Groot verlies sociaaldemocraten (SDP) in Bosnië is een kans voor interne partijdemocratie

Op zondag 12 oktober gingen de stemgerechtigden van Bosnië-Herzegovina (BiH) voor de 7e keer sinds het einde van de burgeroorlog in 1995 naar de stembus om de parlementen van de centrale staat, Republika Srpska (RS) en Moslim-Kroatische Federatie (FBiH) te kiezen. Daarnaast werden drie roulerende presidenten gekozen: een Moslim (Bakir Izetbegović, Partij van Democratische Actie, SDA), een Kroaat (Dragan Čović, Kroatische Democratische Unie, HDZ) en een Serviër (Mladen Ivanić, kandidaat van de Partij voor Democratische Vooruitgang and Servische Democratische Partij). De belangrijkste conclusies: de massale straatprotesten van februari 2014 hebben niet voor grote politieke verschuivingen gezorgd, 19 jaar na de oorlog stemt men nog steeds langs de etnische lijnen, in RS wordt voor het eerst sinds 2006 echt getornd aan de macht van de president Dodik en de sociaaldemocraten (SDP) hebben flink verloren. In het onderstaande zal ik verder ingaan op het laatstgenoemde.

Corruption allegation ‘cast dark shadow’ over EU’s role in Kosovo

The EU’s rule-of-law mission (EULEX), a civilian security and defense mission deploying around 1,600 EU police and judicial personnel in Kosovo, is facing serious credibility challenges after allegations of an EULEX judge taking bribes. ‘The reputation of the European Union on Kosovo is at stake’, S&D Group member of the European Parliament (EP) Tonino Picula said.

Korcula School 2014 over geweld tegen vrouwen

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.

Kosovo leaders face crimes against humanity charges

Senior Kosovo leaders face indictment for crimes against humanity after a report by US prosecutor Clint Williamson was released on 29 July. The charges include killings, abductions, disappearances, sexual violence and other forms of persecutions against Serb and Roma minority populations, as well as political opponents, since the end of the conflict with Serbia in 1999. Although the suspects are not named, they are referred to as "senior officials of the former Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA), who fought against Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbian regime. The EU special investigative task force (SITF) which led the investigation is likely to prosecute some top figures of Kosovo politics, who accessed leadership positions after the country’s independence in 2008.

Serbia opposes EU in South Stream agreement with Russia

Serbia Prime minister’s two days visit to Russia on Monday and Tuesday was marked by negotiations about the South Stream gas pipeline project, which aims at transporting Russian natural gas to Southern and Central Europe countries through the Black Sea. It should also diversify delivery routes of Russian gas by bypassing the Ukrainian territory. While Belgrade has increasingly turned westwards by declaring its accession to the EU as its foreign policy priority, it has reaffirmed its willingness to preserve good relations with Moscow. This position may be challenged by the finalisation of the South Stream, opposed by Brussels.

Macedonia Prime minister condemns ethnic tensions rise

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”.

Kosovo elections : relations with Serbia influence majority formation

Following our previous coverage of June 8th elections in Kosovo, declared as positive and democratic, the country has entered a profound political crisis. The opposition parties’ alliance against the PDK’s election victory have increasingly being challenging the political and institutional organization of Europe’s youngest state. Indeed the Vetevendosje’s demands to end the EU-led talks between Belgrade and Pristina still prevent the opposition from forming a majority.

Ethnic Albanians clash with Police in south Mitrovica

Clashes broke out between ethnic Albanians and police in the ethnically divided Kosovo town of Mitrovica, injuring 13 police officers and 21 protesters on Sunday 22 June. The clashes started after ethnic Serbs rebuilt a road barricade over the central bridge, dividing the ethnic Albanian southern part of the town from the ethnically Serbian northern part. Local Serbs removed the barricade on 17 June but they replaced a road barricade, made of sand and flowerpots, on 18 June. The ethnic Albanian’s were outraged by the renewed barricade, saying the barricade stands testament to ethnic Serb refusal to integrate into the independent state of Kosovo.

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