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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

Kentrotis (2010): The European Union and the Balkans: Beyond Symbiosis and Integration, Romanian Journal of European Affairs, Vol. 10, 2010, Issue 3, 56-69 - 0 views

  • The European Union continues to constitute an incomplete economic-political entity at intergovernmental and supranational level. The EU is seeking to establish appropriate functional superstructures extending beyond the narrow confines of trade, the economy and free market rules to accommodate its integral progress as a new force for prosperity, democracy and peace in the world. On the map of the Balkans, the local political actors continue to define their choices in line with their historic experience and stereotypes, especially as regards their neighbours and the Great Powers of the moment. The Balkan countries, which in any case are still seeking to consolidate their conventional state structures, need much more time to find their place within this unfinished supranational European structure. In both cases the actors involved, whether in the EU or in the Balkans, are grappling with the challenges of global politics from their different starting-points, but it is not easy to overcome the boundaries of their national sovereignty.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.10.10: EU's President Van Rompuy in a first official visit to Montenegro. Montenegro PM promotes 'regatta model' in EU accession - 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

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

05.11.10: EU enlargement reports reveal mixed progress for Balkan states - 0 views

  • The European Commission's latest progress reports on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo and Macedonia have revealed wide variation between these neighbouring Balkan states and mixed progress towards EU accession requirements.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Poor governance
  • The governance of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is one of the most complex problems facing the Balkan region, according to the European Commission's latest progress report on the country.
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  • Croatia: Praise for anti-corruption and competition policy Compared to its hefty critique of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the commission's assessment of Croatia is much more encouraging. The country made "steady progress" towards meeting the remaining criteria needed to conclude the accession talks that began five years ago. However, the commission does not give a target date for accession.
  • Kosovo: Weak judiciary and lack of media freedom Kosovo is reported to have made progress on meeting political criteria and decentralisation has improved. Even though there has been some progress towards eliminating corruption and organised crime, Kosovo continues to suffer from these problems. The commission has mainly expressed disappointment about the state of Kosovo's judicial system and the lack of media freedom – the judiciary remains weak and the appointment of judges is politically influenced.
  • Macedonia: Unsteady progress and paralysed by naming row Macedonia fulfils the political criteria for EU membership but has made "uneven" progress with reforms during the last year, the commission report on the country concludes. In 2009, Macedonia had been praised for its reforms, prompting Brussels to recommend the start of accession talks with the EU. Negotiations were then blocked by Greece because of the unresolved name dispute between the two countries. This year, the commission is more critical but does not revoke last year's opinion on the start of accession talks.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.11.10: A first look at the European Commission progress reports on enlargement due to be presented on Nov. 10th - 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

06.11.10: Albania and Bosnia to get visa-free travel before Christmas - 0 views

  • EU interior ministers are on Monday (8 November) expected to lift visa requirements for Albanian and Bosnian citizens despite limited progress in terms of democracy, the fight against organised crime and corruption in the two countries.
  • To Bosnians and Albanians, the news is sweet after they were left behind last year when Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro got on the visa-free list. Kosovo, on the other hand, has little prospect of catching up as it is not even recognised by all EU member states. On the EU side, some capitals are unhappy about the developments. The Netherlands is opposing the move, saying there has been too little progress in terms of democratisation, organised crime and corruption in Albania and Bosnia and pointing to the political chaos in both countries. France is also reluctant, fearing a massive influx of migrants. The EU commission has given reassurances that Tirana and Sarajevo will make it clear that visa-free travel is not a ticket to asylum or residence in the EU after problems with Macedonian asylum seekers last year. But even if France or the Netherlands votes No or abstain on Monday, the decision will be adopted by qualified majority. The commission itself shares Dutch concerns. In the 2010 accession progress reports on the two countries, to be published on Tuesday and seen by EUobserver, neither Albania nor Bosnia win much praise. "Bosnia and Herzegovina has made limited progress in addressing key reforms. Incompatibilities between the Bosnian constitution and the EU convention on human rights were not removed, despite the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights," the document says. It also criticises Bosnia for lacking "a shared vision by the leaders on the overall direction of the country and on key EU-related reforms." On Albania, it says the political stalemate after 2009 elections is the biggest obstacle to progress. It adds that Albania has made too little headway to be granted the status of EU candidate country, for which it applied in 2009. "Activities of organised crime groups in Albania, having impact outside of the country, remain an issue of serious concern. Further strenghtening of co-operation at the international level is necessary, including in particular with neighbouring countries," it says.
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

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

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

22.11.10: Greece: EU should consider setting 2018 as a goal for the hopefuls in the Balkans to become members - 0 views

