Balkans

Blair, Erdogan Discuss Turkey’s EU Bid

Turkey is ready to sign a protocol extending its customs union to the 10 new EU member states, including Cyprus, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in London on Wednesday (27 July). Ankara is reportedly planning, however, to attach a declaration to the protocol stressing that it does not …

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Greek Justice Minister Names New Top Judges

ATHENS, Greece — Following a government session Tuesday (5 July), Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras announced personnel changes in two top judicial offices. Romylos Kedikoglou was named head of the Greek Supreme Court, while Giorgos Panayiotopoulos was tapped for head of the Council of State. New vice-chairmen were also appointed in …

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Romanian Court to Review Three Appeals of Reform Measures

BUCHAREST, Romania — The Constitutional Court is expected to review three appeals Wednesday (6 July) of the government’s draft laws on property and judicial reforms, submitted separately by two opposition parties — the Social Democratic Party and the Greater Romania Party — as well as the country’s High Court. The …

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EU’s Rehn Reiterates Turkish Negotiation Framework Most Rigorous Yet

BRUSSELS, Belgium — EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn repeated on Tuesday (5 July) that the European Commission’s draft framework for accession talks with Turkey is the most rigorous ever. During his presentation of the document to the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Rehn stressed that lessons were drawn from the …

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Croatian President Calls for Enhanced Co-operation With Serbia-Montenegro

ZAGREB, Croatia — President Stipe Mesic called on Tuesday (5 July) for enhanced co-operation between his country and Serbia-Montenegro. Speaking on the eve of his two-day trip to the federal union, Mesic said strengthened ties would help boost the climate of co-operation throughout the region. As for the legacies of …

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Justice Minister Insists Skopje Wants to Prosecute Cases Returned by Hague Tribunal

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Macedonian Justice Minister Meri Mladenovska-Gjorgjievska reiterated on Tuesday (5 July) that Skopje is prepared to prosecute the four cases that the UN tribunal decided to return to the country. Mladenovska-Gjorgjievska outlined the position during talks with tribunal president Theodor Meron and chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte …

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Former US Secretary of State Honoured in Kosovo

PRISTINA, Kosovo, Serbia-Montenegro — Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was honoured with a “Golden Medal of Liberty” in Pristina on Tuesday (5 July). During the ceremony in parliament, Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova noted Albright’s commitment to the province, particularly to the settlement of the 1998-1999 crisis. In a …

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BiH Government Adopts Draft Accords for Co-operation With Europol

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) — The BiH government adopted a draft agreement on co-operation with the European Police Office (Europol) at its latest session, Security Minister Barisa Colak announced Tuesday (5 July). He added that the document would boost collaboration in preventing, combating and investigating international crime. Colak added …

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Ljajic Says Extradition of Seven Indictees, Including Mladic, Is Key to EU Integration

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro — The extradition of seven war crimes indictees, including Ratko Mladic, remains a major condition for progress in Serbia-Montenegro’s bid for EU integration, said federal Human and Minority Rights Minister Rasim Ljajic, who also is chairman of the national council for co-operation with the UN tribunal. Ljajic spoke …

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Political Infighting Slows Albanian Vote Count

TIRANA, Albania — The Central Election Commission complained on Tuesday (5 July) that infighting between the two main political parties has slowed the vote counting from Sunday’s parliamentary election. According to a spokesman, ballot counters in 15 of the country’s 100 counting centres walked off the job on orders from …

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