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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



‘Big four’ call for new European dynamic, multi-speed EU

Ahead of a summit in Rome to celebrate the EU’s 60th anniversary later this month, the heads of continental Europe’s biggest economies endorsed the vision of a multi-speed Europe, in which some countries could deepen integration faster than others.

Read more: ‘Big four’ call for new European dynamic, multi-speed EU

Merkel rejects Erdogan’s ‘absurd’ Nazi comparison, calls for calm

Germany rejected as “absurd” yesterday (6 March 2016) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s comparison of its ban on several rallies to the Nazi era, but it also stressed the importance of ties between the two NATO allies in an attempt to defuse an escalating war of words.

Read more: Merkel rejects Erdogan’s ‘absurd’ Nazi comparison, calls for calm

Controversy over claims of Turkish role in Bulgaria’s March 2017 elections

Controversy is growing over reports of the roles of Turkish officials in Bulgaria’s March 26 2017 early parliamentary elections, including a cabinet minister and the appearance of Ankara’s ambassador in a political party’s election campaign video.

Read more: Controversy over claims of Turkish role in Bulgaria’s March 2017 elections

Montenegro’s parliament ‘will vote for NATO by 59%’

Montenegro will finish the ratification procedure of its NATO accession with a vote in parliament in the coming months. Public opinion is evenly divided for and against NATO membership, but it is unlikely that a referendum will be called over the issue.

Read more: Montenegro’s parliament ‘will vote for NATO by 59%’

UK “open to any security arrangement” agreed by Cypriots, says Sir Alan Duncan

UK Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan has repeated the British government’s position that it stands ready to accept any negotiated security framework for a reunited Cyprus, avoiding, however, to engage in a direct discussion on whether there should be any place for third country guarantees.

Read more: UK “open to any security arrangement” agreed by Cypriots, says Sir Alan Duncan

Resuming peace talks up to Greek Cypriots: Turkish Cypriot leader

Resuming interrupted peace talks on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus is up to the Greek Cypriots, said the Turkish Cypriot leader, two days before a planned leaders’ meeting. 

Read more: Resuming peace talks up to Greek Cypriots: Turkish Cypriot leader

Valetta and Athens insist ‘social pillar’ should be part of Europe’s future

Malta and Greece have pledged to work more closely even in a “coalition of the willing” to seek more social Europe.

Read more: Valetta and Athens insist ‘social pillar’ should be part of Europe’s future

Macedonian president accused of fomenting ‘coup’

Macedonia’s political crisis deepened yesterday (1 March 2017) as opposition leader Zoran Zaev accused President Gjorge Ivanov of fomenting a “coup d’état” by refusing to give him the mandate to form a new government.

Read more: Macedonian president accused of fomenting ‘coup’

Turkish Cypriot leader refuses to attend talks

Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı has refused to attend a scheduled leaders’ meeting on Feb. 23, 2017 on the grounds that Greek Cyprus has done nothing to repeal a recent law to permit schools to mark a vote to unify the island with Greece.

Read more: Turkish Cypriot leader refuses to attend talks

Revision of Bosnia's lawsuit "sets back relations 25 years"

Serbian and Bosnian Serb leaders have agreed to maintain "daily communication" after the announcement of a revision of Bosnia's genocide lawsuit against Serbia.

Read more: Revision of Bosnia's lawsuit "sets back relations 25 years"

Montenegro seeks assurance Trump won’t derail its NATO accession

Stuck in a geopolitical tug of war over its NATO bid, Montenegro wants the United States to guarantee that it will ratify its accession protocol. American diplomats told EURACTIV that the process will take time but that US policy should not change.

Read more: Montenegro seeks assurance Trump won’t derail its NATO accession

Lavrov blasts claims of Russia’s 'involvement' in Montenegro coup attempt as groundless

MOSCOW, February 20, 2017. /TASS/. Assertions made by the British media and the Montenegrin special prosecutor, saying that Russian state agencies were involved in coup preparations in the Balkan state, are groundless, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Read more: Lavrov blasts claims of Russia’s 'involvement' in Montenegro coup attempt as groundless

FYROM: Opposition proposes a law on dual languages

The law on the Albanian language seems to be a pending issue in the talks (16.02.2017) between the Social Democratic Union Party and Albanian party BDI before receiving the mandate for the creation of the government.

Read more: FYROM: Opposition proposes a law on dual languages

Serbia: Ruling party announces Aleksandar Vucic’s presidential bid

Aleksandar Vucic will be nominated as the candidate of the ruling SNS party in this year’s presidential elections in Serbia.

Read more: Serbia: Ruling party announces Aleksandar Vucic’s presidential bid

Senator Lee Letter Seeks Accountability for US Ambassador in Macedonia, Jan 17 2017

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) sent a letter to US Ambassador to Macedonia Jess Baily, asking for clarity on; the mission’s assistance to the formation of a new government; the involvement of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation; and the implementation of US Agency for International Development (USAID) programs. Sen. Lee eagerly awaits a reply from the State Department and hopes that the new administration will hold executive branch officials accountable for the way our tax dollars are spent.

Read more: Senator Lee Letter Seeks Accountability for US Ambassador in Macedonia, Jan 17 2017

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