  • The European Union should give western Balkan states a target date for accession to the bloc in a bid to bolster democratic reforms in the region and invigorate EU enlargement, Greece's foreign minister said on Monday. Dimitris Droutsas said the EU could consider setting 2018 as a goal for hopefuls in the Balkans to become members but that only countries that are fully ready should be allowed to join. Greece would aim to seek consensus among EU member nations for such a date -- for states including Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia -- when it holds the bloc's rotating presidency in 2014, he said. "We can adopt a political declaration that sets a specific, ambitious and realistic goal for completing the accession process for western Balkans," Droutsas said at a seminar in Brussels where he was to attend an EU foreign ministers meeting.
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

10.12.10 The US assessment of EU-policy towards Kosovo and Serbia - insights from Wikileaks documents - 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

14.12.10: Elections in Kosovo demonstrate internal division of the society - 0 views

  • Acting Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has declared victory for his Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) following the first parliamentary elections to be held in an independent Kosovo. He made the declaration before the country's electoral commission has published the preliminary results. Exit polls signalled that the PDK had won most of the votes but the victory was overshadowed by reports of serious fraud in two municipalities in the Drenica region, a PDK stronghold. A 94 percent turnout was reported in Skenderaj while in the rest of Kosovo it averaged around 45 percent.
  • The elections demonstrated the internal divisions of a society that broke loose from its former Serbian rulers and declared itself an independent state in February 2008. Turnout in the majority Serb areas of the north was around one percent, after the Belgrade government's call for a vote boycott. However, there was a higher than expected turnout among Serbs in the rest of Kosovo, a sign that divisions run through the Kosovar Serb community as well. Even if the PDK's victory is confirmed, it will need at least two more parties, including minorities, as coalition partners to create a new government.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

CEEOL - Central and Eastern European Online Library - 0 views

  • C.E.E.O.L. is an online archive which provides access to full text PDF articles from 371 humanities and social science journals and re-digitized documents pertaining to Central, Eastern and South-Eastern European topics.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.12.08: Serbia said that EU accession and Kosovo should remain two separate issues - 0 views

  • Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said that one of the most important tasks of Serbian diplomacy is to ensure that the Kosovo issue and EU accession remain two separate processes. In an interview with the daily Blic today Jeremic said that if these two issues become mixed, Serbia would find itself in an extremely tough situation. Safeguarding the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty is our constitutional obligation and according to my deepest convictions it must remain a priority. We will do everything in our power to ensure that we are not forced to choose between our strategic priority of joining the EU and undermining our democratic constitutional order, said Jeremic.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.10.08: Bosnia vote marks nationalist surge - 0 views

  • Local elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina yesterday (5 October) confirmed deep ethnic divisions within the Balkan country, which is seen as a natural candidate for EU accession.
  • Serb, Muslim and Croat nationalists obtained high scores in the race for mayorships in the country's 149 municipalities following a campaign marked by nationalist rhetoric and lack of interest in the real problems faced by citizens. 
  • Links European Union European Commission: Bosnia and Herzegovina – Relations with the EU AFP: Nationalists lead in Bosnia’s local elections Reuters: Bosnians vote along ethnic lines in local polls Reuters: City voters boycott Bosnia’s local polls Huriyet, Turkey: Bosnians vote expected to seal hardliners Balkanisnsight, Serbia: Polls close in Bosnia’s local elections Voice of America: EU defence ministers agree to phase out peacekeeping mission in Bosnia Le Monde Diplomatique: Analysis: The black hole of Bosnia
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

29.09.08: Commission adopts planning of financial assistance to the Western Balkans - 0 views

  • Commission adopts multi-annual planning of financial assistance to the Western Balkans and Turkey The Commission has completed today the strategic planning of EU financial support for 2008-2010 to the candidate countries and potential candidates: Croatia, Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo[1]. This financial assistance aims to enhance political and economic reform and development to realise their European perspective. For 2008-2010, the overall indicative amount of EU financial assistance under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is €4.471 billion.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Trauner (2009): Deconstructing the EU's Routes of Influence in Justice and Home Affairs in the Western Balkans - 0 views

  • Published in: Journal of European Integration, Volume 31, Issue 1 January 2009 , pages 65 - 82
  • Abstract What routes of influence could the European Union use to bring the Western Balkan states closer to EU standards in Justice and Home Affairs (JHA)? The paper argues that although the mechanisms of Europeanization identified for the Central and Eastern European countries are useful for understanding the EU's external influence, they are not sufficient for fully deconstructing the avenues of external leverage. The key to understanding the Europeanization of the Western Balkans is to take policy-related conditionality into account, in addition to membership conditionality. In offering more relaxed travel conditions in exchange for the signing of an EC readmission agreement and reforming domestic JHA, the EU could counterbalance the shortcomings of the pre-accession strategy and establish an additional avenue of external leverage. The paper suggests understanding the EU's use of policy-related conditionality in the Western Balkans as exemplary for the European Neighbourhood Policy.
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