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.
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.
Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of the conservative nationalist VMRO DPMNE and the country’s secret police chief have been accused of ordering a massive wire-tapping on more than 20,000 people by opposition leader Zoran Zaev (Social Democratic Union, SDSM). Zaev claimed he can support this accusation with tons of material which are in his possession. According to Zaev, the Prime Minister has continually received daily reports on his political opponents by the secret services. The opposition has released some audio materials and transcripts that consist of phone conversations between Zaev and his fellow colleagues, and even a phone call with his young daughter.
Between the 30th of October and the 2nd of November the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) office in Belgrade in cooperation with the Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) and the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity, organized the second seminar in 2014 for young and promising politicians and members of social democratic parties from the countries of former Yugoslavia and Albania. The seminar, in which 26 participants participated, took place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Van 26 tot 28 September vond op het Kroatische eiland Korcula de jaarlijkse zomerconferentie van het Central Eastern European Gender Network (CEE Gender Network) plaats. De Korcula School ging dit jaar over het thema geweld tegen vrouwen. FMS trainer Janna Besamusca reisde naar Kroatië af om een presentatie te verzorgen en mee te discussiëren.
Inter-ethnic tensions have recently been on the rise in Macedonia. The convicting to life imprisonment of six Albanians accused of killing five ethnic Macedonians during 2012 Orthodox Easter near Skopje has triggered mass demonstration on behalf of the Albanian community living in the country. Opposition to the police last Friday led to at least twenty injured demonstrators. Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski declared yesterday that “The state won’t let these protests escalate to an extent where they can jeopardise the interests of the people and the [country’s] institutions”.
For the second night in a row, hundreds of Ethnic Macedonians, predominantly youth, clashed with police on the streets of the Macedonian capital Skopje. On the night of 20-21 six police officers were injured and 27 people got arrested. The riots broke out after the alleged murder of an ethnic 19-year-old Macedonian student by an ethnic Albanian on 19 May.
On 27 April dual elections took place in Macedonia. The opposition does not accept the results and refuses to take seat in parliament. These parties further boycotted the inauguration of president Gjorge Ivanov on 12 May and were absent at the ceremonial handing of Members of Parliament certificates on 7 May.
Yesterday 27 April, dual elections were held in Macedonia. The country went to the ballot boxes for the second round of the presidential elections and early parliamentary elections. The ruling conservative coalition, ‘For better Macedonia’ (VMRO-DPMNE and DUI), claims victory as the opposition refuses to accept the results due to irregularities. The preliminary results suggest the ruling coalition retains a government majority.