Recent research shows that between 25.000 – 40.000 people are annually leaving each of the Western Balkans countries. Not only young people, but increasingly the middle class as well. A group of young scientist from the region has engaged in a project ‘New Horizons for the Young Generations in the Balkans” in order to discuss their visions how to overcome old- fashioned politics and nationalisms and the lack of perspective for younger generations. They will sketch alternative horizons and the look for alternatives for South-Eastern Europe’s way beyond emigration. Den Haag will be the first place in Europe after Vienna where the results of the mentioned initiative will be presented to the public.
Zullen we ooit deel uitmaken van het Europese project? Dat is de vraag die alle Westelijke Balkan leiders stellen wanneer ze zich voorbereiden op de grote top. Na de uitspraak van de Franse president Macron, geen uitbreiding totdat de EU zelf haar zaken op orde heeft, vorige maand in Straatsburg, vielen hun dromen aan diggelen.
On the 6th of February the European Commission presented its long awaited enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans. Since the State of the Union of European Commission President J.C. Juncker last year, there was a growing momentum for a clearer prospect for accession of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania to the Union.
Republika Srpska (RS), Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) Serb-dominated entity, is determined to continue their planned referendum about its entities annual public holiday on the 25th of September despite Bosnian and international warnings. BiH’s constitutional court has already ruled the day as discriminatory and thus unconstitutional. This because it discriminates against non-Serb residents of RS. The referendum could destabilize the country especially with the local elections set for October. The referendum will be discussed at a session of the Peace Implementation Council, an ad-hoc group representing countries and international organizations overseeing BiH's peace agreement (Dayton 1995) and the work of the Office of the High Representative (OHR), which is responsible for its continued implementation.
Between the 30th of July and the 3rd of August the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Belgrade office, European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity and Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) organised the second seminar of the 2016 Course for Promising Politicians. The seminar ‘enhancing regional partnership and cooperation’ took place in Skopje, Macedonia. FMS trainer Maja Nenadović and Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Nenad Šebek conducted the training.
Between the 26th and 29th of May Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Belgrade office, European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity and Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) organised the first seminar of the 2016 Course for Promising Politicians. The seminar ‘ich bin ein Social Democrat’ took place in Igalo, Montenegro, and focused on ideology and policies. FMS trainer Michiel Emmelkamp and Novo društvo (Croatia) trainer and SDP international secretary Karolina Leaković conducted the training.
Last weekend (18-21 June) the second seminar of the Course for Promising Politicians (CPP) was held in Tirana, Albania. The seminar on regional cooperation focused on the interrelationships in the Western Balkan states, and on how cooperation between the countries can enhance regional stability and encourage regional growth. Over the course of three days, 27 young politicians followed several workshops on this topic.
The ruling coalition in the Federation of Bosnia (FBiH) has collapsed as one of the three parties, Democratic Front (DF), decided to quit the coalition. Personal issues, conflicting statements and short standing compromises have coloured the past few month’s cooperation between the three parties. The DF, a split-off of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) finally stumbled over a dispute over the appointment of managers for public companies and the regulation. The party opposed placing ministers in charge of appointments in public companies in fields under their responsibility.
Last weekend (22-24 May) a new edition of the Course for Promising Politicians (CPP) started. The first seminar of this year’s course took place in Budva, Montenegro. The seminar on ideology, ‘Ich bin ein Social Democrat’, focused on the policies and the central messages of social democracy. Over the course of three days, 27 young politicians followed several workshops on this topic.