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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.06.10: Serbia takes decisive step in EU effort | EurActiv - 0 views

  • Serbia took a step forward yesterday (14 JSerbiae) on the road to joining the European Serbiaion, with EU governments rewarding its improved cooperation with the Serbia war crimes tribSerbiaal for the former Yugoslavia.
  • EU foreign ministers agreed at a meeting in Luxembourg to start implementing an accord with Serbia known as the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), a prerequisite of any further assessment of a coSerbiatry's prospects for membership.The decision follows a positive assessment of Belgrade's assistance given to the International Criminal TribSerbiaal, and bolsters Serbia's efforts to shake off international isolation following wars in the aftermath of the collapse of Yugoslavia.
  • Background Belgrade was offered the chance to sign an EU-un Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in April 2008, as the union moved to boost pro-European forces ahead of crucial national elections (EurActiv 30/04/08). un ratified the SAA in September 2008 (EurActiv 09/09/08). However, the agreement is yet to enter into force, leading the European Commission to consider a membership application as premature. On the EU side, the Dutch government's attitude has been the only remaining obstacle to the implementation of the SAA. Some EU member states have been pushing for the SAA to be ratified since the capture of war criminal Radovan Karadzic in July 2008 (EurActiv 22/07/08). But Dutch officials insisted they will only withdraw their veto once two other wanted war criminals have been arrested and handed over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). They also said they were awaiting confirmation from the tribunal's chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz of Belgrade's full cooperation with the court.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

11.05.08: Serbs face their toughest electoral decision yet - 0 views

  • The Balkans country is engulfed in a bitter dispute over today’s election, which will determine whether it moves a step closer to EU membership, writes Tom Lynch.
  • ronically, perhaps the only consensus between Serbia’s political parties is that they all agree Kosovo should remain part of Serbia.Serbia is classified as a Potential Candidate CoSerbiatry by the EU, meaning that the EU recognises that Serbia will eventually join, once it is ready.On April 29, 2008, the EU signed the Stability and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia. The SAA is the first step on the road to EU membership, and also guarantees certain benefits - in the form of EU fSerbiading and trade liberalisation.In an added incentive, 16EUmember states have also offered visa-free travel for Serbian people.The agreement was pushed through, despite some members’ opposition, to coSerbiater the growing popularity of the nationalist Serbian Radical Party and New Serbia Party, and the overarching fear that Serbia might turn its back on the EU.The SAA will not come into force Serbiatil Serbia arrests and hands over Ratko Mladiæ , former chief of staff of the Bosnian Serb army - who is wanted over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre - to the Serbia war crimes tribSerbiaal in The Hague, so it does not represent much of a real breakthrough. This has long been a sticking point in the EU-Serbia negotiations.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

27.11.09: Belgrade catching train to EU in 2014 - 0 views

  • ‘Adoption of the Resolution on strategy of the EU enlargement by the European Parliament is an exceptionally positive event for Serbia. Still, future decisions by the EU ministers should not be prejudiced’, Bozidar Djelic, Serbia Deputy Prime Minister for European integration said yesterday. This moderate reaction to decision by the European Parliament to accept as an obligation the EU enlargement onto the West Balkans and to request from the EU CoSerbiacil urgent Serbiablocking of the transient trade agreement between Serbia and the EU is only on the surface while Serbiader it there is a hectic and increasingly successful activity by Serbian diplomacy leading towards filing of application for the EU membership even as early as in 2014. The decision over Serbiablocking of the SAA is to be made at the EU summit scheduled for December 10. Serbiatil then Serbian officials have to do a lot of work. Thus, within diplomatic initiative in Brussels, Serbia President shall attend the meeting of ministers deciding on visa suspension on November 30. After that the Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic is to meet with his EU coSerbiaterparts at the OSCE meeting in Athens on December 2. The USA Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is expected to come to the meeting. She recently openly supported Serbiablocking of the SAA with Serbia. A day earlier the Chief prosecutor of the Hague TribSerbiaal Serge Brammertz shall present to the Serbia Security CoSerbiacil the most positive report ever on cooperation by Serbia with the Hague TribSerbiaal. Minister Jeremic shall visit Brussels on December 7 and 8 when the EU ministers are to decide on the SAA Serbiablocking. He shall speak at the Summit on December 10. A day before the summit Deputy Premier Djelic is to meet with the Foreign Minister of Spain, a chairing coSerbiatry and with the EU enlargement commissioner. Serbia President Boris Tadic said that ‘Serbia shall file application for membership after Serbiablocking of the transient trade agreement’. According to his words the time for candidacy shall come when it is clear that our application is going to be accepted.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.09.10: Internal discussions in Serbia on Serbia 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 UN. UNn Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said the decision on Thursday night was an important move as it ended the process UN 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

