Nieuws

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.

General elections to be held in Kosovo

On Sunday 8 June general elections will be held in Kosovo, following an early dissolution of parliament on 7 May. Parliament fell after interethnic bickering let to a legislative stalemate. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) of ruling Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is expected to win. The new government faces many challenges; foremost are a haltering economy, the strengthening of the fledgling government and judiciary and the integration of the ethnic Serbs.

European Forum expert meeting in Belgrade

On Saturday 31 May the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity held an expert meeting about the legitimacy of the EU and increasing civil engagement in order to revitalize the EU enlargement process. Researchers, academics and political foundations met in the Serbian capital of Belgrade to discuss these topics as part of the research program ‘Enhancing democracy pre and post EU accession - Citizens’ Europe’.

Ethnic violence in Skopje

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.

Training voor de oppositie in Servië

In het weekend van 9 tot 11 mei organiseerde Foundation Max van der Stoel in samenwerking met Centre of Modern Skills (CMV) – NGO verbonden aan de Democratische Partij (DS) – een training gericht op het bevorderen van de positie van etnische minderheden binnen de partij. FMS trainers Samir Španja en Brahim Abid reisden naar Servië af om de training te verzorgen.

A new future for Bosnia and Herzegovina?

In a country gripped by political deadlock, politicians of the Bosniak-Croat Federation (FBiH) entity adopted a set of anti-corruption laws, aimed at establishing specific law-enforcement bodies to tackle organized crime. Some critics say the new law shows Bosnia and Herzegovina is starting to overcome its political difficulties, others say the law is a show of decisiveness for the October general elections.

Early parliamentary elections in Kosovo

Kosovo’s National Assembly agreed on 6 May to dissolve parliament on 7 May. 90 representatives voted to dissolve the 120-seat parliament. The decision to dissolve the national assembly came after Members of Parliament failed to reach agreement on two key issues: the transformation of the existing Kosovo Security Forces into the Kosovo Armed Forces and reserved seats for ethnic minorities in parliament. Parliamentary leaders were unable to reach an agreement about the political deadlock and thus voted to dissolve parliament. Parliamentary elections were scheduled for September 2014 but are now to take places on Sunday 8 June.

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