24.11.10: Fuele hands over questionnaire to Serbian Prime Minister - 0 views

  • EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele has given the EC questionnaire to Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković in Belgrade this Wednesday.
  • Cvetković stated on Wednesday that Serbia will answer the European Commission's (EC) questionnaire by the end of January 2011, while Fuele assessed that Serbia is in a good position on the road to the EU.

    "The government's aim is for Serbia to obtain the EU candidate status by the end of 2011 and to determine the date for the beginning of negotiations," Cvetković stated.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

22.11.10: Jeremic (Serbia): Silent pro_eu majority in the Western Balkans might become ... - 0 views

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Vuk Jeremic said in London on Thursday, that unless the fatigue caused by EU enlargement is overcome, the silent pro-European majority in the Western Balkans might become a silent minority.

    Speaking at the London School of Economics, Jeremic reiterated that Serbia is absolutely committed to EU membership as a strategic goal and Belgrade is open for dialogue and compromise with Pristina, acceptable for both sides.

    The dialogue should begin as soon as possible and on less controversial issues, in order to gradually shift to more delicate ones, the Minister explained.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.11.10: 'Wrong answers' on Kosovo could block Serbia's EU candidacy - 0 views

  • When EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule hands his 'questionnaire' over to the Serbian authorities during his visit to Belgrade next week, the recipients may wish to take a step back and reflect carefully before they sit down to formulate their responses.

    Serbia's replies to the list of questions will largely determine the European Commission's assessment of the country's readiness to become an EU candidate, and a few 'wrong' answers on Kosovo could easily compromise the process.

  • Either the European Commission or the Council of Ministers could advise against granting Belgrade candidate status or the decision could be put on hold until Belgrade has clarified contested positions, according to EU officials dealing with Serbia.

    The questionnaire itself is 'status neutral' regarding Kosovo, and takes into account UN Resolution 1244, which set up an international military presence in Kosovo in 1999.

    "Serbian answers should be status neutral and respect UN Resolution 1244 as well," an EU member state diplomat told WAZ.EUobserver. "That means Serbia will not be forced to recognise Kosovo's independence in the questionnaire but Belgrade should accept in the answers the reality that Kosovo is not under Serbian sovereignty or control."

  • "Some important EU countries have already signalled they will veto Serbia's candidate status if Belgrade tries to use the questionnaire to affirm sovereignty and territorial integrity in Kosovo," an EU diplomat warned.

    A positive opinion by the commission is usually essential for an aspiring country to become an official candidate. The only exception so far has been Greece, which became a candidate in spite of a negative assessment by the Brussels-based executive.

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  • "It is imaginable that the commission gives a positive opinion on Serbia without Ratko Mladic being arrested," said a source in the EU Council of Ministers. "But it is unimaginable, after the council conclusion last month in Luxembourg, that the EU [member states] will find the unanimity required to grant candidate status to Serbia without Ratko Mladic being arrested and transferred to the Hague tribunal prison in Scheveningen."
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)
    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

09.11.10: Will Negotiation Slot for Kosovo be used? - 0 views

  • When UN made new Kosovo related decision on September 2010 it was believed that resolution would enable a dialogue for resolving this frozen conflict. With minimal preconditions new direct talks between Belgrad and Pristina and a possible deal between local stakeholders could open the way for sustainable solution. However resent events have have resulted in stalemate: President of separatist Kosovo government resigned and dissolution of the government itself have put the focus in Kosovo on next elections which will be held in December 2010. Meanwhile also Serbia starts soon preparations for its next next elections, due by spring 2012.

    Thus there is a narrow negotiation slot between the time when a new Kosovo government takes office and to end successfully before the Serbian election campaign makes any compromise impossible. The core question is if there is political will to start talks with the aim of reaching as comprehensive a compromise settlement as possible.

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

26.10.10: Serbia rushes to launch accession talks - 0 views

  • The EU moved closer to starting accession talks with Serbia yesterday (25 October) after overcoming long-standing opposition from the Dutch government. Belgrade said a "new era" in its history had begun. BETA, EurActiv's partner in Serbia, contributed to this article.
  • Meeting in Luxembourg, EU foreign ministers found a formula to unblock the launch of accession talks with Serbia. The diplomatic jargon adopted accommodates the Netherlands' demand that any further step in Serbia's EU accession must be conditional on Belgrade's cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

    The move became possible after Belgrade agreed to engage in talks with Kosovo, its former province, whose declaration of independence in 2008 Serbia does not recognise.

    Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said he was satisfied that the compromise text had put "pressure" on Serbia to fully cooperate with the ICTY.

    Steven Vanackere, Belgium's foreign minister, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, praised the "good balance" of the text.

    In fact, Belgium made a huge contribution to successfully reaching the compromise. It had to step aside from its own national position as its duty at the EU’s helm is to seek a common position. Jean de Ruyt, Belgium's EU ambassador, told EurActiv that his country's stance on the need for full cooperation with ICTY mirrored the Dutch view.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.10.10: Serbien kommt EU-Beitritt ein kleines Stück näher - 0 views

  • Die Europäische Union hat Serbiens Öffnung für Gespräche mit seiner abtrünnigen ehemaligen Provinz Kosovo belohnt und eine weitere Hürde auf dem Weg des Balkanlandes in die EU beiseite geräumt.

    Die EU-Außenminister beschlossen am Montag in Luxemburg einstimmig, die EU-Kommission mit einer Stellungnahme zum Beitrittsgesuch Serbiens zu beauftragen. Sollte diese positiv ausfallen, stünde als nächstes eine Entscheidung über den Beginn von Beitrittsverhandlungen an. Serbien hatte sich im September zu einem Dialog mit der Regierung im Kosovo bereiterklärt und darauf verzichtet, in den Vereinten Nationen neue Verhandlungen über den Status des Kosovo zu fordern.

    Die EU unterstrich zugleich, dass die vollständige Kooperation der Regierung in Belgrad mit dem internationalen Kriegsverbrechertribunal in Den Haag eine unerlässliche Bedingung für eine Aufnahme in die Gemeinschaft ist. Konkret fordert die EU die Festnahme des ehemaligen serbischen Militärchefs in Bosnien Ratko Mladic, einer der Verantwortlichen für den Bosnien-Krieg, sowie des ehemaligen serbischen Politikers in Kroatien, Goran Hadzic. Auch er wird als Kriegsverbrecher gesucht.

    Mladic wird schon lange in Serbien vermutet. UN-Chefankläger Serge Brammertz hatte Serbien im Juni vorgeworfen, die Ergreifung Mladics nicht gezielt zu verfolgen. Brammertz regelmäßige Berichte über Serbien sind eine wichtige Entscheidungsgrundlage für die EU-Außenminister. "Wenn wir ihn heute finden, werden wir ihn noch heute festnehmen", sagte der serbische Vize-Ministerpräsident Bozidar Djelic in Luxemburg.

    Die EU-Außenminister bekräftigten, dass jeder einzelne Schritt im Aufnahmeverfahren von der vollständigen Kooperation mit dem Tribunal abhänge und einstimmig von den 27 EU-Staaten beschlossen werden müsse. Darauf bestanden die Niederlande. Sie sind gegenüber Serbien besonders strikt. Zum einen hat das UN-Tribunal seinen Sitz in den Niederlanden. Außerdem waren es die niederländischen UN-Blauhelm-Truppen, die das Massaker an den rund 8000 Bosniern in der UN-Schutzzone Srebrenica 1995 nicht verhinderten.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

23.10.10: EU to move ahead on Serbia accession, add tough conditions - 0 views

  • EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday (25 October) will invite the European Commission to submit its opinion on Serbia's application for EU membership. But the ministers' conclusions, seen by WAZ.EUobserver, are to say bluntly that Serbia cannot go further toward EU accession without the arrest of war crimes suspects Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic and a constructive approach in the upcoming dialogue with Kosovo.
  • After two nights of long and tiring talks, the representatives of 26 EU countries and the Netherlands on Friday agreed the final text of the ministers' communique.

    The compromise consists of several elements: Ministers will voice strong support for Serbian president Boris Tadic; they will say Belgrade's attitude toward Kosovo is a key condition for further Serbian EU integration; and they will make clear Serbia cannot obtain official EU candidate status unless all EU member states, including the Netherlands, agree on a positive assessment of its co-operation with the Hague War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY), based on ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz' reports.