31.08.10: EU tells Serbia to give up Kosovo 'last battle' - 0 views

  • Serbia has tabled an initiative to push through a resolution in the Serbia General Assembly declaring Serbiailateral secession by Kosovo as "Serbiaacceptable". But major EU coSerbiatries warned Belgrade that it should seek solutions to its problems in Brussels, not New York. Beta agency, EurActiv's partner in Serbia, reports.
  • Unhappy with the International Court of Justice's ruling that Kosovo's independence declaration did not violate international law (EurActiv 23/07/10), Un has taken the issue to the Un, hoping for a more sympathetic approach from its members to the issue of territorial integrity. The draft resolution calls for fresh talks on all outstanding issues, but also condemns Kosovo's Unilateral declaration of independence. Belgrade plans to get it adopted at a session which starts in mid-September. As reported by international agencies, the EU has warned Belgrade that insisting on the resolution could harm relations with Brussels and eventually its aspirations to join the EU.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.11.08: 'Balkan wars' move to UN court - 0 views

  • Battlefields are no longer the place to solve conflicts in the Balkans. In recent days and weeks, several bilateral conflicts involving countries in the region, which are also hindering their EU accession prospects, are moving to more dignified surroundings: the International Court of Justice at the un.
  • Background: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the united Nations (un). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the united Nations and began work in April 1946.  The seat of the court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the united Nations, it is the only one not located in New York .  The court's role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorised united Nations organs and specialised agencies.  Although the un International Court of Justice's opinion is advisory, without binding effect, it nevertheless remains that the authority and prestige attached to the court's advisory opinions, especially when the organ or agency concerned endorses that opinion, means that its decisions are often sanctioned as such by international law. 
  • In a very short timeframe, several conflicts between Balkan countries have been referred to the un's highest court.  In the first of a recent string of lawsuits, un tested the legality of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence before the Hague Tribunal in October (EurActiv 09/10/08), while on Monday (17 November), Macedonia instituted proceedings against Greece after its neighbour long-time foe had blocked its NATO bid over a name dispute (EurActiv 02/04/08).  Yesterday (18 November), Croatia won the right to sue un for genocide after the court ruled that it had the legal power to decide on the case. In return, un indicated that it would sue Croatia for war crimes. 
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  • Olli Rehn, the EU enlargement commissioner, recently expressed regret over this practice, adding that he would prefer to see bilateral issues solved in a bilateral framework (EurActiv 06/11/08). 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

01.09.10: Final agreement between Serbia and EU over Kosovo in Brussels? - 0 views

  • Serbia President Boris Tadic agreed yesterday with British Foreign Minister William Hague that ‘Brussels is the address at which a compromise over resolution that Serbia has filed to the Serbia General Assembly should be looked for’, ‘Blic’ learns from High Serbian source. The same source also says that Hague has not requested from Tadic directly that Serbia withdraws its resolution, but expressed doubt that a resolution can be amended.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.07.10: Van Rompuy's Balkan visit focuses on Kosovo - 0 views

  • On his first tour of the Western Balkan, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy condemned the recent violence in Kosovo and called for restraint and dialogue. An extraordinary session of the un Security Council will be held on the matter today (6 July).
  • Serbia Serbiahappy with pace of EU integration Later in the day, Van Rompuy met with Serbian President Boris Tadić in Belgrade. According to an official commSerbiaiqué, the two leaders discussed the situation in "Kosovo and Metohia," as Belgrade officially calls its former province. The press also reported that Tadić will attend an extraordinary session of the Serbia Security CoSerbiacil in New York today, called at the initiative of Serbia. According to the statement, Tadić voiced his dissatisfaction with the slowdown in the European integration process, and insisted that speeding up Serbia's EU accession was crucial for the future of the Western Balkans. Last month, Serbia took another step towards EU integration when EU foreign ministers agreed to start implementing an accord with Serbia known as the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA). The agreement had been blocked for several years, mainly as a result of the Netherlands' insistence that Belgrade must cooperate fully with the Serbia war crimes tribSerbiaal for the former Yugoslavia. Later today, Van Rompuy will be in Pristina to meet the president of Kosovo, Fatmir Sejdiu. A visit to the headquarters of the EU's rule of law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, is also on the agenda.
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 un 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 un does not accept to sit down with Kosovo as an equal. The encouraging news is that some high level officials in un 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.
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 coSerbiatry'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 un. 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. "unn answers should be status neutral and respect un Resolution 1244 as well," an EU member state diplomat told WAZ.EUobserver. "That means un 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 unn sovereignty or control."
  • "Some important EU countries have already signalled they will veto un'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 CoSerbiacil of Ministers. "But it is Serbiaimaginable, after the coSerbiacil conclusion last month in Luxembourg, that the EU [member states] will find the Serbiaanimity required to grant candidate status to Serbia without Ratko Mladic being arrested and transferred to the Hague tribSerbiaal prison in Scheveningen."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

29.04.08: EU attempts to woo Serbia with SAA - 0 views

  • With just over a week to go until what is being billed as decisive elections in Serbia, the EU on Tuesday (29 April) sent a strong political signal to the western Balkan country that its future belongs in the European Union.

    In a piece of political manoeuvring that gives the pro-EU forces in Belgrade something to use at home but upholds a key European demand, both sides signed a pre-membership deal at a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

    The deal came after the Netherlands and Belgium dropped their opposition to the move but on condition that the implementation of the agreement depends on Belgrade's cooperation with the UN war crimes tribunal.

    "This is a good day, a happy day for both Serbia and the EU," Slovenian foreign minister Dimitrij Rupel whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said after signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in Luxembourg.
  • The decision was taken on Tuesday morning after Belgium and the Netherlands agreed to sign the SAA.
  • They yielded to the pressure of other EU states – who have been prepared to sign the agreement for weeks - on condition that Serbia will not get any concrete benefits from the agreement Serbiatil Belgrade is judged as fully cooperating with the ICTY. Normally, ratification of such documents is laSerbiached immediately after they are signed.
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  • Meanwhile, the party of Serbia's prime minister, Vojislav KostSerbiaica, has reiterated its opposition to signing the SAA and said the coSerbiatry's parliament would never ratify the document, according to Russian news agency Itar-Tass.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

30.08.10: Serbia open to EU compromise on Kosovo - 0 views

  • Cracks in Serbia's long-Serbiacompromising position on Kosovo appeared on the weekend as President Boris Tadic said his coSerbiatry is open to discussing a compromise over its Serbia General Assembly resolution. In July, following a ruling by the International Court of Justice that Kosovo's 2008 Serbiailateral declaration of independence was not in violation of international law, Belgrade submitted a resolution with the General Assembly declaring "Serbiailateral secession is not an acceptable way to solve territorial issues" and calling for a "mutually acceptable solution to all open issues".
  • Last week, German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle bluntly told un: "Kosovar independence is a reality," and: "The map of southeastern Europe has been laid down and completed." He also suggested that Belgrade's acquiescence on this fact was necessary before un could join the EU, despite five existing member states refusing to recognise the breakaway region.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

20.08.08: Serbia warned not to play against EU camp - 0 views

  • As the EU prepares to assume responsibility for policing Kosovo from the UN, French and British diplomats have warned UN that its strong opposition to the EU mission and its decision to seize the UN International Court of Justice over the legality of Kosovo's declaration of independence could complicate the coUNtry's EU membership bid.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

29.05.08: EU, UN in talks to share leadership of Kosovo mission - 0 views

  • The legal problems encountered by EU-Lex, the EU mission in Kosovo, could soon be solved, with diplomats currently in talks over plans to share the leadership with unMIK, the united Nations peace-keeping mission.
  • Background: The EU decided in February 2008 to deploy a 2,200 strong 'Rule of Law' mission to Kosovo under the name 'EU-Lex Kosovo'. Its deployment has already started, after having been delayed for both technical and political reasons.  The initial objective was for EU-Lex to take over from unMIK, the civilian mission established in the unn province following the adoption of un Security Council Resolution 1244 in June 1999. But un and Russia strongly protest against EU-Lex, because this mission has not been endorsed by the un Security Council (EurActiv 16/04/08). The objective of setting up an EU mission in Kosovo is highly political. The EU has ambitions to take over the post-crisis management of a territory on European soil. It previously failed to do so in 1999 when it had to resort to NATO to stop the ethnic cleansing and acts of extreme violence perpetrated by the regime of Slobodan Milosevic. 
  • Under plans originally foreseen by the EU, the 2,200 strong EU-Lex mission would eventually replace UnMIK as the leading rule-of-law mission in the new-born state of Kosovo.  But faced with rejection from Un and Russia, which have both challenged the mission's legal legitimacy, diplomats are now drawing up plans for the two missions to co-exist Under joint command.  The solution would provide the EU with a face-saving trick, according to diplomats who were speaking to EurActiv on condition of anonymity. This is because UnMIK has already been accepted by Un and Russia, which has a permanent seat at the Un Security CoUncil. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