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

Subotic (2010): Explaining Difficult States. The Problems of Europeanization in Serbia - 0 views

  • Abstract

    Why has Serbia’s path toward European integration been fraught with so much difficulty? This article explains Serbia’s reluctance to Europeanize by exploring why Serbian elites persistently refused to fulfill the European Union’s principal requirement—full cooperation with the Hague war crimes tribunal—even when it meant getting off the road to Brussels. The article offers a theoretical framework that incorporates domestic political identity, power of veto players, and competing elite strategies to explain how Serbian political actors used European Union norms and institutions to advance local political agendas. The article concludes that, instead of being a successful change agent that brought about policy shift in the areas of democratization and human rights, the European Union was used on many occasions by Serbian political elites to pursue strategies far removed from EU norms and standards.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

24.09.10: Kosovo in New York - 0 views

  • After Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov took his turn among a succession of heads of state and government to have talks with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the start of the General Assembly’s new season, the UN’s news service said that Kosovo had topped the agenda, specifically the prospects for talks between Belgrade and Priština.

    Given hopes in diplomatic circles that on the sidelines of the General Assembly talkfest, an arrangement could be brokered to open negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo, the topic of the Borissov-Ban discussions was hardly a surprise – especially given Bulgaria’s desire to take the lead in helping to get the Western Balkans on an even keel.
  • These developments all preceded what many hoped would be a turning point in New York – a scheduled September 23 meeting between EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and  Tadić, at which – or so it was hoped – there would be some agreement on starting an EU-brokered set of talks between Belgrade and Priština, including a starting date for the dialogue.

    On September 20, Ashton met Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaçi. Media in Priština said that Thaçi had told Ashton that Kosovo was prepared to talk to Serbia about matters of mutual interest, but with the issues of Kosovo’s status decidedly off the agenda.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.09.10: Internal discussions in Serbia on UN adoption of Kosovo Resolution - 0 views

  • Belgrade has praised the UN General Assembly's adoption of a resolution on Kosovo that calls for dialogue between the state and Serbia.

    Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said the decision on Thursday night was an important move as it ended the process Serbia had started by requesting a legal opinion from the International Court of Justice, ICJ, on Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence.

  • Some opposition parties in Serbia were quick to label the adoption "a defeat and shame for the Serbian people".

    Dragan Todorovic from the opposition Serbian Radical Party, SRS, called Thursday's adoption the "most shameful and hardest hit" that Serbia had suffered in its history.

    "Everyone who watched the session could see how Serbia has lost Kosovo, for which it has been fighting for generations in only one way," Todorovic told Balkan Insight.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.09.10: Serbia and EU reach breakthrough on Kosovo resolution - 0 views

  • Eleventh-hour talks between the EU and Serbia have seen Belgrade accept an EU-friendly draft resolution on the thorny question of Kosovo ahead of a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) vote on the text in New York on Thursday (9 September).

    "This draft resolution will now be a resolution put forward by 28 European countries. All 27 EU member states and Serbia will be co-sponsoring this draft resolution," EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said in a communique out late on Wednesday.

  • The new resolution also "welcomes the readiness of the EU to facilitate the process of dialogue," effectively shifting the venue for future talks from the United Nations, where 122 out of 192 members do not recognise Kosovo, to the EU sphere, where five out of 27 members do not recognise it.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

08.09.10: EU should facilitate Kosovo-Serbia talks, show new muscle - 0 views

  • A rare combination of events offers the EU the opportunity to help Serbia and Kosovo resolve their differences, establish relations and unblock their paths to further European integration.

    The 22 July International Court of Justice (ICJ) opinion that found Kosovo's declaration of independence violated no international law or UN Resolution, a September discussion in the UN General Assembly on Kosovo, an invitation to mediate by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, and unprecedented domestic support for Prime Minister Hashim

  • Possibly, it only wants talks that discuss Kosovo's status, inherently delaying other countries' decisions to join the 69 states that have already recognised. But this delaying tactic is not going to work, and there will be no EU facilitated dialogue if Serbia does not accept to sit down with Kosovo as an equal.

    The encouraging news is that some high level officials in Serbia seem to recognise this. They are interested in moving forward with their EU candidacy and feel Kosovo as an albatross holding them back. They want to find mutually acceptable solutions with Pristina which could pave the way for recognition.

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