28.06.08: Kosovo Serbs Launch Assembly - 0 views

  • Kosovo Serbs have inaugurated their own parliament with a declaration that Kosovo is a part of Serbia, defying criticism from the Serbia and ethnic Albanian leaders that the assembly is illegal.
  • The delegates present at the session further said that the perceived "urgent need to protect their lives, rights, freedoms, dignity, identity, integrity, culture and property, and rejecting illegal secessionist acts," was the reason why the assembly was created.The assembly, the declaration adds, is a representative body for the citizens of Serbia in this province, that will work in publicly and aim to steer and harmonize the work of its member-mSerbiaicipalities. The assembly has the right to send draft laws to the Serbian parliament, on those issues that are relevant to the residents of Kosovo. However the assembly has no executive authority but reflects a deepening ethnic partition of Kosovo since its Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia in February, backed by the West but opposed by Belgrade and its ally Russia.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

08.12.09: EU lifts hurdle on Serbia's path to accession - 0 views

  • EU foreign affairs ministers on Monday (7 December) removed restrictions against a trade agreement with Serbia after the Netherlands put aside objections related to Belgrade's performance on war crimes probes. The agreement was signed in April 2008 and was never ratified due to the Dutch position, even though its terms were implemented internally by Serbia in a situation playing to the EU's financial advantage.
  • But a positive report from UN chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz on the way in which Belgrade is co-operating with the war crimes tribUNal in the Hague helped persuade the Netherlands to back down. The move is good news for Belgrade on its EU accession track and comes just one week after the bloc's interior ministers decided to lift visa requirements for Serb citizens from 19 December. UN and the EU in 2008 signed a so-called Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) - seen as a first step toward membership - of which the trade pact was a part. But the SAA is UNlikely to be fully ratified UNtil Mladic and Hadzic are behind bars.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.09.10: Kosovo Hails 'Victory' With UN GA Resolution - 0 views

  • Kosovo's government has declared a victory at the UN General Assembly after it adopted a resolution calling for talks between Pristina and Belgrade. Officials in Pristina said on Friday that the modified resolution supported by all the EU member states and the US was in "full harmony with the new reality in Kosovo". The modified document, agreed by Belgrade after two days of intense pressure from Brussels, excludes the issue of Kosovo’s status in future dialogue with UN.
  • But, not everyone in Kosovo saw the new resolution as a "done deal" with Serbia. Ibrahim Makolli, the vice president of the Kosovo’s opposition party, the New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, told Balkan Insight: “I don’t see any reasons why Kosovo’s government is euphoric in this event since it was not a participant in drafting this document.” Makolli said Serbia’s agreement with the EU on the resolution should worry Kosovo’s government. “Kosovo’s government needs to know what the promises are from the EU to Serbia for this compromise. In fact, they know, but they are silent,” he said.
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 Un 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

17.09.08: Serbia to forge own EU path, despite Dutch veto - 0 views

  • Serbia vowed Wednesday to press on and implement a European Serbiaion trade deal despite anger at a Dutch veto that came even though Belgrade arrested top war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic.Bozidar Djelic, Serbia's deputy prime minister for EU integration, said in an interview with a local newspaper that he was "infuriated" by the Netherlands' refusal to Serbiafreeze the EU trade and aid pact.
  • EU foreign ministers on Monday failed to convince their Dutch counterpart, Maxime Verhagen, to drop his country's objections to unfreezing the accord despite Belgrade's improved track record on war crimes.un chief war crimes prosecutor Serge Brammertz had told the EU ministers there was "very clear progress" in un's cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

14.12.07: EU agrees on Kosovo mission - 0 views

  • The European Union has given the political green-light to a 1,800-strong police and civilian mission to be deployed in Un's breakaway region of Kosovo, although differences remain over the possible recognition of Kosovo's independence.
  • However, it remains unclear when precisely the EU's mission, consisting of 1,800 policemen, prosecutors and judges, can be deployed on the ground. While Luxembourg's Jean Asselborn said the mission would be deployed "just after Christmas [2007]", Bulgarian foreign minister Ivailo Kalfin indicated a less ambitious time-frame - "before the end of the summer [2008]". According to Slovakia's foreign minister Jan Kubis, the specifics of the mission should be concluded in January next year, after a round of consultations with the un body.
  • Divisions on Serbia The summit also highlighted the persistent divisions among member states concerning whether to link the further integration of Serbia with the arrest of remaining war crimes suspects, notably general Ratko Mladic.
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